CommunityEssentials

COVID-Safe Holiday Activities and Events in Ontario

Reading Time: 6 minutes

CommunityEssentials

COVID-Safe Holiday Activities and Events in Ontario

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Different is the word that everyone is throwing around when talking about what the holidays will be like this year. That’s a bit of an understatement. Right now, we’d be walking into stores adorned with holiday decorations and playing Christmas carols while we shopped for family members and friends. That’s not possible this year, and while it’s for the safety of our family and friends that we maintain the social distancing rules, we can still admit that it kind of sucks. 

That said, some activities are safe enough for you to enjoy during the holidays. Some of these events are outdoors, but there are other activities you can do without even changing out of your PJs. Let’s take a look at how you can keep yourself entertained while still following COVID protocols in Ontario.

 

12 events and activities that you can safely attend in Toronto and surrounding cities

 

1. Holiday Nights of Lights 

Event details: A drive-thru light show featuring over 1 million LED lights.

Location: Revel Park, 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan, Ontario 

Event date: November 20, 2020 – January 7, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily 

Admission cost: $25/car (2 people) $40/car (5 people) $65/car (8 people) 

Buy tickets

This event was a hit on Halloween, so you want to get your tickets early. Your friends can take public transit to meet up and all hop in one car. Five people in one car cost only $8/person -seems like a pretty good deal. 

 

2. Glow Gardens 

Event details: An outdoor park space has been transformed into a glowing, drive-thru light festival. 

Location: Safari Niagara, 2821 Stevensville Rd, Stevensville, Ontario   

Event date: November 18, 2020 – January 2, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. (end time varies by day)

Admission cost: $30/car (up to seven people) 

Buy tickets  

Great place to take the family and get some cool pictures. You’re allowed to roll down your window to get those snaps, but the entire experience is COVID safe with no pedestrians or parking allowed. 

 

3. Ontario Place 

Event details: Drive-in movies 

Location: Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore BLVD, Toronto, ON

Event date: Dates vary. Check the website for movies times updates. 

Admission cost: $10/person (even if more than one person is in the same car) 

Buy tickets

Ontario Place hosted drive-in movies before the pandemic, so they know what they’re doing. All the right safety protocols are in place, and they always have the classic movies that bring out the nostalgia. 

 

4. Virtual Santa Claus Parade

Event details: Toronto’s 100-year tradition of Santa parading through the city. 

Location: CTV and CTV 2 

Event date: December 5, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. 

Admission cost: Nothing if you have CTV or CTV 2.

Just because you can’t be there in person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress your kids up and enjoy the festivities on CTV from the comfort of your living room. 

 

5. Leslieville Virtual Flea Market 

Event details: Like a real flea market, except you’ll be viewing the products online rather than in person. 

Location:  The virtual experience takes place on The Leslieville Flea Instagram Story and account.

Event date: Ends December 9th 2020 and will reboot again soon. 

Admission cost: Just the cost of products 

The Leslieville Flea Market has made a name for itself, popping up in different parts of the city’s east end. Now they’ve taken their vendors online and sometimes have other markets do Instagram takeovers. 

 

6. One of a Kind Show 

Event details The One of a Kind Show connects you with over 700 makers, which are essentially small businesses across Canada where you can shop. 

Location: One of a Kind website.

Event date: Ends on December 20th 2020

Admission cost: Pay the cost of products. You can also register for more perks. 

This is a great way to support local, Canadian small businesses. If you want to be conscious of where you spend your money and still connect with some cool brands, hop on this site and browse the hundreds of businesses. 

 

7. Kortright Magical Christmas Forest 

Event details:: A fully outdoor experience geared towards kids where they trek through the forest of the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

Location: 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge, ON 

Event date: Dates include December 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 2020

Admission cost: $29 for adults and $24 for kids (free for kids under one) 

Buy tickets

This is a fun adventure for kids to put on their winter boots and safely get out of the house. Parents, you won’t be bored, either. Everyone enjoys a little magic. 

 

8. Code your own video game 

Event details: Stackt Market is hosting a virtual coding event in partnership with BMO where participants get to code their own video game. 

Location: Online; you just need to register to get the link 

Event date: December 16th, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Admission cost: Free 

Buy tickets

Stackt is a market that hosts small business vendors and also produces different types of experiences. This video game coding is fun for anyone eight years old and up.

 

9. Royal Botanical Garden Winter Wonders 

Event details: An outdoor experience through Hendrie Park. As you’re guided through nature, you’ll see 7 magical displays that tell the story of Winter Wonders. 

Location: Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West in Burlington

Event date: December 27-30, 2020 and January 2 and 3, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 

Admission cost: $40 for families, $18 for adults, $15 for youth/students/seniors, $10 for kids 4-12 and Free for kids under 4

Buy tickets

The Royal Botanical Gardens is one of those must-see places any time of year, but this holiday exhibition is special, and something that you and your family should experience if you can! 

 

10. Window Wonderland in the Junction 

Event details: An outdoor augmented reality display of art within the Junction neighbourhood. 

Location: 2978 Dundas Street West 

Event date: Ends on January 31st 2021

Admission cost: Free, and you need to download this app (which is also free).

This is such a cool idea. Artists have played a big role in keeping us sane during COVID, and this even  is another great way to experience how talented artists can be. 

 

11. Binge your favourite holiday movies 

You may not physically have as many people to snuggle up with under the blanket, but there are other ways to have people join in. Try throwing a watch party where you’re all watching the same show at the same time. This is rom-com season, so keep the tissues nearby. 

 

12. Host a curbside cookie exchange 

We don’t need to break this one down. Set up some virtual time with your friends, share your favourite recipe and bake some soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies.  Then you exchange cookies. One of you can hop on a streetcar and pick up a batch curbside at the other’s home. That way, one of you can have bragging rights about which cookies turned out best.Think of it as a holiday bake-off.

 

Stay safe while having fun over the holidays 

Although the holidays are different this year with COVID, there are still some fun things to do, from drive-ins to drive-thrus, virtual events to in-person events inside and outside your home. Just remember, if you’re taking public transit, make sure you’re following the necessary precautions to keep you and those around you safe. Try Rocketman’s Crowdedness feature so you can feel more comfortable getting on a bus or streetcar. Keep your social distance, and remember that you’re required to wear a mask any time you’re indoors. Clean your phone regularly if you are commuting. You touch a lot of surfaces and want to make sure you’re super cautious. 

Lastly, we know this time has been tough, especially financially. If you need to commute but really need to save money, we’ve put together a list of low-income travel passes in Ontario. The savings range from 50% off to free depending on which city you’re in. 

 

Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute 

No matter where in Ontario you’re travelling, Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute. With real-time transit alerts, travel times and our new crowdedness feature, you’ll always be prepared for your daily commute. 

Download the Rocketman app to track Bus and Train times in Ontario

Rocketman transit app for iOS

Rocketman transit app for Android

Learn more about cities that Rocketman transit app supports in Canada

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

 

Different is the word that everyone is throwing around when talking about what the holidays will be like this year. That’s a bit of an understatement. Right now, we’d be walking into stores adorned with holiday decorations and playing Christmas carols while we shopped for family members and friends. That’s not possible this year, and while it’s for the safety of our family and friends that we maintain the social distancing rules, we can still admit that it kind of sucks. 

That said, some activities are safe enough for you to enjoy during the holidays. Some of these events are outdoors, but there are other activities you can do without even changing out of your PJs. Let’s take a look at how you can keep yourself entertained while still following COVID protocols in Ontario.

 

12 events and activities that you can safely attend in Toronto and surrounding cities

 

1. Holiday Nights of Lights 

Event details: A drive-thru light show featuring over 1 million LED lights.

Location: Revel Park, 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan, Ontario 

Event date: November 20, 2020 – January 7, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily 

Admission cost: $25/car (2 people) $40/car (5 people) $65/car (8 people) 

Buy tickets

This event was a hit on Halloween, so you want to get your tickets early. Your friends can take public transit to meet up and all hop in one car. Five people in one car cost only $8/person -seems like a pretty good deal. 

 

2. Glow Gardens 

Event details: An outdoor park space has been transformed into a glowing, drive-thru light festival. 

Location: Safari Niagara, 2821 Stevensville Rd, Stevensville, Ontario   

Event date: November 18, 2020 – January 2, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. (end time varies by day)

Admission cost: $30/car (up to seven people) 

Buy tickets  

Great place to take the family and get some cool pictures. You’re allowed to roll down your window to get those snaps, but the entire experience is COVID safe with no pedestrians or parking allowed. 

 

3. Ontario Place 

Event details: Drive-in movies 

Location: Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore BLVD, Toronto, ON

Event date: Dates vary. Check the website for movies times updates. 

Admission cost: $10/person (even if more than one person is in the same car) 

Buy tickets

Ontario Place hosted drive-in movies before the pandemic, so they know what they’re doing. All the right safety protocols are in place, and they always have the classic movies that bring out the nostalgia. 

 

4. Virtual Santa Claus Parade

Event details: Toronto’s 100-year tradition of Santa parading through the city. 

Location: CTV and CTV 2 

Event date: December 5, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. 

Admission cost: Nothing if you have CTV or CTV 2.

Just because you can’t be there in person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress your kids up and enjoy the festivities on CTV from the comfort of your living room. 

 

5. Leslieville Virtual Flea Market 

Event details: Like a real flea market, except you’ll be viewing the products online rather than in person. 

Location:  The virtual experience takes place on The Leslieville Flea Instagram Story and account.

Event date: Ends December 9th 2020 and will reboot again soon. 

Admission cost: Just the cost of products 

The Leslieville Flea Market has made a name for itself, popping up in different parts of the city’s east end. Now they’ve taken their vendors online and sometimes have other markets do Instagram takeovers. 

 

6. One of a Kind Show 

Event details The One of a Kind Show connects you with over 700 makers, which are essentially small businesses across Canada where you can shop. 

Location: One of a Kind website.

Event date: Ends on December 20th 2020

Admission cost: Pay the cost of products. You can also register for more perks. 

This is a great way to support local, Canadian small businesses. If you want to be conscious of where you spend your money and still connect with some cool brands, hop on this site and browse the hundreds of businesses. 

 

7. Kortright Magical Christmas Forest 

Event details:: A fully outdoor experience geared towards kids where they trek through the forest of the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

Location: 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge, ON 

Event date: Dates include December 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 2020

Admission cost: $29 for adults and $24 for kids (free for kids under one) 

Buy tickets

This is a fun adventure for kids to put on their winter boots and safely get out of the house. Parents, you won’t be bored, either. Everyone enjoys a little magic. 

 

8. Code your own video game 

Event details: Stackt Market is hosting a virtual coding event in partnership with BMO where participants get to code their own video game. 

Location: Online; you just need to register to get the link 

Event date: December 16th, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Admission cost: Free 

Buy tickets

Stackt is a market that hosts small business vendors and also produces different types of experiences. This video game coding is fun for anyone eight years old and up.

 

9. Royal Botanical Garden Winter Wonders 

Event details: An outdoor experience through Hendrie Park. As you’re guided through nature, you’ll see 7 magical displays that tell the story of Winter Wonders. 

Location: Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West in Burlington

Event date: December 27-30, 2020 and January 2 and 3, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 

Admission cost: $40 for families, $18 for adults, $15 for youth/students/seniors, $10 for kids 4-12 and Free for kids under 4

Buy tickets

The Royal Botanical Gardens is one of those must-see places any time of year, but this holiday exhibition is special, and something that you and your family should experience if you can! 

 

10. Window Wonderland in the Junction 

Event details: An outdoor augmented reality display of art within the Junction neighbourhood. 

Location: 2978 Dundas Street West 

Event date: Ends on January 31st 2021

Admission cost: Free, and you need to download this app (which is also free).

This is such a cool idea. Artists have played a big role in keeping us sane during COVID, and this even  is another great way to experience how talented artists can be. 

 

11. Binge your favourite holiday movies 

You may not physically have as many people to snuggle up with under the blanket, but there are other ways to have people join in. Try throwing a watch party where you’re all watching the same show at the same time. This is rom-com season, so keep the tissues nearby. 

 

12. Host a curbside cookie exchange 

We don’t need to break this one down. Set up some virtual time with your friends, share your favourite recipe and bake some soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies.  Then you exchange cookies. One of you can hop on a streetcar and pick up a batch curbside at the other’s home. That way, one of you can have bragging rights about which cookies turned out best.Think of it as a holiday bake-off.

 

Stay safe while having fun over the holidays 

Although the holidays are different this year with COVID, there are still some fun things to do, from drive-ins to drive-thrus, virtual events to in-person events inside and outside your home. Just remember, if you’re taking public transit, make sure you’re following the necessary precautions to keep you and those around you safe. Try Rocketman’s Crowdedness feature so you can feel more comfortable getting on a bus or streetcar. Keep your social distance, and remember that you’re required to wear a mask any time you’re indoors. Clean your phone regularly if you are commuting. You touch a lot of surfaces and want to make sure you’re super cautious. 

Lastly, we know this time has been tough, especially financially. If you need to commute but really need to save money, we’ve put together a list of low-income travel passes in Ontario. The savings range from 50% off to free depending on which city you’re in. 

 

Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute 

No matter where in Ontario you’re travelling, Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute. With real-time transit alerts, travel times and our new crowdedness feature, you’ll always be prepared for your daily commute. 

Download the Rocketman app to track Bus and Train times in Ontario

Rocketman transit app for iOS

Rocketman transit app for Android

Learn more about cities that Rocketman transit app supports in Canada

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

 

Don’t have Rocketman? Stay on top of your commute by downloading it:

Download Rocketman on the App Store
Get Rocketman on Google Play

Not sure if Rocketman works in your area? View our list of supported regions.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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