By Lori Bosworth
UPDATED FOR 2014: Wondering what kinds of Christmas events and activities in 2014 that you can do with the kids to experience the joys of the season as a family? While skating on some of Toronto’s outdoor rinks is a healthy way for families to bond during the holidays, you’ll also enjoy winter festivals, plays and workshops with a holiday theme. The following family-friendly holiday events are relatively inexpensive and should put everyone in a Christmas mood.
Kidzfest at Yonge Dundas Square
Yonge-Dundas Square will host a day of free family-friendly fun on Sat., Nov. 29, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presented by the Downtown Yonge BIA, Kidzfest features stage entertainment, rides and activities and appearances by Frozen Ice Queen and Princess, The Octonauts and Peter Pan and friends! Creativity will flow at the crafts area and Play-Doh Play Centre. Free.
Enjoy singing along with the subtitles of the original film version of The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews at TIFF Bell Lightbox from Thurs., Dec. 26, 2013 to Sat., Dec. 28, 2013. Dress up as your favourite Sound of Music character. Tickets are Adults $22.75 plus $1 service fee, Seniors (65+)/Students (with valid student ID) $20 plus $1 service fee and Children $17.50 plus $1 service fee. Shows are Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Join your child, aged 7-10, in making a Christmas wreath at this two-hour workshop at Colborne Lodge in High Park on Sat., Nov, 29, 2014 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $42.50 plus tax for one adult and one child and $12.50 extra for an additional child. Tour the seasonally-decorated house and enjoy complimentary light refreshments.
This holiday family event on Sat., Dec. 14, Sun., Dec. 15, Sat., Dec. 21 and Sun., Dec. 22, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harbourfront will teach you how to make holiday decorations such as a festive wreath, holiday tree centerpiece or herd of reindeer ornaments. The class is appropriate for families. Free. The class location is Miss Lou’s Room, York Quay Centre, 235 Queen’s Quay, 416-973-4093.
Take the kids to see Window Wonderland: holiday window displays created by Ryerson Retail Management students and businesses in the Downtown Yonge BIA. The window displays will be revealed to the public on November 15, 2014 and you can vote for your favourite window beginning November 17, 2014 on the Downtown Yonge BIA’s Facebook page.
Story Time with Santa at Toronto Eaton Centre
Book online for your child to enjoy a Santa Experience at Toronto Eaton Centre, which includes a holiday story read by Santa and the opportunity to get their picture taken with St. Nick. Parents must bring their own cameras. Reserve online at Toronto Eaton Centre. Drop in dates that do not require online reservations are Fri., Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
See what seasonal treats the animals at the Toronto Zoo receive during the 38th annual Christmas Treats Walk and take a guided walk through the new Eurasia Wilds on Fri., Dec. 26, 2014. Meet at the front entrance courtyard at 10:30 a.m. Admission is half off for everyone on Boxing Day. Please bring a non-perishable item for the Daily Bread Food Bank and any old cellphones to support great ape conservation. This is an outdoor event. General Admission is (13-64) $23, Seniors (65+) $18, Children (3-12) $14 and Children 2 and under Free. Parking is $10 per vehicle.
A Christmas Carol at Montgomery’s Inn
The Humber River Shakespeare Company will perform Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Montgomery’s Inn, 4709 Dundas St. W. (at Islington Ave.) on Dec. 4, 11, 12 and 21, 2014 at 7 p.m., on Dec. 12, 2014 at 1 p.m. and on Dec. 6 and 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. Tickets for A Christmas Carol are Adults $15 and Children $10 and may be purchased online.