The Holiday season is a magical time for families to come together and create cherished memories. Toronto and the GTA, with their festive spirit and diverse offerings, have a ton of options for celebrating the holidays with your loved ones. In this guide, we’ll explore a list of family-friendly activities that will make your holiday season memorable. From enchanting light displays to classic winter wonderland experiences, there’s something for everyone.
1. Visit the Toronto Christmas Market
We love the Toronto Christmas Market, which is held annually in the historic Distillery District. It is a must-visit attraction during the holiday season. This European-inspired market features artisanal vendors, delicious holiday treats, and beautiful light displays. You can stroll through the charming cobblestone streets, sip on hot cocoa, and soak in the festive atmosphere. Don’t forget to snap a family photo by the giant Christmas tree (taking a photo by the tree is a must!), and tag @oonacaresforyou if you decide to post your photo on Instagram. Protip: if you’re able to, get there during the week when it’s less busy. The weekends can get pretty busy down there!
2. Glide Across the Ice at Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays. It’s truly special there and is great for all ages. You and your family can go ice skating and take pictures under the iconic Toronto sign and the glittering lights of the city’s official Christmas tree. Skates are available for rent on-site!
3. Enjoy a Magical Evening at Casa Loma
No list of places to visit in Toronto during the holidays would be complete without mentioning Casa Loma! This historic castle is nestled in the city and during the holidays, the castle is beautifully decorated with festive lights and decorations. It’s such a magical setting for a holiday visit. Your kiddos will love exploring the secret passageways, and families can enjoy seasonal activities like storytelling and carolling.
4. Explore the Toronto Zoo’s Parent and Tot Winter Wonderland
Did you know that the Toronto Zoo is open all year, including in the winter time? The Toronto Zoo goes all out for the holidays with their Winter Wonderland festivities. Take a walk through the zoo’s enchanting light displays, and don’t miss the chance to visit Santa and his reindeer. It’s a unique, fun and festive way to introduce your kiddos to some of the world’s most fascinating animals.
5. Attend a Live Holiday Performance
Toronto and the GTA boast a vibrant performing arts scene, especially during the holiday season. Check out family-friendly shows and performances, such as the Nutcracker ballet, Christmas carol concerts, or holiday-themed plays. It’s a great way to introduce your children to the world of theatre while getting into the festive spirit.
6. Create Handmade Ornaments
Gather your family for a fun and creative DIY ornament-making session. Visit local craft stores or attend workshops to make personalized holiday decorations – odds are good that your kids will love making them. These ornaments will not only add a personal touch to your Christmas tree but also become cherished keepsakes for years to come.
7. Attend a Christmas Market Outside of the City
While Toronto’s Christmas Market is famous, consider venturing outside the city to explore other charming Christmas markets in the surrounding regions. Places like Hamilton, Niagara Falls, and Barrie host delightful markets, each with its unique holiday charm.
8. Take a Festive Train Ride
All aboard the Santa Claus Express! Several heritage railways in Ontario offer special Christmas-themed train rides. Kids will love meeting Santa and his elves, singing carols, and sipping on hot chocolate as they ride through winter landscapes.
9. Drive Through Spectacular Light Displays
Drive through spectacular residential light displays. Many neighbourhoods go all out with festive decorations, turning streets into winter wonderlands. Plan a cozy evening in the car, sipping hot cider or hot chocolate, and enjoying the twinkling lights with the babies/kiddos!
10. Enjoy a Parent & Baby Class at Oona Studios
Last but not least, for a unique and bonding experience, consider joining a Parent & Baby class at our studios. Our classes offer a wonderful opportunity for parents and their little ones to connect, learn, and have fun together. From fitness and yoga to development and baby movement exploration, Oona Studios provides a variety of classes designed to meet your needs while creating lasting memories.
Enjoy the Holidays!
The holiday season is filled with joy, wonder, and countless opportunities for family fun. Whether you’re ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square, exploring the Toronto Christmas Market and the markets outside of the city, or embarking on a festive train ride, there’s something fun to do for every member of the family. Embrace the holiday spirit, create lasting memories, and make this holiday season one to remember. Happy holidays from the team at Oona!