Every year I curse the hoards of merciless crowds at the Toronto Christmas Market, & vow to never return again. Yet here I am… year after year – lured in by mulled wine, pretty lights & the endless Insta Opportunities the TCM continuously promises. However – this year I am PLEDGING to myself that I will not return to the TCM. 1. Because my sanity depends on it & 2. Because there are literally SO many other fun Christmas activities to enjoy right here in Toronto… ones that don’t involve waiting in hour long lines to get a grainy, mediocre photo in front of artificial pink Christmas Trees. Bah Humbug. Here are 8 Christmas activities that are NOT the TCM. You’re so welcome.
1. Holiday Fair in the Square
Okay so I’ve only been a grand total of TWO times but what I can tell you is that this Christmas Market is way, way, WAY less packed than the Distillery District variety. Are the vendor displays cute miniature little wooden cabins? Are there cobblestone roads that remind you of a fabulous olde thyme European Christmas. No. But honestly I’d rather walk leisurely through Holiday Fair in the Square then cram my way through hoards and throngs of equally irritated individuals who are all there to honestly just do it for the gram. How do I know that’s what they’re doing? Because Samesies.
Also – there is a skating rink at Holiday Fair in the Square and that is just so much fun.
2. Nutcracker Tea – The King Eddie
My friend treated me to Nutcracker Tea at the King Eddie a couple of years ago & I still to this day think about how magical that afternoon was. Not to mention, my aunts and cousins just threw me a Halloween High Tea there and it was equally as amazing. The King Eddie just knows how to do high tea people! Go with your friends or treat your mom to an early Christmas gift! Plus it’s just so much fun to get all gussied up and pretend you’re British Royalty for the afternoon!
3. Christmas Lights at Casa Loma
I’ve never seen the Christmas Lights at Casa Loma but it is at the very tip top of my Christmas to do list THIS year! I went to Legends of Horror at Casa Loma last year for Halloween so I can ONLY imagine how incredible their Christmas display would be! The pictures I’ve seen online are just so absolutely breathtaking!
4. Visit Niagara on the Lake
I know that this is wildly beyond the city limits of Toronto but I whole heartedly believe that visiting Niagara is totally worth it during the Christmas season. This charming town could not be more Christmas if it tried. Horse drawn carriages, twinkling lights, Mom and pop boutique shops where you can buy an inordinate amount of cute trinkets for gifts… the options to utterly douse yourself in holiday cheer are seriously endless.
Not to mention… a Christmas Carol is playing at Shaw Theatre this time of year! Hot tip: if you’re under 30 tickets are 50% off!
5. Christmas Flower Display at Allan Gardens
I’d actually never even heard of the Allan Gardens Christmas Flower Show until I did a little bit of research for this post. Safe to say… this event sounds like pure magic. Ever since following Jeff Letham on Insta – florist to the Kardashians – I’ve developed an unquenchable penchant for over the top, obnoxious floral displays in various mammal formations (google him) so I can only imagine just how glorious this exhibit would be.
6. High Tea at the Old Mill
I have this thing for high tea. Christmastime at the Old Mill very much reminds me of Kate Winslets’ Home in The Holiday – best Christmas movie ever; don’t even @ me with (insert movie). The atmosphere is so fantastical and very cozy. It’s the perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon!
7. Aurora Winter Festival