This holiday season, let Toronto grant you the gift of seasonal merriment with a dozen picks for festive fun for everyone, whether you’re two or 82.
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY The annual Cavalcade of Lights brightens up the city for the entire month of December. Live entertainment, fireworks, daily skating parties and the city’s official Christmas tree are all at Nathan Phillips Square.
November 25 to December 31, free; 416-395-7350 for more information.
SEASONAL SOUNDS The Toronto Children’s Chorus performs traditional tunes when the Toronto Philharmonia presents Christmas Classics.
December 3, $20 to $59; 416-499-2204 for tickets.
SCROOGED Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come band together to teach Ebenezer Scooge the spirit of the season in Soulpepper Theatre Company‘s staging of A Christmas Carol.
December 4 to 23, $25 to $54; 416-866-8666 to purchase.
GET IN ON THE FUN The internationally-acclaimed Toronto Mendelssohn Choir presents its annual selection of choral works with the Festival of Carols, where the audience lends its voice to some holiday favourites.
December 6, $30 to $80; 416-598-0422 ext. 24 for tickets.
VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS The beauty of the ballet and the grandeur of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s opulent home makes the National Ballet of Canada’s staging of The Nutcracker a seasonal favourite.
December 9 to 30, $31 to $110; 416-345-9595 for tickets.
SPANISH SERENADE The holiday season gets a touch of Latin heat when Harbourfront Centre’s concert series for children, Music With Bite, hosts Maderaz Presents Feliz Navidad. The Toronto-based group Maderaz gets everyone on their feet and swaying to the holiday rhythms of Columbia, Cuba, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela.
December 10, free, including milk and cookies; 416-973-4000 for more information.
OH CHRISTMAS TREE The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art‘s 12 Trees of Christmas spruces up the museum with trees decorated by the city’s leading designers.
To December 11, free with museum admission (adults $12, seniors 65 and up $8, students $6); 416-586-8080 for more information.
MUSICAL QUINTET The Canadian Brass—dubbed the “Fab Five”—pepper a classic repertoire with new treats, including their latest recording, “People of Faith.”
December 23, $29.50 to $59.50; 416-872-4255 to order.
FAMILY MERRIMENT The Toronto Symphony Orchestra hosts a double bill of fun with its Family Christmas Concert. An animated screening of The Snowman gets everyone in the mood with a tale about a snowman who comes to life. Platypus Theatre then entertains the crowd with Flicker of Light On a Christmas Night, an international roundup of holiday traditions and music including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”
December 23, $35 to $125; 416-598-3375 for tickets.
SEASONAL SWING A Christmas Special With the Toronto All-Star Big Band puts a jazzy twist on favourite tunes with this 17-piece big band. A capella carols and nostaligic stories round out the afternoon.
December 16, $34; 416-366-7723 for tickets.
SCOTTISH STYLE Celebrate the holidays in Scottish style with Celtic Christmas, featuring the champion dancers of the Scottish Dance Company of Canada.
December 23, $57.50 to $67.50; 416-870-8000 to order.
A CANUCK CELEBRATION Renowned Canadian tenor John McDermott hosts A Family Christmas with a special lineup of famous friends including rocker Lawrence Gowan, pop/folk singer and songwriter Ron Sexsmith, pop songstress Kim Stockwood and comedian Colin Mochrie.
December 23, $30 to $68; 416-872-1212 to purchase.—Linda Luong