Holiday Events to do with the Family

Written by: Hannah Louise Cabrejas, Workshop Coordinator

With the holidays coming up, Toronto and the GTA have brought back a lot of outdoor events that you can enjoy with your family.

There are loads of things to do at-home and around the GTA with your family. The Family Care Office has listed some fun activities you can do to get into the holiday spirit!

In the GTA

Santa Claus Parade

Date: December 4 7:00pm

Cost: FREE

From larger-than-life floats and live performances, the annual Santa Claus Parade in downtown Toronto is back this year! However, for the safety of young children in large crowds the event will not be in person this year, so you and your family can watch the event live on CTV on December 4th.

Toronto Zoo Holiday Marketplace

Date: Fridays to Sundays November 19 to December 23

Cost: $5.50 per person

Where: Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is promoting environmentally friendly practices by hosting an outdoor marketplace of many local vendors and small businesses around the area. You can walk around with your family and get some holiday shopping done and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time!

Toronto Christmas Market (Distillery Winter Village)

Date: November 18 – December 31

Cost: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays – $8.00 / Other – FREE

Where: Distillery District

The Toronto Christmas Market is a great opportunity to walk around the Distillery District decorated with festive ornaments and twinkling lights. You and your family can shop around the local vendors for gifts and hot chocolate or take pictures at the Christmas tree at Trinity Square with live music performances playing in the background.

Christmas Trail

Date: November 13 2021 – December 23

Cost: $25 per car *note: ticket sales release weekly

Where: 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, North York

The Christmas trail is a 1.5km pathway that allows families with cars to drive along an area decorated with holiday themed displays. From dancing elves to Santa Claus, your family is able to enjoy this event from the comfort of your vehicles.

(note: if possible, add a google maps database to blog and pin the addresses of the events)

At Home

If it’s not possible to attend outdoor events, you can also design a holiday-themed movie night with the family. Make some popcorn or bake cookies (these ones are my favourite!) and play your favourite holiday films. At the University of Toronto, you can access Criterion-on-demand, a streaming service that hosts thousands of films. Below are some of my favourite Christmas films all available on Criterion.

  1. How the Grinch stole Christmas – A reclusive grinch meets with a young girl named Cindy Lou Who, who shows him the joys of community and the spirit of Christmas.
  2. Home Alone – A fun film with pranks and jokes and ends with the ultimate message of bringing the family together.
  3. The Polar Express – A young boy has an opportunity to ride on a train to the North Pole. Throughout the journey, he meets various kinds of people that teach him lessons and provide an unforgettable experience.

Whether it’s at home or outdoors it’s great to use this time of year to spend more quality time with your family!