12 holiday events you don’t want to miss

Festive decorated castles, rad holiday concerts, winter markets, and more!

The holidays can be a bit overwhelming with all of the parties, markets, and concerts. Sometimes it can be tough to figure out which invites are worth heading to and which ones you should skip out on.

From festive decorated castles to holiday mixtape swaps, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this chilly season. Check out these 12 holiday events you won’t want to miss below.

A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle

Casa Loma | December 1 – January 6, 9:30 am – 9:00 pm | Tickets

Get in the festive mood at Casa Loma this holiday season, as it will be transforming into a winter wonderland for the month of December. Every day, the historic destination will boast signature holiday decor, outdoor light displays, performances, festive food and drinks, a holiday market, and Santa’s Workshop.

Toronto Christmas Market 2018

The Distillery District | Ongoing Until December 23 | Tickets

The Toronto Christmas Market has returned to the Distillery District with more unique handcrafted products, light canopies, and entertainment than ever. Admission is free of charge on weekdays until 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, so you can check out Santa and the elves, Christmas lights, and mulled wine and beer on the cheap.

Holiday Fair In Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square | December 1 – 23 | Free

Head to Nathan Phillips Square to take part in the Holiday Fair, which brings awareness to Epilepsy Toronto so that they can continue providing employment, education, and counselling to over 40,000 people across the GTA. The event will feature an open-air artisan village, tasty food trucks, live entertainment, visits from Santa, a Fireside Lounge, the Jackson-Triggs Polar Point, and an outdoor bar serving mulled wine and other seasonal favourites.

The Josie Dye Show’s Holiday Sock Drop with FIDLAR and Guests

The Phoenix Concert Theatre | December 13 | Tickets

This special holiday concert will feature performances from D Boy, Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs and FIDLAR, all in support of Socks4Souls Canada. $2.00 from every ticket sold will support The Josie Dye Show’s Socks for the Streets with Socks4Souls Canada to purchase socks for Toronto’s homeless community during the winter season. Concert goers are encouraged to bring a pair of new, unused tube socks the night of the show for donation to Socks4Souls Canada!

Holiday Mixtape Exchange

The Dupe Shop | December 15, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm | Free

Head to Bloor Street West’s The Dupe Shop with a mix tape of your own on December 15th, and you’ll be able to trade with someone else for a new one. If you can’t make a mix tape (yes, they mean physical tapes), no need to fear! Your friends at The Dupe Shop will show you how to turn a playlist on your phone or computer into a physical tape if you slide by the store.

Venus Fest Winter Market

Lula Lounge | December 16, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm | Free Market, Ticketed Performance

Venus Fest will be hosting their first ever winter market on December 16th, and it will feature gifts and art from local businesses run by women and non-binary entrepreneurs. Market visitors will get $2 off tickets to the evening show, and $2 from each ticket will go toward the Anduhyaun Centre for Indigenous women. Also, there will even be performances by Bernice and kith & kin, as well as a game of bingo hosted by Alex Samaras and pals.

Liberty Village Holiday Market

Dead End Studio | December 16, 11:11 am – 5:55 pm | Tickets

Head to the Liberty Village Holiday Market to grab a gift for someone close to you and support independent local artists at the same time. There will be local artists, musicians, authors, designers, photographers, poets, artisans, storytellers, and creatives of all kinds. You can peruse some of Toronto’s best art, books, clothing, food, jewelry, and more while you enjoy some live art and performances.

The OC: Covering Their Tracks: Chrismukkah Edition

Horseshoe Tavern | December 20, 8:30 pm | Tickets

Hosted by Indie88’s very own Lana Gay, come celebrate the show’s seminal soundtrack, Seth, Ryan, Marissa, Summer and the holiday that has twice the resistance, Chrismukkah! The lineup includes performances from Andrew Hyatt, Damian Abraham of Fucked Up, Ellevator, The Elwins, Jane’s Party, Kandle and more! All proceeds will be donated to SKETCH – Working Arts and the Children’s Book Bank Toronto!

The Yule Ball

Phoenix Concert Theatre | December 20, 10:00 pm | Tickets

Witches and wizards of Toronto unite! Grab your dress robes, wands, and all things magical, and head to The Phoenix to take part in this year’s formal Yule Ball magic & dance event. The venue will be transformed into a magical wonderland full of gargoyles, floating candles, and magical happenings throughout the night.

The Bentway Skate Trail Opening Weekend 2018

The Bentway | December 21 – 23, 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Free

The Bentway’s figure-eight style skate trail, located beneath the Gardiner Expressway, will be open for the second year in a row starting on December 21st! There will be skate rentals and skating lessons available, and curated food and beverage for sale on certain dates. The trail will wind through a winter village with snuggly blankets, warming lounges, and fire pits.

Addams Family Christmas Bazaar

334 Dundas St. W | December 21 & 22, 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Free

This Halloween themed Christmas Bazaar will boast local odd crafts, fashion, and accessories. Hosted by Luna and Alchemy, you’ll be able to find unique crafts, tattoo prints, jewellery, and more from Toronto vendors like Dust Bunny Jewellery, Cursed By Design, and Abominable Ink by Fazooli.

Hot Docs for the Holidays: Home Alone: Quote-Along

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema | December 23, 9:30 pm – 11:13 pm | Tickets

Hot Docs for the Holidays will be celebrating the festive season with a month long program full of free holiday classics and special screenings. Grab your ugliest Christmas sweater, and check out the fifth annual Home Alone quote-along, where they’ll be screening the film with subtitles, so you can shout out your favourite lines and enjoy some cheese pizza as you yell, “keep the change, ya filthy animal!”