A Christmas Weekend Getaway in Toronto was just what I needed to find my Christmas spirit this year.
As the years go by, I find that it takes me longer and longer to slip into holiday mode. I suspect that, like most women, I spend the season making sure everyone is enjoying themselves, without taking any time to appreciate the beauty of it myself. That’s why I made it a priority this year to get out and do something.
The Toronto I knew in my youth has morphed into a world-class city, so rather than plan a weekend to NYC where my dollar wouldn’t go as far, I piled my mom and daughters in the car and we headed to The Six. I’m sharing our itinerary with you so that you too can get out and bag that Christmas spirit like we did. Enjoy!
Stay at The Chelsea Hotel Toronto
The Chelsea Hotel is the perfect jumping off point to enjoy many of the best holiday activities taking place in Toronto, especially if you plan on getting some Christmas shopping done. The Chelsea is so close to the Eaton Centre you can easily make a few trips back to your room to lighten your load. Be sure to fuel up in the morning with something off the incredible breakfast menu at T-Bar, located in the lobby.
As an added bonus, Santa visits the Chelsea during the month of December, so you can get your list in with the big guy while you’re there. Make a small donation to Sick Kids while you wait and you’re successfully giving and getting in one fell swoop.
Visit The Toronto Christmas Market
The Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District in is only in it’s eighth year, but is cracking top ten lists around the globe as one of the best Christmas markets in the world. It takes a few hours to fully explore the stalls and shops here, so plan on spending some time. Weekends are extremely busy, so consider buying Express Pass tickets like we did.
The photo opps here are endless so also be sure to have your camera and phone fully charged.
Don’t Miss the Christmas Windows at The Eaton Centre
As a young girl I used to love heading downtown with my mother to see the Christmas windows at Eaton’s, The Bay, and Kingsmills. In an era of online shopping and a lack of small town department stores, it’s something my young teens have never experienced. I made a point of adding a stop outside the Bay, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue to see their holiday windows and we were not disappointed.
Even if you don’t feel like shopping, it’s worth your time to also walk through the Eaton Centre to see the amazing holiday decorations within, including Canada’s tallest indoor Christmas tree. At 100 feet and reaching from the bottom to the top of the Eaton Centre, it’s an impressive and beautiful sight to see.
Take in the One of A Kind Show
If you’re looking for a gift that is as unique as the person you’re giving it too, then plan your weekend escape to coincide with the One of A Kind Christmas Show. The show typically runs over a couple of weekends at the end of November and in early December.
If you have an Etsy addiction like I do, then you’ll love this fun shopping experience that allows you to touch and feel before you buy. Word to the wise—wear comfortable shoes, and possibly consider bringing your own portable shopping cart. I was shocked at how large this show is and how impressive the items for sale were. From high end luxury clothing to gourmet food items to exquisite jewelry to screen-printed swimsuits and literally EVERYTHING in between, this show is a can’t miss.
Start a Ross Petty Tradition
A Toronto legend, Ross Petty Productions have been taking holiday classics and turning them upside down for over twenty years. This was my family’s first experience with a Ross Petty show, but it will definitely not be our last. Even my very skeptical teens pre-show, were Ross Petty converts post-show.
I loved how this is a truly family friendly show had singing, dancing, comedy and audience involvement all wrapped up in a perfect holiday package. There was enough jokes to keep even the youngest audience members engaged, with just enough sly comedy to keep the adults laughing out loud. It was absolute perfection, so this is a must-do for your Christmas weekend getaway in Toronto. Added bonus? The Elgin Theatre in Toronto is breathtaking.
End Your Stay At The Holiday Fair in the Square
If Toronto keeps it up, they are going to give Germany a run for their money when it comes to Christmas markets. The Holiday Fair in the Square runs in Nathan Phillips Square for the month of December. Be sure to pack your skates if you’d like to get a little time on the ice.