If you're in search of delightful holiday activities that go beyond the traditional turkey feasts and gift exchanges, look no further than the enchanting events in Ontario. From the mesmerizing lights adorning the city streets to the comforting scent of freshly brewed hot cocoa, it'll be a unique and heartwarming holiday experience.
Whether you call Ontario your home or you're a visitor exploring its winter wonderland, this guide serves as your gateway to the most captivating dining, drinking, and adventure experiences throughout the holiday season.
The RESTaurant Pop-Up With Chef Matt Basile
When: November 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Address: Archeo | 31 Trinity Street Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Just two days before National Leftovers Day, immerse yourself in the world of famous dishes inspired by commonly leftover foods. This free event invites guests to savour dishes crafted to combat food waste, with celebrity Chef Matt Basile adding his creative twist. Discover how Ziploc and Second Harvest, Canada's largest food rescue organization, are teaming up to recover nutritious, unsold food, providing up to 500,000* meals for Canadian families in need this holiday season. Whether you bring a friend or come solo, it's an event you won't want to miss!
- Food Museum: Explore the inspiration and stories behind some of the most beloved dishes inspired by leftovers
- Leftover-Inspired Menu: Sample a curated selection of these dishes, reimagined by Chef Matt Basile
- Chef's Demo: Chef Matt will host a live demo to demonstrate how to transform common leftovers into an incredible meal
- Second Harvest: Learn about the importance of food waste prevention from Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest.
Reserve your free spot in advance to ensure entry. Limited spots available for walk-ins!
* From October 29 until December 30, purchase a Ziploc® product at participating Canadian retailers and with every purchase, Ziploc and Second Harvest will provide a meal to someone in need.
Back Forty Glamping
Price: Starting at $375/night
Address: 145166 Side Rd 16, Meaford ON
Why You Need To Go: Experience the epitome of winter luxury at Back Forty Glamping , situated just outside Meaford, ON. Our five fully equipped geodesic domes provide a unique and lavish retreat amidst the beauty of Ontario winters. These futuristic white bubbles feature clear canvas windows, accommodating two adults with a king-size bed, full kitchenette, and a 3-piece bathroom with running water. If you're looking for the full stargazing experience, their Forest Domes have a skylight. Embrace the winter magic with complimentary snowshoes and unwind in your private hot tub. Back Forty Glamping redefines winter getaways, seamlessly blending comfort and adventure for an unforgettable glamping experience.
Courtesy of Bisou Dates
Price: $3 - $20
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday
- Wednesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Saturday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 529 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: Bisou Dates is your passport to a plethora of global goodies. This gourmet health food store is a treasure trove of products you won't find just anywhere, from Heritage Bee to Thrive Wagyu Beef bars and even a secret Trader Joe's Shelf filled with all your favourites! But the real star of the show? Their Mediterranean chocolate-covered date counter with twelve exquisite flavours. Perfect for gifting or indulging, these dates are a sensation. Your epicurean adventure is just a visit away, a true foodie's paradise.
Courtesy of Orris Labs
Price: Starting at $69.77 + tax per session
Hours: Monday to Sunday
- Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Saturday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 326 Davenport Rd #101, Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Immerse yourself in the captivating world of perfume making at Orris Labs, where you'll learn how to craft a personalized fragrance that reflects your own unique style and personality. It's an opportunity to bond, share stories and collaborate on personalized perfumes that will leave a lasting impression. Best of all, you'll leave with your own custom fragrance, a tangible memento of an unforgettable experience that can be cherished long after it's over.
Courtesy of Richmond Hill
When: Saturdays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. until December 16
Address: Richmond Green Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill, ON
Why You Need To Go: ‘Tis the season to check out the Merry Marketplace in Richmond Hill! This outdoor holiday shopping experience features local artisans, live entertainment, holiday treats, a meet and greet with Santa Claus, winter lights and more! Step into a winter wonderland and let the spirit of the holidays come alive under the twinkle of thousands of lights, illuminated daily until 10 p.m. throughout the holiday season.
Courtesy of iStock
Price: Free to $30 per person
When: December 31
Address: Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge St., Richmond Hill, ON
Why You Need To Go: Looking for the perfect family friendly way to welcome the New Year? Richmond Hill's 'First Night' is the ultimate celebration you won't want to miss. Promising a night of live entertainment, exciting crafts, activities for all ages, delicious treats, and the best part—a countdown that wraps up early, so you can be cozied up in your PJs at home by midnight. Make it a night to remember with laughter, fun, and the perfect start to your 2024!
Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Annual Festive Favourites
Courtesy of Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Price: Varies per show
Address: 60 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Be whisked away to a winter wonderland through Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s annual festive favourites this December. Expect movies, holiday magic, and much more! Don't miss this chance to infuse your December with unparalleled joy and musical magic. Plus, join your TSO for fun-filled, exhilarating, and impactful experiences all season long.