Toronto has gotten really cold this week, so you might as well start planning your next sunny vacation! It feels like it is already time to escape the cold winter weather and jet of to a warm, topical location to sit on a beach and sip fruity cocktails all day... unless you are broke AF. Between rent, bills and student loans, going on a vacation this holiday season is not in your budget. But good news for you, you don't have to leave Toronto to go on a vacation.
Between the delicious restaurants and fun activities, Toronto has the potential to transport you to a different place - even if it is just for the afternoon. You may not be able to fork out the big bucks to go on a warm, exotic vacation this holiday season, however, this list will give you ideas for a mini one right here in the city. Read on for 12 things to do in Toronto if you can't afford to go somewhere warm.
1. Sip tropical cocktails @ Miss Thing's // 1279 Queen St W
We all love drinking fruity cocktails that transport us back to our past vacations. Like that one time you went to Cuba over Spring Break. Or that time you did a girls trip to Jamaica. But the best part is that you don't have to spend the money to travel to these places again in order to get a taste of the tropics. Whether it is in a Seahorse cup, a pineapple chalice or a real coconut, Miss Thing's is the place to go when you are in need of an exotic cocktail.
2. Do a hot yoga class @ YYoga // multiple locations
Do you ever get so cold that you try to remember the hottest summer day you have ever experienced? You try to remember the humidity, the sun beating down on you, the thickness of the heat. Well hot yoga is basically the same thing as your hottest summer day. Doing yoga in temperatures as high as 40 degrees celsius will make you feel like you are stretching in Mexico, rather than snowy Toronto.
3. Try Middle Eastern cuisine @ Tabülè // 810 Queen St E
One thing that people love to do when they travel is try a variety of new and different foods. But luckily for you, you don't have to spend all you money traveling across the world to try some exotic food. Toronto has a ton of amazing restaurants that are sure to transport you to another place without hopping on a plane. Plus, they will be less expensive than air fare. Try Tabülè for some spicy Middle Eastern eats the next time you are craving a vacation.
4. Play beach volleyball @ Beach Blast // 15 Leswyn Rd
Whenever the cold weather hits Toronto, its residents start thinking of warm beaches - the smell of salt water, the feeling of warm sand between toes. Well what if I told you you could get that feeling in the dead of winter? Check out Beach Blast and play a game of indoor volleyball the next time you are missing the beach. Not only will you get to feel the sand in between your toes, but you will have a lot of fun playing a summer sport year-round.
5. Take an adult recess break @ Pursuit OCR // 444 Dufferin St
Although it may not actually make you feel like you are on vacation, Pursuit OCR will definitely warm you up. Get sweaty at this indoor fitness playground and take an adult recess break the next time the winter blues are getting to you. Pursuit OCR is accessible year-round, rain or shine, to everyone of all fitness levels so why not embrace your inner kid for a day? In no time you will be having a blast and completely forget about the weather outside.
6. Lounge by the pool @ InterContinental Toronto Centre // 225 Front St
Staycations are the new vacations. And there are few things more relaxing than lounging out by the pool during a hot day. So next time you are missing the sound of waves, check out InterContinental Toronto Centre's indoor pool. The glass ceiling and palm trees will make you feel like you are soaking up rays by a pool in Arizona. Make it a mini-vacation and stay the weekend, enjoy their spa and take advantage of the room service while you are at it.
7. Get a surf workout @ Surfset Toronto // 2481A Yonge St
No need to spend all your money catching a flight to Hawaii, just head over to Surfset for a surf workout. Become a pro surfer before you take it to the ocean with this new workout style. Not only is it great for core strength, but it will also strengthen your balance. You will feel like you are surfing off the shores of Hawaii without actually being there. After a few classes at Surfset, you will be ready to take your skills to the tropics next holiday season after saving up some cash.
8. Enjoy drinks on the heated patio @ The Drake Sky Yard // 1150 Queen St W
Winter in Toronto can get pretty chilly and it makes you miss those long, hot summer nights spent on patios. However, you can actually enjoy patio season year-round in Toronto. Visit The Drake Sky Yard the next time you want to sit outdoors and grab drinks on their heated patio. The vibe, heaters and aesthetics of the place will make you instantly forget about the cold weather, while the drinks warm you from the inside out.
9. Get a dose of humidity @ Allan Gardens // 19 Horticultural Ave
Have you ever wanted to visit the Amazon and experience the jungle, but your debit card is like, "Wrong account, who dis?" Well, consider Allan Gardens Toronto's mini rainforest retreat. Obviously, it is no where near a real rainforest, however, it is as close as your broke self is going to get to one at this point. So the next time you get the winter blues, warm up in Allan Gardens and dream of lush greenery and exotic flowers.
10. Dig in to some Mediterranean eats @ Byblos // 11 Duncan St
One of the best things about travelling to different spots is learning and experiencing the new culture of the places you are visiting. So why not do exactly that without actually going anywhere? Toronto offers a wide variety of culture in its events, people and especially food. The next time you are thinking of jetting off to a warmer climate, take a trip to the Mediterranean by heading over Byblos's instead for some delicious eats.
11. Relax in a Turkish-style bath @ Miraj Hammam Spa // 188 University Ave
The whole point of going on a vacation is to do it for yourself. You want to treat yourself to a relaxing getaway after working so hard - however, your wallet thinks otherwise. You don't have to go away to treat yourself; just pick one of Toronto's luxurious spas for an instant vacay. Visit Miraj Hammam Spa and try their take on a Turkish bath that is comparable to a sauna. At this spa, you will "be transported to another world without having to leave the city."
12. Try every restaurant for Winterlicious // multiple locations
So technically Winterlicious does not start till January, however, you can try out all the other things on this list in preparation for it. Bring out your inner Amelia Earhart in the new year and travel around the world through Winterlicious's variety of restaurant prix fixe menus right in the heart of Toronto. Stay tune for more information on which restaurants will be participating in Winterlicious this year.