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5 Festive Holiday Events For All Ages

5 Festive Holiday Events for All Ages

After many holiday events were either cancelled or held virtually last year due to the pandemic, it is wonderful that countless have returned, even if modified to keep everyone safe. And there are even new experiences that celebrate this festive time of year. Here are five in the Toronto-area that are sure to get you off your couch to celebrate all things winter, despite how tempting it is to curl up in front of the fire until spring.

Snow Magic
Inspired by fire, ice and light, this drive-thru immersive wonderland features 18 themed, expertly illuminated art installations of larger-than-life mythical creatures from three realms (celestial, terra firma and oceanic), state-of-the-art laser, fire and smoke effects, soundscape from FM radio and light tunnels across 1.7 kilometres of terrain.
When: Friday, November 12, 2021 – Sunday, January 16, 2022 (select dates and times)
Where: Ontario Place, East Island
Cost: $45 (off-peak times) and $65 (on-peak times) per vehicle. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Safety Protocols: Guests must remain in their vehicle throughout the entire experience.


Canadian Tire Christmas Trail
Back due to popular demand in 2020, this drive-along experience takes guests on a mesmerizing journey down a 1.5-kilometre outdoor trail while staying warm and cozy in their car. Discover thousands of twinkling lights, interactive displays like elves building toys in Santa’s workshop, live entertainment and special appearances from various Christmas characters. You’ll even get an opportunity to take a photo with Santa from the comfort of your car.
When: Saturday November 13 – Thursday December 23
Where: 1000 Murray Cross Parkway on the grounds of Black Creek Pioneer Village
Cost: $25 per vehicle. Tickets are released for purchase every Monday at 10:30 a.m. until December 13. All proceeds donated to Canadian Tire Jumpstart charities.
Safety Protocols: Guests must remain in their vehicle throughout the entire experience.


WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland
Canada’s premier amusement park has become a winter wonderland, complete with two 50-foot tall Christmas trees decked out in more than 40,000 ornaments, more than a dozen live shows and entertainment, holiday sweets and treats, a Christmas market, carolling and hands-on family activities like writing letters to Santa at the North Pole post office, crafts and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. The International Street fountain has also been transformed into Snowflake Lake for ice skating in front of the iconic Wonder Mountain. Don’t miss getting pics with Santa Claus or the nightly tree-lighting ceremony. Select rides will also be running.
When: Saturday November 13 – Friday December 31 (select dates and times)
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
Cost: Ticket prices range.
Safety Protocols: All guests 12 years and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for admission. Guests age two years and older must wear face coverings in certain areas. Reservations are required to visit WinterFest.


The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
From the producers of the original Immersive Van Gogh, this experience reimagines the beloved family holiday tale of the Nutcracker. Using state-of-the-art technology that puts guests right in the middle of the action, the story begins with a starry sky, snowstorm and a giant fir tree that falls to earth and reappears as a Christmas tree in a household filled with toys. A magical nutcracker comes to life and from then on, the action unfolds around you in full 360-degree, three-dimensional splendour, with nearly 1.3 million frames of video. The mystical journey is accompanied by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping music, including iconic selections like the March of the Toys and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
When: Saturday November 20 – Friday December 24 (select dates and times)
Where: 1 Yonge St.
Cost: Starting at $39.
Safety Protocols: All guests 12 years and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for admission. Timed tickets provide access to the exhibit at a specific hour on a specific day. Operating at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. Social distancing circles to guide groups through the exhibition. Face masks must be worn at all times.


Polar Winter Festival
Kick-off the winter season with this walk-through festival. You’ll be enchanted by magnificent light displays, larger-than-life festive decorations from giant teddy bears to Santa’s toy shop and the Polar Ice Tunnel that’s filled with thousands of ice crystals. The Bandshell stage will be transformed into Santa’s living room for photos with jolly St. Nick. Rides like the Christmas train, classic carousel and ship excursion keep the fun going. A holiday market will be open for gift shopping from local boutique vendors.
When: Thursday November 25 – Sunday December 26 (select dates and times)
Where: 100 Prince Edward Island Cres. at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place
Cost: $14.99 (12 years and younger) and $19.99 (13 years and older). Rides and Santa photo selfie extra.
Safety Protocols: Tickets sold at time slots to keep crowds smaller. (No set exit time.) Operating at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. Face masks must be worn on all rides when physical distancing isn’t possible.