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Celebrate the holiday season with festive events and Toronto FC

Last Updated Dec 8, 2017 at 7:40 am EST

Jurgita Dronina and Naoya Ebe in The Nutcracker. Photo credit: Bruce Zinger/National Ballet of Canada

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Christmas lights and decorations are all up, the smell of festive sweets are permeating the air, chestnuts are roasting, and cider is mulling.

If you are not in the Christmas spirit yet, there are several events taking place to get you into the holiday mood. And there will be plenty of spirited people tuning in to watch Toronto FC in the MLS Cup on Saturday.

If you are taking transit into the city this weekend, keep in mind that subways won’t be running on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) between St. Clair and Lawrence stations due to TTC work. Shuttle buses will be running.


Toronto and Seattle meet again for MLS Cup
After last year’s loss to the Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC has another chance to battle their same foe for the Cup. The Reds and the Sounders kick off at 4 p.m. Saturday at BMO Field. If you are going to the game, you may want to carry a thicker scarf, hat and gloves to wear during game time. Some flurries are expected and it will feel like -9 C with the wind.

The Santa Speedo Run
Hundreds of men and women will be donning bright red, white or green speedos and running through Yorkville on Saturday afternoon as part of the 11th annual Toronto Santa Speedo Run. Seasonal attire, such as Santa hats, beards or reindeer noses, to go along with the speedo-style bathing suits are also encouraged. All the money raised will be going to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children Toys and Games fund. Organizers of the event, which began in 2005, say it’s a chance for participants to make “a complete and utter spectacle of [themselves.]” Registration and pre-race festivities will kick off at noon. The run is expected to start at 1:30 pm. Post-run celebrations will be held at Hemingway’s, located at 142 Cumberland St.

The Nutcracker
A beloved Christmas classic returns this weekend. The Nutcracker is a must-see over the holidays, thanks to a combination of its beautiful and graceful dance moves, inspired comedy and visual extravagance. Created by the National Ballet of Canada in 1995, this two-hour ballet is sure to thrill audiences of all ages. The Nutcracker starts Saturday and runs until Dec. 30 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Christmas market in Milton
Are you having a holly jolly Christmas? If not, you can turn that frown upside down at the Milton Holiday Street Market. The market takes place in downtown Milton from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and then again on Dec. 16. Browse the artisan marketplace for gifts or learn how to make your own ornaments. Check out the poutine festival and the maple syrup sugar shack, or just hang out in a fire pit lounge and listen to live music. Admission to the market is free.

Winter fun at Ontario Place
The most wonderful time of the year can last several weeks more with a winter festival at Ontario Place. The event starts on Friday and runs through March Break, featuring winter-themed activities including sipping on hot cocoa while outdoor skating. And sadly, while most of your Christmas lights will come down the first week of January, you can still enjoy the twinkling lights at the Winter Light Exhibit for a few more months. If you are looking for a place to warm up, head down to the bonfire, or if you want some exercise take a stroll on the Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail.

Ornament Making
We’re getting into the heart of the Christmas season and what better way to get into the spirit than to make some festive ornaments. On Sunday afternoon, you can bring your family to a big ornament making party. For $30, you will get a lesson on how to make the perfect holiday decoration, all the materials, as well as the beverage of your choice, which could include an ice cold pint. It’s all happening at the Rorschach Brewing Co. at 1001 Eastern Ave. There are two workshops being offered; 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.

Christmas ornaments on a tree. GETTY IMAGES/Arijit Mondal
Christmas ornaments on a tree. GETTY IMAGES/Arijit Mondal