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The Holiday Season at Toronto's Historic Sites

Whether you are looking for unique gifts, get-togethers with friends, family adventures over the holidays or an evening out, you'll find all these and more at the City of Toronto's Historic Sites.

Click on a theme below to find your event

ExpandFamily Fun

Christmas Time at Colborne Lodge
Saturday, November 19 to Sunday, January 8
Tuesdays to Sundays: 12 to 4 p.m., December 24 and 31: 12 to 3 p.m., Closed December 25, 26 and January 1
Warm up by the hearth at Colborne Lodge and take in the sights and smells of a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy the natural greenery decorations, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats. The Lodge is nestled at the south end of High Park. Holiday admission prices apply: Adults $7.08, Seniors/Youths/Children $4.42 (plus tax), Children $4.25 (plus tax).

Scottish Holiday Traditions at Gibson House Museum
November 16 to December 31
Enjoy the simple and elegant traditions of the Scottish holiday season at Gibson House Museum. Learn how the Gibson family celebrated the season in the nineteenth century and sample some tasty treats by the open hearth. See the Victorian-era home decorated in natural greenery and take a guided tour with our knowledgeable staff. Festive Admission: Adults $7.08, Seniors/Youth $4.42, Children $3.76 plus tax.

A Victorian Christmas at Mackenzie House
November 29 to December 31
Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.
This festive season take a step back in time to Victorian Toronto and experience the magic of a traditional Christmas in an 1859 row-house. Escape from the hustle and bustle while you enjoy a sample of mulled cider and a biscuit in the warmth of the historic kitchen. Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto as you tour the Mackenzie home which is dressed in greenery for the holidays.

A Roaring Twenties Christmas at Spadina Museum
November 22 to January 8, 2017
Tuesday to Friday: 12 to 4 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Experience a 1920s Christmas on a guided tour of Spadina. Holly wreaths, garlands of evergreens and mistletoe festoon the house based on the memories of the Austin family grandchildren. In the kitchen visitors will enjoy holiday treats made from original recipes and sip mulled cider. Holiday admission applies.

Christmas in the Valley at Todmorden Mills
December weekends and December 24 to January 8, 2017
12 to 4 p.m. (December 24 & 31: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Closed December 25, 26 and January 1
Experience two different eras of Christmas at Todmorden Mills as we explore the holiday traditions of the 1890s and the 1940s. Tour our two historic houses, decorated for the holidays, sample historic recipes, and create a take-home craft. Adults: $7.08; Youth/Seniors: $4.42; Children: $3.76 (plus tax).

Festive Weekends at Scarborough Museum
Weekends in December, 12 to 4 p.m.
Tis the season for fun at the museum! Celebrate the festive season with treats and crafts for children of all ages. Admission is Pay What You Can.

Gingerbread Make and Bake at Fort York
Extra fun for Kids at Fort York (ages 4 and up)
December 27 to 31, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
While you enjoy a tour of Fort York your kids can join the cooks in the Officers' Mess kitchen to create traditional gingerbread cookies. In this hands-on workshop, kids will use period cooking utensils and tools to sift flour, crush cinnamon, cloves or allspice, pound sugar and grate nutmeg and ginger as they prepare an 1800's gingerbread recipe. Samples can be taken home -if they last that long! Workshop is limited to 15 participants. Included with regular admission, sign up in the Museum Store when you arrive. 

Kids’ Crafts at Mackenzie House
December 27 to December 31
Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bring the family to visit the last home of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, then enjoy some kid time printing in the recreated printshop and making a New Year's noisemaker!. Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth: $4.42 Children: $3.76 (plus tax)

Christmas Cookie Decorating at Montgomery's Inn
Saturday November 26 and Sunday November 27, 2 to 4 p.m.
Master Baker Monika Paradi will prepare you for Christmas with this hands-on workshop. Kids ages 6 – 12, along with their parents, learn to decorate seasonal cookies like a pro and leave the workshop with a half dozen decorated goodies, recipes and the inspiration to create your own edible Christmas treats! Pre-registration only $25 plus HST.

Gingerbread House Workshop at Montgomery's Inn
Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.
Decorate your family's dream house all together. All the supplies you need to create a classic gingerbread house will be provided. $30 per house plus HST, pre-registration only.

Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories at Mackenzie House
Sunday, December 18 at 2:15 and 4:15
Victorians loved their ghost stories - even at Christmas time. Join us and sample a few scary Christmas tales along with some cider warmed on our cook stove. Included with admission to the museum: Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth: $4.42 Children: $3.76 (plus tax)

ExpandJust for Kids

Write a Letter to Santa at Mackenzie House
November 16 to December 24
Children love writing to Santa Claus to tell him about their Christmas wish lists. Select a card that has been printed on our 1845 printing press, and write a personal message. Drop the wish card into our magic post box and it will go to Santa! Included with admission. Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth: $4.42 Children: $3.76 (plus tax).

Holiday Baking Bonanza at Scarborough Museum
Sunday, December 4, 1 to 4 p.m.
Kids age 5 to 12bake holiday treats in the woodstove and the hearth. Take home a recipe booklet and goodies to share with the family! Pre-register online at www.toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4FUN. $25. Course Code: 2875010.

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating at Gibson House Museum
Saturday, December 10, 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Start your adventure by decorating gingerbread cookies baked by museum staff with holiday sweets. Then, take a tour of the museum with our costumed interpreters and learn how the Gibson's would have baked gingerbread over the hearth. Finish your visit by enjoying your gingerbread cookie! Regular admission applies. Cookie decorating is $1 per cookie. 

Cookie Creations at Colborne Lodge
Saturday, December 17, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Course Code: 2889795
Children age 8 to 12 will have fun making homemade cookies and discovering Victorian Christmas traditions and games. Participants will each go home with their own tin of gingerbread. Pre-registration and payment required. $22.50 + tax (includes supplies and a dozen cookies to bring home). Pre-register online at toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4386.

Christmas at Colborne Lodge
Sunday, December 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Course Code: 2889970
Kids age 5 to 7 join in old fashion Christmas fun in the historic home with a morning full of activities, cookie decorating and crafts. Pre-registration and payment required. $17.50 + tax (includes light seasonal refreshments). Pre-register online at toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4386.

Holiday Camps for Ages 5 to 12 at Scarborough Museum
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- extended care is available
Make 19th-century toys, cook over the open hearth, play games and enjoy lots of outdoor fun! Pre-register for these camps online at www.toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4FUN (4386). 

December 28 to 30
Course Code: 2875008
$114 per child

AM Extended Care: 8 to 9 a.m.  Add $9
Course Code: 2781918

PM Extended Care: 4 to 5 p.m. Add $9
Course Code: 2781919

January 3 to 6       
Course Code:  2875009
$152 per child

AM Extended Care: 8 to 9 a.m. Add $12
Course Code: 2875265

PM Extended Care: 4 to 5 p.m. Add $12
Course Code: 2875268

ExpandTheatre, Music & Evenings Out

Toussaint: Traditions of the Dark Months at Montgomery's Inn
Sunday, November 20, 6 to 10 p.m.
A bewitching evening of storytelling and music from the Celtic tradition of Breton folklore, where during the "Black Months" of November and December all gathered by the fire to hear the bleak and eerie tales of northern coastal France. Tickets $20 plus tax for adults, $15 including tax for youth, students and seniors. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. Please note: we advise that some of the stories may not be suitable for children under 12 years of age. Details at http://danceweavers.ca/toussaint.html or call 416-578-1031.

Carols in the Tavern at Montgomery's Inn
Saturday, December 3, 7:30 p.m.
Get some Christmas Spirit in the Tavern while you sing some nineteenth century carols and sip a historic drink. $20 plus tax, savoury treats, mulled cider, cash bar for historic drinks. Pre-registration only.

Flashman: A Live 1930s Radio Play at Spadina Museum
Sundays December 4, 11 & 18
Shows at 1 & 3 p.m.
Museum tours: Noon, 2 and 4 p.m.
See a re-created 1930s radio show – commercials included! Enjoy this fast-paced comedy, complete with live music, sound effects and a cast playing multiple roles. During your visit, tour this beautifully restored estate. Kids can try hands-on activities, including cookie decorating in the historic kitchen, and making a secret message decoder – a gimmick used by advertisers in the early days of radio to send encrypted messages to listeners. Adults $12, Seniors/Youth $10 and Children $8 (plus tax). Buy your tickets online.

Desserts by Lamplight at Scarborough Museum
Saturday, December 10, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
A magical evening of lamp-lit rooms, decadent desserts and carolers. Space is limited for this fundraising event - early bookings recommended. Pre-registration only. Call 416-338-8807 or click here to purchase tickets. Ticket price $25 includes tax.            

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, presented by John D. Huston at Historic Zion Schoolhouse
December 10, Matinee at 2:30 and Evening at 7:30 p.m.

Written in 1843, a Christmas Carol may be the best loved fictional work in the English language.  Few people know that Dickens wrote and performed a thrilling and hilarious solo theatrical version of this famous story for many years, playing all the characters and providing the narration.  Now you can experience the laughter, tears and joy of the original with John D. Huston as Charles Dickens in this rare and enchanting holiday must see!
$20 per person plus tax.    
Purchase tickets here. Call 416-395-7432 for details.

Jane Austen Christmas Supper by Firelight at Montgomery's Inn
Friday December 16, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Enjoy the pleasures of the Georgian table during the festive season, supping by candlelight and the comfort of an open fire. There is no more delightful way to savour the traditions of Christmas! Every recipe reconstructed from historical sources, you'll find a blend of the familiar and the intriguingly different. Join us for the rare opportunity to experience a full historical meal within the walls of one of Toronto's best-loved heritage sites. Historical clothing is encouraged, but optional. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Register at www.JaneAustenDancing.ca or phone (416) 578-1031 for details.

Hogmanay at Mackenzie House
Thursday, December 29, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of Scottish music and foods at this traditional celebration of the New Year. The decorated house will be illuminated by gas and candlelight. Musicians Gin Lane will perform. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Tickets: $22.50 plus tax. Please call 416-392-6915 for further details.

To the New Year: Hogmanay Dinner at Gibson House Museum
Thursday, December 29, and Friday, December 30, 6 p.m.
Gather at the historic Gibson House for a special evening inspired by the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay. Share a scrumptious dinner with familiar and new friends. Be lulled by the fire and moved by the music. Take an imagined journey through story and drama to a New Year of another time. As the evening closes, come together with staff to welcome our First Footer, celebrate our 2016 season and bring luck and best wishes to Gibson House Museum for 2017. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Buy your tickets online.

ExpandCrafts and Workshops

Holiday Greeting Cards Workshop for Families at Todmorden Mills
Saturday, November 26, 1 to 4 p.m.
From pop ups to collage! Learn about the origins of holiday greeting cards while you create a set of personalized cards to send to loved ones. Suitable for children 6 years and up. Pre-registration required Adults: $15; Children: $10 (plus tax).

Christmas Wreath Making Workshop for Adults at Todmorden Mills
Sunday, November 27, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Just added!
(1 to 3 pm is Sold Out)
Show your holiday spirit this year by proudly displaying your own handmade wreath on your front door. Drawing inspiration from the past but also adding your own contemporary twist, you will create a decorated wreath from a varied selection of evergreens, natural materials and ribbon. The workshop last two hours and will include hot mulled cider and a holiday treat. Pre-registration required. $30 plus tax.

Christmas Baking Workshop for Adults at Mackenzie House
Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  SOLD OUT!
Come and try your hand at Victorian Christmas baking in our wood stove, learning about the tastes and culinary technology of the 1850's! Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. $20 plus tax. Please call 416 392-6915 for further details.

Holiday Wreath and Centrepiece Making Workshops at Colborne Lodge
Various Dates and Times - See ticket website for details
Start your Christmas preparations by creating your very own Christmas decor using nature’s bounty. These 2-hour workshops are a popular pre-Christmas get-together activity for groups of friends and families. Set in picturesque High Park, the Lodge's winter kitchen offers a cozy historic ambience for this seasonal craft. Participants also explore the Howard's beautiful home in all its Christmas glory and enjoy light seasonal refreshments in the drawing room. Tickets on sale now.

ExpandShopping

Frost Fair at Fort York
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It's time to celebrate Frost Fair at Fort York! Stroll through Canada's largest collection of War of 1812 buildings, where you can shop for unique gifts made by local artisans; including jewelry, heritage inspired reproductions, and holiday greenery. There is much to do for the whole family; including children's drill workshops, dress-up, games and crafts. Visit the Mackenzie House Museum proof press to print your very own Frost Fair souvenir. Enjoy military demonstrations and visit with the Volunteer Historic Cooks in our Officers' Mess Kitchen to sample late 18th and early 19th century recipes. Or, stop by our Heritage Café to buy lunch!

Holiday Farmers' Market & Gift Sale at Montgomery's Inn
Wednesday, December 7, 2 to 7 p.m.
Artists & artisans join our regular farmers' market vendors for a special holiday event. Shop for foodie gifts & seasonal treats in a lovely historic setting, open an hour longer than our regular market. You'll find fresh bread from the Inn's bake oven, preserves, local winter vegetables, sweets, prepared foods, ethically raised meats, cheese, eggs, dried fruit, nuts, honey & wine while enjoying festive seasonal music. Cozy up to a roaring fire while sipping a hot mulled apple cider and kids will enjoy purchasing a gingerbread man from our winter witch! Fundraising fruitcakes, $10 each. Admission is free.

We have Museum Gift Shops!
You don't have to pay admission to visit the museum shops at the City's Historic Sites. It's free to browse our great collections of unique gifts thoughtfully chosen to be sold at the individual sites. Running out of ideas and time? Drop by and see gifts ranging from stocking stuffers to the perfect gift for the person on your list. Reasonably priced. Great selection. Visit

  • Colborne Lodge
  • Fort York
  • Gibson House
  • Mackenzie House
  • Montgomery's Inn (ask about the Christmas cake!)and
  • Spadina Museum