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Skate under the Gardiner or see twinkly lights this weekend in Toronto

Last Updated Dec 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm EDT

With the big day just around the corner, this weekend will be the last to get in good with Santa before the big man stuffs his sleigh with toys for all the well-behaved girls and boys. While some people will flood the malls this weekend, there’s also plenty of ways to drink in the Christmas spirit around the city. It only comes once a year. So, why not make the most of it.

Winter flower show at Allan Gardens
With the cold winds of winter blowing through the GTA, it’s hard to imagine that just a few blocks away from College Station grows a beautiful botanical garden filled with tropical flowers. Put away your gloves and hat for a few hours this weekend as you stroll through six greenhouses filled with the colours of summer at the Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show. This beautiful conservatory was built in 1858 and houses a wide variety of interesting plants including orchids, begonias, palms, tropical vines, gingers, hibiscus and a variety of unusual cacti. The show is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Miracle on Front Street
It was once the tallest building in the Toronto skyline, and this weekend all eyes will once again be on the Fairmont Royal York. Head down to Front Street this weekend to take in the holiday sights and sounds outside the historic hotel. Every half hour, the skyline will light up with Miracle on Front Street — a digital show projected on the front of the Royal York from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. As well, ring in the holiday season on Saturday with a visit to Santa’s holiday chalet, located on the hotel’s MM level. Take a photo with Santa and enjoy the homey abode. Santa will be available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and guests must take their own photos.

The Bentway Skate Trail: Skate the 8 in the Six
If you’re looking for a little exercise between devouring Christmas cookies — head to the Bentway as its skating trail opens for the season on Saturday at noon. Do a few laps on the figure-eight skate trail and then grab some snacks and settle in under a blanket next to a fire pit to relax. There’s no price to get on the ice, but you can rent skates there if you don’t have your own.

Christmas in the Valley at Todmorden Mills
Take a trip back in time at Todmorden Mills in the Don Valley. The historic village has been active since the 1790s, and now it’s set up to give visitors a glimpse of what Christmas was like in the 1890s and the 1940s. Try out some festive treats, make some crafts, and go for a winter stroll in the wildflower preserve. It’s open to visitors Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. and costs $5 to $8 to get in.

We’ve told you about these events before but they are still ongoing.

Toronto Christmas Market
Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District ends this weekend! It’s your last chance to pose for a selfie in front of the 50-foot Christmas tree adorned with more than 40,000 lights. Grab a glass of mulled wine and head over. Admission on weekdays is free until Friday at 5 p.m. and $6 after that and into the weekend.

Winter at Ontario Place
Ontario Place is hosting a series of activities and exhibitions including a light exhibition, a synthetic skating rink, bonfires and more. It continues until March 17.

Evergreen’s Winter Village
Shop at the holiday market, skate and enjoy treats from food trucks and local vendors. Admission to the village is free.