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Mariposa Cruises

Hot Dates: Counting Down Toronto’s New Year’s Eve-nts

Break out the bubbly. It's New Year's Eve! (photo by Anders Andermark)

Have you noticed more and more places selling calendars these days? Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the imminent arrival of 2012. Hang on though, your 2011 calendar can be put to use one last time to jot down your plans for December 31st. Consider the following to fill up that final square:

  • It wouldn’t really feel like New Year’s in Toronto without CityTV’s New Year’s Eve Bash at Nathan Phillips Square. The 27th annual installment of the bash comes complete with fireworks plus performances by Backstreet Boy Howie D and pop songstress Anjulie. (more…)

Hot Date: Santa’s Festive Boat

See Santa early on a Mariposa Cruise

DECEMBER 10, 11, 17 & 18 Santa Claus’s sleigh needs some maintenance in advance of his marathon night of work. While the sled’s in the shop, Saint Nick himself will be on board the Mariposa Cruises ship Northern Spirit for the sixth annual Santa Cruise. Bring the family to meet Kris Kringle and his elves on this hour-long boat ride around the Toronto harbour, where kids can pose for photos and negotiate their wish lists with the jolly man. After the cruise, Santa’s elves lead the way to free souvenir holiday photo frames available at the Queen’s Quay Terminal. $12; call 416-203-0178 or visit here for cruise times and tickets.

Weekend Roundup, December 17th to 19th

It’s the final weekend before Christmas and there is a lot more to do in the city than just shop. If you’re looking for a break from holiday cheer or hoping to dive into it a week early Toronto’s got you covered.

Friday: Rock on with Alexisonfire

Friday, December 17th
The classic tale of Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas premieres tonight at the Sony Centre. This holiday favourite is given the Broadway treatment with fantastic sets, terrific costumes and all-new songs.

St. Catharines natives Alexisonfire return to their roots with an all-ages show tonight at Sound Academy. Expect to rock out to tunes from their recent album, Old Crows/Young Cardinals, as well as many of their past hits.

Television personality Gerry Dee brings his comedic stylings to the Panasonic Theatre stage with his Gerry Dee and Friends Holiday Show. Canadian comedians Darrin Rose and Frank Spadone also drop in for so stand-up hilarity.

Saturday: See the intriguing movements of Studies in Motion (photo by Tim Matheson)

Saturday, December 18th
Climb aboard the Mariposa Cruises’ Northern Spirit ship for its family-oriented Santa Cruise. This afternoon tour of the Toronto harbour offers children the chance to meet Santa and his elves while taking in Toronto’s iconic skyline.

Tonight presents your last chance to see Studies in Motion at the St. Lawrence Centre’s Bluma Appel Theatre. The well-reviewed play examines the life of the brilliant yet troubled artist Eadweard Muybridge.

The Toronto Children’s Chorus performs tonight at Roy Thomson Hall. Ruth Watson Henderson’s The Last Straw will be sung by the ensemble’s 300-plus children. Its 150-voice Alumni Choir is also be featured as part of this joyous concert.

Sunday: Cheer on Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors

Sunday, December 19th
The Los Angeles Lakers may be one of the most imposing squads in the National Basketball Association, but somehow our Toronto Raptors always manage to put up a good fight. Head to the Air Canada Centre this afternoon to see if Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson and the rest of the Raptors can come out on top.

Catch a performance of Stephen Sondheim’s hilarious farce, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, at the Canon Theatre. This baudy musical is sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without Handel’s Messiah. Today you can hear it twice: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra offers “Toronto’s Biggest Messiah” at Roy Thomson Hall—featuring more than 60 instruments—while the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir encourage audience participation in its Sing-Along Messiah, a long-time Toronto tradition.

Hot Entertainment: Santa’s Super Ship

Celebrate with Santa on a Mariposa Cruise

DECEMBER 4, 11, 18 & 31 Celebrate the season with dinner and dancing on the water, courtesy of Mariposa Cruises. Families can visit with jolly St. Nick on the 5th Annual Santa Cruise while adults can partake in the Holiday Dinner Cruise for a “Winter Wonderland” feast of such dishes as roast turkey and prime rib, then cut a rug on one of two dance floors. Or, ring in 2011 with the ever-popular New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise—the gleaming Toronto skyline provides the backdrop for an unforgettable night. Departs from Queen’s Quay Terminal, Santa Cruise 10:30 a.m., $10, Holiday Dinner Cruise 7 p.m., $72.95, New Year’s Eve Cruise 8 p.m., $124.95; call 416-203-0178 or click here for more information and to book.