It's officially mid-November. Halloween is over, Christmas is coming, and all most of us want to do is snuggle up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and the TV remote in the other.
With the cold weather well on its way and the sky getting dark before you even get out of work, it's easy to fall into your bed, pull over the covers and stay there until morning.
But just not this weekend.
With Christmas festivities galore and music festivals to get you going this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you'll want to pull yourself out of bed and check out these must-see events. You'll be glad you did.
For Thursday, October 20th-2017, Click "NEXT"
Toronto Christmas Market
Where: The Distillery District
Everyone's favourite market of the year is back, and it's bringing enough food to fill Santa's sleigh 10 times over. Chocolate, beer, Christmas-themed treats and cozy meals will be available from dozens of stalls in the Distillery District. Get ready to stuff your face with hot cider, shortbread, sausages and peppermint-flavoured goodies.
Tree-lighting at the Eaton Centre
Where: CF Toronto Eaton Centre
Kick off the holiday season with the Eaton Centre’s glitzy tree-lighting ceremony on Thursday evening. The mall will unveil Canada's largest Christmas tree with a seasonal sing-along, led by Toronto choral collective Choir! Choir! Choir! Admission is free.
Where: Rebel Complex
Swedish electronic dance duo Galantis land in Toronto to play music from their 2017 release, The Aviary, on Thursday. See them perform with support by the Him at the Rebel Complex. Tickets can be found here.
Vikings at the ROM
Where: Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is holding their Vikings exhibit from November 4th all the way until April 2nd 2018. If you're a fan of the History Channel's mega-hit 'Vikings', you can explore the myths and stereotypes of the ancient culture at the ROM this Thursday before the show's season five premiere on November 29th.
Simon and Garfunkel Tribute
Where: Massey Hall
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel may not ever go on tour again, but the next best thing will. The Simon and Garfunkel Story arrives in Toronto this month to combine theatre and live music to track the music duo's rise to fame.
Regent Park Film Festival
Where: 585 Dundas St East
Toronto's only free community film festival returns for its 15th year with culturally diverse film screenings, panels, interactive workshops, virtual reality experiences and more! Childcare is available onsite.
Where: Tranzac Club
Back for its sixth season, the Long Winter concert is a pay-what-you-can, all ages, all access kind of event. Prepare for a night of immersive and interactive music, installations, visual art, readings, food, and dance.
The Big Sound
Where: The Great Hall
Big Sound is coming back to the Great Hall with another epic night full of Motown and Classic soul. As always, 30 musicians will bang out the greatest soul hits of all time while DJ Wes Allen dishes up the biggest dance floor bangers for Toronto's best Dance Party. Doors at 10:00pm. Tickets ($15) can be found here.
Where: Yonge and Dundas Square
The 10 year anniversary of the tree lighting ceremony at the heart of downtown will feature an impressive light show with over-the-top performances, light shows and acrobats. The event is held from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. Entrance is free.
Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic
Where: Village of Yorkville Park
The Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area (BYBIA) will kick off the holiday season with Holiday Magic, the free annual community concert featureing performances by Keshia Chanté, complimentary chocolates and beverages, and the official "flick the switch" holiday commencement lighting ceremony.
Where: Shangri-la Hotel
Fête Chinoise will be transforming the entire third floor of the Shangri-La Hotel into a luxurious gala complete with cocktails and curated food stations on Saturday. Tickets start at a steep $120 and go up from there, but according to EventBrite, you leave with a gift bag worth over $300 in value. All proceeds are also donated to Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation and fu-GEN Theatre Company.
Lady Beer Fest
Where: Peace and Cotton Warehouse
Canada's all-ladies craft beer event is back at Peace & Cotton Warehouse this year. General admission costs just $35 and includes includes a commemorative sample glass, four drink tokens and a ‘Morning After’ gift bag. Ticket proceeds directly support the Canadian Women's Foundation.
Santa Clause Parade
Where: Downtown Toronto
'Tis the season for Christmas affairs in Toronto. Santa Clause will be gracing our streets for his 113th parade this Sunday, joined by 25 floats, 22 bands, 100 clowns and 1,500 volunteers. The route runs from from Christie Pits Park to St. Lawrence Market on Sunday, November 19. Admission is free, as always.
Vegetarian Holiday Market
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns
Celebrate the holiday season cruelty-free with the Toronto Vegetarian Association at their Holiday Market on November 19th. The event takes place at Artscape Wychwood Barns from 12:00pm until 6:00pm and features over 30 local businesses. You can buy tickets here for $5.
Niagara Winter Festival of Lights
Where: Niagara Falls
Take a short train or bus ride from Union Station into Niagara for the annual Winter Festival of Lights. The 35th season of the festival kicks off on Saturday, November 18 for opening ceremonies in the Niagara Parks Queen Victoria Park, but if you're looking to avoid the crowds, head here on Sunday when the stunning display of lights are still on but the hoards of tourists have disappeared.
The Trinity Bellwoods Flea
Where: The Great Hall, Lower Hall
Nominated for best Pop-Up two years in a row, Trinity Bellwoods Flea brings one-of-a-kind gifts to the next level. The market will have a curated list of 50 vendors under one roof at the historic Great Hall (Lower Hall), so head over on November 19th (10am to 6pm) for a day shopping, drinks, local food and music. Admission is free and four legged friends are welcome.