Yes, this holiday season is different, and many traditional type events and gatherings aren’t happening, but it’s not entirely cancelled. Here are a few socially-distanced activities to partake in this festive season.

The Bloor-Yorkville BIA lighting installation shines throughout the area, including the permanent installation of “urban campfire” benches along Bloor West. The 60 benches resemble campfires and light up when occupied. Free

Sherway Gardens Holiday Drive-Thru is a guided tour that takes you through seven stops, including an enchanted forest and Santa’s workshop, as well as an opportunity to take a physically distanced photo with Santa. Free

Casa Loma Holiday Light Tour offers a self-guided socially distanced walk-through the gardens and tunnels filled with festive delights. Cost: $35

Magical Christmas Forest at Kortright Centre has a two-hour guided outdoor holiday-themed light show and forested walking tour, with an array of colourful characters along the way. Cost: $24-$29

Polar Drive-Through Holiday Experience is a multi-level experience in a parking lot on the airport grounds. The 30-minute tour brings you through a variety of holiday-themed environments, with light tunnels, winter wonderlands, and of course an appearance by Santa. Cost: $45

Bluffs Winter Wonderland at Bluffer’s Park Beach is a 1 km drive-through experience, with a enchanted forest illuminated with 50,000 lights, finishing with a stop at Santa’s house for a socially distanced photo op. Cost: $25

The Miracle Holiday Magic Market is taking place outdoors at The Old Mill, with an array of vendors offering crafts, art, and treats, set within a Christmas Village. There’s also a scavenger hunt for the kids, and Holiday Spirits Speakeasy for the adults. Cost: $8.00. Food donations accepted for the Daily Bread Food Bank and Women’s Habitat.

Sweaters n’ Snowflakes at the Stackt Market offers a walk-through the trees and and a tunnel where guests can order a variety of freshly prepared take-out food and beverage items, like soup, wood-fired pizza, and boozy cocktails. Free

The Toronto Zoo has set up a special 20-minute holiday drive-through route that passes by a huge Christmas tree, a Holiday Marketplace, Enrichment Toy Workshop, and Santa’s cottage. Cost: $25 per car. Food donations accepted for Second Harvest, toy donations for Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive.

The Fairmont Royal York is bringing its Thirsty Elf Bar back for another year, inside their heated tent at Front and York Street. Their Clockwork Terrace will also be a wintry patio. Free

From the innovators behind IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH, comes ILLUSIONARIUM, a labyrinth of magical rooms transporting audiences to different eras in time, using 3D projections, life-like holograms, and live magicians. Timed ticketed event.

If you don’t want to leave home, check out the Flamingo Market Home For The HoliGays Virtual Gift Guide, featuring 70+ LGBT2Q+ makers and small business owners.

Finally, YOHOMO is collaborating with a team of local queer DJs, dancers, and artists to create a virtual party to say good riddance to 2020! Tickets TBA

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.