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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

Family Fun

Listings are alphabetical by Museum name.


COLBORNE LODGE

South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Drive
Limited free parking  clodge@toronto.ca  416-392-6916

Christmas at Colborne Lodge
From Saturday, November 22 to January 4, 2015
Tuesdays to Sundays – Noon to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays, Dec 25, 26 and Jan 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)

Christmas Open House
Thursday, November 27, 5 to 7:30 p.m
Join us in celebrating the start of the holiday season at our Christmas Open House. Everyone is welcome to drop by to tour the Howards' 1837 home decorated for a 19th-century Christmas and enjoy period refreshments by the hearth in the winter kitchen.  Bring your family and friends. FREE.


FORT YORK NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

250 Fort York Blvd.
On-site parking available. fortyork@toronto.ca  416-392-6907

Frost Fair
Saturday and Sunday, December 6 & 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort York celebrates the winter season with a Frost Fair! Imagine yourself transported back in time to the early 19th century, where the local Christmas Market was one of the social and shopping highlights of the year. Stroll through the historic buildings of Fort York where merchants will be selling their heritage inspired wares and reproductions. Try your hand at one of the many activities scheduled throughout the day, including children's recruiting and drill workshops, period toys and games, military demonstrations, and printing your own Frost Fair souvenir on the Mackenzie House proof press. Regular admission applies, Adults $7.96, Seniors/Youth $4.87, Children $3.76 (plus tax), Children 5 years and under are free.

The Holiday Season at Fort York
December 15 to December 31
Mon. to Fri.:10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy a visit to Fort York National Historic Site this festive season. Sample some baking from the 1826 Officers' Mess kitchen and soak up the warmth of a crackling wood fire. Be sure to browse the Museum Store to find that special gift you won't find anywhere else, suitable for all ages and interests. Regular admission applies, Adults $7.96, Seniors/Youth $4.87, Children $3.76 (plus tax), Children 5 years and under are free.

Gingerbread Make and Bake! Extra fun for Kids at Fort York (ages 4 and up)
December 27 to 31 at 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.


GIBSON HOUSE MUSEUM

5172 Yonge Street
Limited free parking  gibsonhouse@toronto.ca  416-395-7432 

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating
Saturday, December 13, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Sit by the fire and bake gingerbread cookies the traditional way. Take a tour.
Regular admission: Adults $5.48, Seniors/Youth $3.10, Children $2.62 (plus tax).


MACKENZIE HOUSE

82 Bond Street
Paid parking in the area  machouse@toronto.ca  416-392-6915

A Victorian Christmas
Continues until Sunday, January 4
Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Dec. 25 & 26 and January 1

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 dressed in greenery for the holidays. Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth/Children: $4.42 (plus tax)

Write a Letter to Santa! - until December 24
During the Victorian Christmas program children are invited to write a letter to Santa Claus during their visit. Children love writing to Santa to tell him about their Christmas wish lists. They'll select a card that has been printed on our 1845 printing press, and write their own message. Drop the wish card into our magic post box for us to mail for you. Included with admission.

Kids’ Crafts
Saturday, December 27 to Sunday, January 4
Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Dec. 25 & 26 and January 1

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 doing an historically-based seasonal activity. Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth/Children: $4.42 (plus tax)


MONTGOMERY’S INN

4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue
Free parking   montinn@toronto.ca   416-394-8113

Stir Up Sunday
Sunday, November 23, 1 to 5 p.m.
Witness a working 19th century commercial kitchen when the Inn's team of Historic Cooks present an afternoon of cooking demonstrations. Samples while supplies last! Included with regular admission: Adults $5.71, Seniors/Youth $2.86, Children $1.90 (plus tax).

A Christmas Carol
December 4, 7 p.m.; December 6, 2 p.m.; December 11 and 12, 7 p.m.; December 21, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Humber River Shakespeare Company presents the Dickens classic. Back by popular demand - this time as a full stage production - this holiday season staple is not to be missed! $20 adults, $10 children; tickets can be purchased on-line at http://humberrivershakespeare.ca/index.html

Fezziwig's Family Christmas Ball
Sunday, December 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Suitable for children 7 and older, accompanied by an adult.
Enjoy the seasonal pleasures of times gone by with this recreation of Fezziwig's Ball from Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Learn the simple, joyous dances of young Scrooge's day, eat foods from his time and listen to live traditional fiddle music. Includes a cold lunch and tour of the Inn, hot cider and cookies. Tickets must be booked by Monday, December 8th. Children $20, adults $24 including tax. For more details please visit www.JaneAustenDancing.ca


SCARBOROUGH MUSEUM

1007 Brimley Road, just north of Lawrence in Thomson Memorial Park  Free parking. shm@toronto.ca  416-338-8807

Festive Weekends
December – 12 to 4 p.m. 

'Tis the holiday season! Sample hot chocolate, and baked holiday goodies. We ho-ho–hope everyone enjoys their time here at Scarborough Museum this month! Admission is Pay What You Can. 


SPADINA MUSEUM

285 Spadina Road
Paid parking next door at Casa Loma spadina@toronto.ca  416-392-6910

 A Roaring Twenties Christmas
To January 4
Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.
Closed Dec. 25 & 26, and Jan. 1

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 warmed on the art deco gas range. Holiday admission applies: Adults: $8.85, Seniors (65 +) & Youth (13-18 yrs.): $7.08, Children (6-12 yrs.): $5.75, Children (5 yrs. and under): Free

Flashman Returns! The Golden Age of Radio at Spadina Museum
Sundays: December 7, 14 & 21, 12 to 5 p.m.
Dec. 7, Shows at 1 and 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 & 21, Shows at 1 and 3 p.m.

Family fun is On The Air! Join us for a re-creation of a 1930s radio show – commercials included!  Watch the behind-the-scenes fun of a live radio comedy. Admission: Adults $12, Seniors/Youth $10 and Children $8 (plus tax).

A Pop-up TOY Museum
A Community Pop-up Museum for All Ages
Sunday, December 7, 2 to 4 p.m.
In the Spadina Museum Media Room
Come and play at Spadina Museum this Christmas! Young or old, bring your favorite toy to this community-curated Pop-up! You can display whatever you like: dolls, blocks, musical instruments, games, or action figures – don't be shy! Your object doesn't need to be historic or collectable - what's important is what it means to you. We will also be displaying vintage toys from the City of Toronto's collection.

Whether you're a kid who wants to show off your favourite toy, or a grownup looking for a little nostalgia, all ages are welcome. Think of it like show-and-tell, for grownups AND kids! While you're here, enjoy Spadina's cozy Christmas atmosphere and check out other events, such a live 1930s radio play and a childhood-themed tour. The Pop Up Museum is free. Admission to the museum, and the radio play, are Adults $12, Seniors/Youth $10 and Children $8 (plus tax). Questions about this event? Feel free to email us at tohistoricsites@toronto.ca. You can also RSVP to our Facebook event to invite your friends and help spread the word.


TODMORDEN MILLS HERITAGE SITE

Bottom of Pottery Road, East of Bayview Avenue, West of Broadview Avenue   Free parking   todmorden@toronto.ca    416-396-2819 

Holiday Greeting Cards – A Workshop for Families
Saturday November 29, 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.  Adults: $15; Children: $8 (plus tax). Advanced ticket purchase required.

Christmas in the Valley
Sundays, Dec. 7 & 14, Dec. 20 to 23, 27 to 30, Jan. 2 to 4, Noon to 4 p.m.
December 24 & 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Experience two different eras of Christmas at Todmorden Mills as we explore the holiday traditions of the 1890s and the 1940s. Sample historic recipes, create a take-home craft, and join us for a winter-themed outdoor tour of the Wildflower Preserve. Adults: $5.31; Youth/Seniors: $3; Children: $2 (plus tax).

In the Papermill Theatre:

Alexander Showcase Theatre presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
November 27 to December 7

This unique production is a play of a group of radio actors in the late 1940’s putting on an adaptation of Dickens’ beloved tale. Sit back and watch the voice actors at radio station WAPR give life to Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and little Tiny Tim. Rediscover the Golden Age of radio as “A Christmas Carol” is presented in its entirety as a fully staged 1940’s radio play. Please call 416-324-1259 or visit www.alexandershowcasetheatre.com for tickets.

Just for Kids

Workshops and Day Camps just for the kids. Pre-register your child now!

Listings are alphabetical by Museum name.


COLBORNE LODGE

South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Drive
Limited free parking  clodge@toronto.ca  416-392-6916

Christmas Cookie Creation for Children - For ages 8 to 12
Saturday, December 20, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Children will have fun making unique and tasty treats for the holidays in this historic baking workshop that uses a Canadian gingerbread recipe from the 1830s. While their cookies bake, participants will tour the house and discover Victorian Christmas traditions and stories. Participants will then take home the Christmas cookies they've made. They might even want to save a few for when Saint Nick comes to visit!  Pre-registration required. $22.50 plus tax (includes supplies and a dozen cookies to bring home).

Christmas by the Hearth - For ages 5 to 7
Sunday, December 21, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Youngsters enjoy the warmth of an historic Christmas by decorating gingerbread cookies prepared from an 1831 Upper Canadian cook book followed by an enchanting interval of Christmas stories from long ago, snuggled by the kitchen hearth. Afterward, the children will go upstairs to peek at the Howards' Christmas tree and the presents underneath. Pre-registration required. $17.50 plus tax (includes light seasonal refreshments).

High Park Winter FUNshops for Kids - For Ages 6 to 10
Mon., Dec. 29, Tues., Dec. 30, Wed., Dec. 31 & Fri., Jan. 2 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Looking to engage your 6 to 10 year old kids over the holidays? Sign them up at Colborne Lodge for four fun-filled mornings preparing for the New Year!  Activities include playing Victorian games, crafts, outdoor interlude, and cooking over the hearth. Pre-registration  required, call 416-392-6916. Parents may book any or all mornings. $25 plus tax per child per morning, no tax if booking more than one morning.


GIBSON HOUSE MUSEUM

5172 Yonge Street
Limited free parking  gibsonhouse@toronto.ca  416-395-7432 

Gibson House P.A. Day Adventures For ages 7 to 11
Friday, December 5, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sign your child up for a day filled with crafts, cooking, games and more!
Participants make their own hearth-cooked lunch in the historic kitchen.
Pre-registration and pre-payment required. $30 plus tax per child.
Extended care is available 8 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
$10 plus tax for AM or PM, $15 plus tax for both.

Festive Adventure! For ages 7 to 11
Monday, December 22 or Tuesday, December 23, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A fun-filled day spent baking treats in the historic kitchen, making seasonal crafts, playing games and meeting new friends. Pre-registration required. $30 plus tax. Extended Care available 8 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. $10 plus tax for morning or afternoon. $15 plus tax for both.


SCARBOROUGH MUSEUM

1007 Brimley Road, just north of Lawrence in Thomson Memorial Park. Free parking shm@toronto.ca  416-338-8807

Super Fun P.A. Day Camp
Friday, December 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Scarborough Museum is the boredom buster for P.A. days and special school holidays!  Bake over the open hearth, make crafts, play games, and explore Thomson Memorial Park.  Ages 5-12   Lunch is included. Pre-register for these camps online at www.toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4FUN (4386). 

$33.50 per child  Course Code: 2650472

Extended care
AM 8 to 9 a.m.:  Course Code: 2345718 - $2.75
PM: 4 to 5 p.m.: Course Code: 2345719 - $2.75

Holiday Baking Bonanza for 5 to 12 years
Sunday December 7, 1 to 4 p.m.

Bake holiday treats using traditional methods in the woodstove and at the hearth.  Kids take home a recipe booklet and selection of goodies to share with the family!  Pre-register online at www.toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4FUN.
$25 per child      Course Code: 2650517

Holiday Camps
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Make 19th century toys, cook over the open hearth, play games and enjoy lots of outdoor fun!  Ages 5-12   Pre-register for these camps online at www.toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4FUN (4386). 

December 22 & 23 - 2 Day Camp $66 
Course Code: 2650469

Extended care
AM - 8 to 9 a.m. Course Code: 2345837 - $5.50
PM - 4 to 5 p.m. Course Code: 2345853 - $5.50

December 29 to 31 - 3 Day Camp $106
Course Code: 2650470

Extended care
AM - 8 to 9 a.m. Course Code: 2345722 - $8.25
PM - 4 to 5 p.m. Course Code: 2345723- $8.25

January 2  -  1 Day Camp  $33.50
Course Code: 2650474

Extended care
AM - 8 to 9 a.m. Course Code: 2655185 - $2.75
PM - 4 to 5 p.m. Course Code: 2655187 - $2.75

Holiday Season Treat Workshops

Listings are alphabetical by Museum name.


MONTGOMERY’S INN

4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue Free parking   montinn@toronto.ca   416-394-8113

Christmas Cookie Decorating for Families
Saturday November 22, Sunday November 23, 2 to 4 p.m.

Suitable for Kids ages 6 to 12 years old accompanied by adults
Master Baker Monika Paradi will prepare you for Christmas with this hands-on workshop. 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 required. $25 plus tax.

Gingerbread House Workshop
Saturday November 29, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.
Sunday November 30, 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. Pre-registration required. $30 per house plus tax.


TODMORDEN MILLS HERITAGE SITE

Bottom of Pottery Road, East of Bayview Avenue, West of Broadview Avenue
Free parking   todmorden@toronto.ca    416-396-2819 

Miniature Gingerbread House Workshops
Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 2 to 4 p.m.

Build and decorate your very own holiday gingerbread house and learn about holiday customs from the past. Suitable for ages 4 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required. $30 plus tax per house (maximum 1 adult & 2 children per house).

Holiday Season D├ęcor & Card Workshops

Listings are alphabetical by Museum name.


COLBORNE LODGE

South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Drive
Limited free parking  clodge@toronto.ca  416-392-6916

Christmas Wreath-Making Workshops (for Adults)
Saturday, December 6 at 10 a.m. in the Coach House (fully accessible)

Start your Christmas preparations by creating your very own Christmas wreath using nature’s bounty.  This workshop is conducted in the recently renovated Howard *Coach House.  A tour of the decorated rooms on the main floor of Colborne Lodge and light refreshments are included. Pre-registration required.  $32.50 plus tax

*The Coach House is fully accessible, the tour in Colborne Lodge can accommodate wheelchairs up to 33" in width.

Adult and Youth Wreath-Making Workshop
Saturday, December 6 at 2 p.m.

Adults and youths 10 to 15 years make their own Christmas wreaths.  This 2 hour workshop is a unique opportunity to start the season doing a special activity together in the cosy historic ambience of Colborne Lodge’s 19th-century kitchen.  A tour of the decorated parts of the house and light refreshments are included.  Pre-registration required.  Youths must be accompanied by an adult, maximum of 2 youths per adult.  $55 plus tax for one adult and one youth, $22.50 plus tax for an additional youth.

Adult and Youth Centrepiece Workshop
Saturday, December 13 at 2 p.m.; and Sunday, December 14 at 10 a.m.

Adults and children 8 to 15 years make a centrepiece together to take home for their Christmas table. This 2 hour workshop is a unique opportunity to start the season doing a special activity together in the cosy historic ambience of Colborne Lodge’s 19th-century kitchen.  A tour of the decorated parts of the house and light refreshments are included.  Pre-registration required.  $42.50 plus tax for one adult and one child.  $12.50 plus tax for an additional youth.


TODMORDEN MILLS HERITAGE SITE

Bottom of Pottery Road, East of Bayview Avenue, West of Broadview Avenue
Free parking   todmorden@toronto.ca    416-396-2819 

Holiday Greeting Cards – A Workshop for Families
Saturday November 29, 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.  Adults: $15; Children: $8 (plus tax). Advanced ticket purchase required.

Evenings Out

Listings are alphabetical by Museum name.


GIBSON HOUSE MUSEUM

5172 Yonge Street
Limited free parking  gibsonhouse@toronto.ca  416-395-7432 

To the New Year: A Hogmanay Dinner
Monday, December 29 and Tuesday, December 30
6:30 p.m.

Gather at 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 2013 season and bring luck and best wishes to Gibson House Museum for 2014. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. $55 plus tax per person.


MACKENZIE HOUSE

82 Bond Street
Paid parking in the area  machouse@toronto.ca  416-392-6915

Hogmanay!
Monday, 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.


MONTGOMERY’S INN

4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue
Free parking   montinn@toronto.ca   416-394-8113

A Christmas Carol
December 4, 7 p.m.; December 6, 2 p.m.; December 11 and 12, 7 p.m.; December 21, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Humber River Shakespeare Company presents the Dickens classic. Back by popular demand - this time as a full stage production - this holiday season staple is not to be missed! $20 adults, $10 children; tickets can be purchased on-line at http://humberrivershakespeare.ca/index.html

Carols in the Tavern
Friday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.

Get some Christmas Spirit in the Tavern while you sing some nineteenth century carols and sip a historic drink. Enjoy savoury treats and mulled cider. Cash bar for historic drinks. Pre-registration required. $20 plus tax,

Jane Austen Christmas Supper
Friday, December 19, 7 to 10 p.m.

Dress code: historical clothing is encouraged, but optional.
Here's your chance for an actual taste of Jane Austen's world. Sit at an elegant table by the fire and eat the foods she and her contemporaries knew, at historic Montgomery's Inn. A blend of the familiar and the intriguingly different, these dishes show us a lesser-known aspect of her time. We hope that you will join us for the rare opportunity to experience a full historical meal within the walls of one of Toronto's best-loved heritage sites. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, December 12. Space is limited. $45. Details at www.JaneAustenDancing.ca or call 416-578-1031.


SCARBOROUGH MUSEUM

1007 Brimley Road, just north of Lawrence in Thomson Memorial Park.  Free parking  shm@toronto.ca  416-338-8807

Desserts by Lamplight
Saturday, December 13, 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. Ticket price $20.
Call 416-338-8807 to purchase tickets.


TODMORDEN MILLS HERITAGE SITE

Bottom of Pottery Road, East of Bayview Avenue, West of Broadview Avenue Free parking   todmorden@toronto.ca    416-396-2819 

Alexander Showcase Theatre presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
November 27 to December 7

This unique production is a play of a group of radio actors in the late 1940’s putting on an adaptation of Dickens’ beloved tale. Sit back and watch the voice actors at radio station WAPR give life to Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and little Tiny Tim. Rediscover the Golden Age of radio as “A Christmas Carol” is presented in its entirety as a fully staged 1940’s radio play. Please call 416-324-1259 or visit www.alexandershowcasetheatre.com for tickets.