Winter and cold weather are approaching quicker and quicker but that also means THE HOLIDAYS ARE ALMOST HERE and it's time to celebrate. Thinking of awesome gifts to get your loved ones, skating under the stars, singing holiday carols... There's so much holiday goodness to come. Kick off the holiday season with all these awesome free events happening this month. It's gonna be a grand ol' time.
1. Day of the Dead Festival @ Harbourfront Centre
Celebrate Mexican and Latin American traditions at this cultural festival happening November 7th to 8th. The festival celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday, which is also where the sugar skull originates from!
2. WordPlay 2015 @ Toronto Reference Library
Do you love writing, words, and games? Is interactive fiction your thing? Check out this festival on November 7th at the Toronto Reference Library. There'll be a curated game showcase, talks by creators, and ways for attendees to try making their own games. So cool, man.
3. Skating @ Natrel Rink or Nathan Phillips Square
What's more fun than skating with your friends under the stars? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre opens November 14th and the rink at Nathan Phillips Square opens November 22nd.
4. Illuminite 2015 @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Did you even realize how close Christmas was? Are you excited? We're so excited. Come on down to Dundas Square on November 14th and watch the holiday tree get lit up along with live music and cool performances. It's gonna be lit.
5. Santa Claus Parade
Feel like a kid again and check out the Santa Claus Parade. The 111th annual Santa Claus Parade is happening November 15th, beginning at Christie Pits and ending at St. Lawrence Market. Be sure to join the Facebook event if you're attending. Ho ho ho.
6. Toronto Christmas Market @ Distillery District
We present to you the most Instagrammable event of the holidays: the Toronto Christmas Market. It returns November 20th to the Distillery District. Bring bae, bring your friends, bring yourself. It's free admission Tuesdays to Fridays and $5 a person on weekends. You can check out the holiday vendors, eat a turkey leg, or even watch a play at the theatre. So much fun.
7. Trinity Bellwoods Flea
Get started on holiday shopping and shop from local TO vendors and artisans at the Trinity Bellwoods Flea. From handmade candles to sweet treats to skincare products, you'll find plenty of gift-worthy items here. They'll even have $5 mimosas and $8 rum spiked ciders for you to sip on while you shop. Happening at 824 Dundas Street West.
8. Ice, Wine, & Dine
Get ready to wine and dine in the chilly weather at this street festival. Indulge yourself in festive eats and drinks while enjoying holiday entertainment all around you. Happening November 21st on Elm Street between Yonge and Bay.
9. Cavalcade of Lights @ Nathan Phillips Square
It's Christmas town, Christmas town, we're up here in the north... You'll already have gone to the lighting of the Christmas tree at Dundas Square, so why not see the lighting of the tree at Nathan Phillips Square? On November 28th, make your way to NPS for the annual Cavalcade of Lights. Go skating, watch the fireworks, and kick off the holidays with your loved ones.
10. Free Shows @ The Drake Hotel
Check out some great live music at the Drake Hotel and maybe discover something you'll love. There's even a film screening happening this month. Here's a list of all their free shows happening this November:
The St. Royals – November 2nd and 30th
The Digs – November 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th
The Lonely Hearts – November 9th and 23rd
Asylum of Spoons (film screening) – November 15th
11. Free Screenings @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Be a little more cultured and check out some free screenings of films by Canadian filmmakers at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Ellie Epp: Elements of Contact is a series of four experimental films by Canadian filmmaker Ellie Epp and it's playing November 12th. To Lavoisier, Who Died in the Reign of Terror preceded by Short Shave is a Michael Snow film which turns everyday life into unique photochemical abstractions and it's playing November 21st.