Family Fun Things to Do in Toronto in December

Family Fun in Toronto in December - SavvyMom

And just like that, another year has flown by and very soon (or maybe not soon enough for some of us) we’ll be waving goodbye to 2023. But before we do that, we have a month that is absolutely jam-packed with family fun. Below, we round up over 15 of those events. Since it is Toronto in December, the bulk of these suggestions have a festive and often Christmas-y theme. However, we’ve made sure to include a few ideas that have nothing to do with the holidays since we know they aren’t every family’s thing. We’ve also included whether Santa will be appearing since we know that’s a crucial question this time of year.

Also, a quick reminder that registration for 2024 winter City of Toronto Parks and Recreation programming, including skating, swimming, and March Break camps, opens on Tuesday December 5 or Wednesday December 6, depending on where you live. Good luck to all of those trying to secure that perfect swim class.

And of course, Seasons Greetings!

Fun Things to Do in Toronto in December

Planet Santa

Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Dr., Toronto
Now until Sunday December 24

Will Santa be there: Yes!

Self-proclaimed as, “…the region’s most festive and immersive Santa set…,” this 4,500 square feet experience includes, “…Santa’s workshop, life-sized snow globes, and towering Christmas trees ranging from six to 20 feet tall.” Pre-registration is encouraged, but walk-ins will be accepted, spacing permitting, up to and including Friday December 15, and photo packages start at $30.

If you’re looking for a free photo experience, stop by the mall’s iconic hot air balloons, including one that’s been Christmas-tized and turned into an installation that you family can use for photos. And starting Friday December 15, the mall will be hosting a special gift-wrapping station where all funds raised will support the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation and its Love, Scarborough campaign.

Santa’s Tiny Big Town

Vaughan Mills, 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan
Now until Sunday December 24

Will Santa be there: Yes!

This popular Christmas-themed experience is back for another year. The kids can meet Santa and pose for photos with him and the “town’s” interactive displays. There will also be some fun festive activities. Walk-ins are allowed, but pre-registration is encouraged as some dates are already sold out! Packages start as low as $5 (this one doesn’t include a photo), and proceeds benefit SickKids. The mall is also hosting its Holiday Heroes Toy Drive until Friday December 15 in support of local families.

Magical Christmas Forest

Kortright Centre, 9550 Pine Valley Dr., Woodbridge
Friday November 24 – Saturday December 23, select dates

Will Santa be there: Yes!

Incorporate some nature into holiday celebrations at the Kortright Centre. Nestled in “… a winter wonderland filled with light,” this event involves a wagon ride, crafts, and even a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows (other treats are available for purchase). There’s also a chance to visit with Santa in his cabin. This three-hour event runs 5pm to 9pm on Wednesdays to Saturdays and 3pm to 8pm to Sundays. Tickets must be pre-purchased and start at around $26, with kids under one being free.

Illuminarium Toronto - SavvyMom

Winter Wonderland Spectacular

Illuminarium, 28 Gristmill Ln., Toronto
Friday November 24-  Sunday January 7

Will Santa be there: Yes!

Immerse yourself in all things holiday at this unique 360 degree experience: “Visitors will be transported into Christmas magic, discovering an ever-changing winter dreamland to a futuristic fantasyland of nutcrackers, swinging jingle bells, candy cane carousels and more.” Admission includes free hot chocolate, a photo with Santa or Ms. Claus and even elf selfies. General admission tickets start at $30 and a discounted bundle that includes access to the Distillery District’s Winter Village.

Christmas at the Castle & Holiday Lights

Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto
December into January 2024

Will Santa be there: Only at the Christmas at the Castle event.

Toronto’s only castle hosts two festive events this holiday season. Christmas at the Castle is Casa Loma’s indoor event and will let you and your family explore this historic home in all its holiday splendor. The 40-foot-tall Christmas tree is sure to make for some fantastic photos! Your kids will also be able to engage in some arts and crafts and meet holiday mascots.

Holiday Lights is an outdoor-only event that takes place once it’s dark enough for Casa Loma to show off its thousands of beautiful lights. Take a roughly two-kilometre-long self-guided walk that also includes live performances. Just leave the stroller at home, as this path isn’t stroller-friendly. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance for Christmas in the Castle, which costs $45 with the option to add on access to Holiday Lights for either $25 or $30, depending on the date. Tickets for Holiday Lights can be purchased on site; however, they are cheaper in you buy them in advance: $45 prior to Thursday December 18 and $50 after. Children three and under are free.

Jurassic Quest

Friday December 1 – Sunday December 3; Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s, 1 Summers Ln., Hamilton
Friday December 8 – Sunday December 10: The International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga

Will Santa be there: No.

Looking to do something that has nothing to do with winter or Santa? Then, head out to Hamilton or Mississauga for this dinosaur-centric event. Life-size, realistic animatronics of dinosaurs and other creatures from long ago, including a 50-foot-long megalodon, are sure to impress your kids (and probably you). The experience also includes many hands-on activities such as dinosaur-themed bounce houses and even ride-on dinosaurs. A standard ticket starts at $27.50, while the $45 unlimited kids’ ticket provides unlimited access to the rides, inflatables, and fossil dig.

Santa’s Storytime

Gerrard Square, 1000 Gerrard St. E., Toronto
Friday December 1 – Saturday December 23

Will Santa be there: Yes!

Do your kids want to spend some quality time with Santa? Then this 45-minute-long experience might be for your family! Hear St. Nick read a holiday story and enjoy and Q and A with him before posing for some photos (on your camera) and mailing a letter to the North Pole. All this December fun is set against a festive backdrop that includes Christmas trees, snowmen and even reindeer.

All time slots must be pre-registered, with tickets starting at around $14 for kids ages one and up (adults are free).

Skate the Bentway & Holiday Street Market

The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto
Market: Saturday December 2 – Sunday December 31, weekends only
Skating: Opens Saturday December 16

One of the city’s best outdoor skating experiences opens for the season on Saturday December 16. This year, your family can enjoy the 220-meter-long, figure-eight skate trail under the Gardiner Expressway while checking out, “…soaring art installation inspired by the glowing hues of the northern lights.” Access to the rink is free, and skate rentals are available for a fee. Hot chocolate and a few other treats will be available to purchase Fridays through Monday or on the weekends, check out Street Eats Market’s holiday market, which will feature food trucks, vendors, and a few other fun activities.

Access to the market is free. Street Eats is also hosting its Holiday Street Market in a couple other locations: Celebration Square in Mississauga from Saturday November 25 and beneath the CN Tower from Saturday December 2 to the 31stt.

Nights of Lights

Scarborough Town Centre, outdoor parking lot, 500 Progress Ave., Toronto
Friday December 1 – Sunday January 7

Will Santa be there: Yes!

If your family is struggling to get into the holiday spirit, a walk through Night of Lights is sure to brighten everyone’s heart. Featuring over 1.5 million sparkling lights synchronized to festive music, this roughly 45-minute-long walking trail is filled with opportunities to “ooh!” and “aah!” and take the perfect holiday photo. The trail leads to the Mistletoe Market, which features food trucks, vendors, and even midway rides. Timed tickets, which must be pre-purchased, start at around $15, and a $65 family pack is also available.

Santa at the Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto
Saturday December 2 – Saturday December 23, weekends only

Will Santa be there: Yes.

Celebrate an old-timey Christmas at Toronto’s historic village. Your kids can attend elf school, try their skills at reindeer games, create some holiday crafts and watch a seasonal puppet show. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy some sweet treats. Tickets start at $18, and kids under three are free.

A Journey Into Enchantment

1389 Brock Rd., Pickering
13959 3 Line, Halton Hills
Saturday December 2 until Sunday January 7

Will Santa be there: Yes!

Looking to enjoy some gorgeous holiday lights from the comfort of your car? Then head out to Pickering or Halton Hills and drive the two-kilometre-long Journey into Enchantment trail. In addition to seeing thousands of lights synced to seasonal music, there’s also the opportunity to take a Santa selfie. Admission is based per car and is around $40.


Wychwood Theatre, 76 Wychwood Ave., Toronto
Saturday December 2 to Sunday January 7
Will Santa be there: No.

Ross Petty may have wrapped up his pantomime game, but over at the Wychwood Theatre, your family can still indulge in this Christmas tradition. This year, the theatre is presenting “a modern twist” on Rapunzel. While the whole family will enjoy this show, note that it has a one hour and 15-minute-long run with no intermission so it’s probably a better fit for school-age kids. Performances take place in the evening and the afternoon, and tickets start at around $38.

Chris, Mrs.

Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., Toronto
Tuesday December 5 – Sunday December 31

Will Santa be there: We suspect he might make an on-stage appearance.

Be among the first to watch this brand-new holiday-themed musical. Its cast of Broadway, Stratford, and Shaw Theatre veterans will wow your family as they bring to life a story about the Chris family and their very special Christmas at their family lodge. The show is designed to be family-friendly however, with a run time of two hours and 10 minutes, it is recommended for kids who are eight and up. Both evening and matinee shows are available, and tickets start at around $55.

Disney’s The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert

Meridian Hall, 1 Front St. E., Toronto
Friday December 15 & Saturday December 16

Will Santa be there: No.

If your children and you share a love for the hijinks of the Muppets, this event is for your family. Watch as all your favourite characters act out Charles Dickens’ classic story, A Christmas Carol, on the big screen. As the movie plays, an orchestra will bring the film’s memorable score come alive. Three performances are scheduled, one on Friday, December 15 at 7pm and two on Saturday at 2pm and 7pm, and all run just over 100 minutes, including intermission. Tickets start at around $39.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical!

The Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto
Weekends & holidays: December 16 & 17, 29-31; January 3, 5-7 & 13-14

Will Santa be there: No.

Get ready to sing and laugh as the best-selling Pigeon book is brought to life on stage through an entertaining mix of actors, puppets, songs, and of course, feathers. Together, your family will enjoy, “…an unforgettable ride with the Pigeon.” The 55-minute-long show, which doesn’t include an intermission, is recommended for kids ages five and up. Tickets start at around $25.

Slava’s Snowshoe

Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., Toronto
Friday December 22 – Sunday December 31

Will Santa be there: No.

Here’s something a little different but will surely be remembered by your family for years to come. Self-described as a, “…universal and timeless theatrical poetic spectacle which has unanimously enchanted and empowered the imagination of audiences and critics since 1993…” this unique show tells its story through music, impressive visual effects and clowns. Both matinee and evening performances are scheduled, and while the show is designed to be family-friendly, it’s nearly two-hour runtime has led its creators to recommend it for kids around age eight and up. Tickets start at around $59.

Champions of Magic

Meridian Hall, 1 Front St. E., Toronto
Wednesday December 27 – Saturday December 30

Will Santa be there: No.

Back in town for the first time since 2018, this collection of five world-renowned magicians will amaze your family with, “…impossible illusions, interactive magic, and spectacular special effects.” Oh, and maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get to participate in the experience. Due to the loud and sometimes intense nature of this show, it’s recommended for kids ages five and up (it also has a runtime of around two hours and 15 minutes, including intermission). A total of eight performances are scheduled, at various times, so there is likely a time that works for your family. Tickets start at around $35 a seat.


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