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8 COVID-Safe Activities to Do This Holiday Season While on a Budget

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time for everyone. Especially during the holidays, a lockdown can be particularly isolating. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean we have to skip out on embracing all the candy canes, gingerbread cookies, and decorations this season has to offer. Here is a list of free (or super cheap) COVID-safe activities to do in or around Toronto these next few months!

Holiday Market on Niemi Family Farm

When: November 13, 2020 – December 22, 2020

Address: Niemi Family Farm, 18463 ON-48, Mount Albert

Price: Free Admission ($19.99 per adult for Christmas Land)

A family-owned farm that offers a physically-distancing outdoor holiday adventure that includes a warm cup of hot chocolate and a walk through a beautifully-decorated farm. With local vendors, you can purchase a freshly cut Holiday Tree, handmade wreaths, baked goods, and a variety of seasonal stocking stuffers!  While admission to the Holiday Market is free, the farm also designed its own Christmas Land (separate from the Holiday Market). Christmas Land offers a self-guided tour through a twinkling forest, wagon rides, and marshmallow-roasting by a bonfire. What a great way to support a local business this time of year!

CF Holiday Drive-Thru

When: November 25, 2020 – December 24, 2020

Address: CF Sherway Gardens, The West Mall, Etobicoke

Price: Free

The CF Holiday Drive-Thru is an immersive drive-thru experience on a magical journey through the North Pole! This 35-minute voyage, complete with narration and interactive activities, follows a determined elf on a mission to recharge Santa’s sleigh with holiday cheer. Probably not as entertaining as Will Ferrell exploring New York in a pair of leotards, but I’m sure it’s a close second. The final stop even includes a physically-distanced photo with none other than Santa himself.

Winter Village

When: November 12, 2020 – March 31, 2021

Address: The Distillery District, 55 Mill St, Toronto

Price: Free

Decorated in starlit canopies and twinkling lights, come dance to “Baby it’s Cold Outside” around the Holiday Tree in Toronto’s Distillery District this winter season. Remember to wear your mask!

Holiday Magic at Blue

When: November 14, 2020 – December 25, 2020

Address: Blue Mountain Resort, 190 Gord Canning Drive, The Blue Mountains

Price: Free

Blue Mountain is absolutely stunning on any regular day. Now imagine all the trees in the village covered in snow and all that green and red holiday décor lining the windows of every shop! Just thinking about it makes me feel a Lorelai-Gilmore-mid-winter-in-Stars-Hollow type magic. This experience includes Santa sightings around the village, over one million light activations over the walking paths, and singing trees on the weekend (yes, you read that right).

Winter Wonderland Outdoor Art Exhibit

When: November 14, 2020 – January 31, 2020

Address: The Junction, Old Toronto, Toronto

Price: Free

This is the Junction’s first annual urban art-walk, an interactive and engaging outdoor art gallery. The gallery will feature local animators and artists who will paint ten different storefront windows. By downloading an app and directing your phone camera to the window art, visitors can see each creation “come to life.”

Drive-In Holiday Movies at Ontario Place

When: TBD

Address: 955 Lake Shore Blvd, West

Price: $10 per person

What’s a safer place to be than the comfort of your own car? Well, probably your home, but it’s a good thing your car isn’t too far down the list. Close-by and relatively cheap, the Ontario Place Drive-In is playing Holiday (and non-holiday) movies throughout the season including Polar Express and The Muppet Christmas Carol. What a cute and cozy night out!

Holiday Night of Lights

When: November 20, 2020 – January 7, 2021

Address: Revel Park, 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan

Price: $25+ (depending on number of passengers)

Holiday Night of Lights offers a 25-minute drive through a twinkling wonderland of lights and décor. There is currently a 20% off discount on selected dates in November.

Niagara Holiday Floral Showhouse

When: November 21, 2020 – January 1, 2021

Address: Niagara Falls

Price: $7 per person

Walk through a holiday garden wonderland showcasing colourful and vibrant holiday arrangements. The Niagara Holiday Floral Showhouse has been a tradition for the Niagara community for over 65 years and even designed a year in advance!

Each of the above outdoor activities requires face masks to attend and involves strict physical distancing guidelines. In addition, they all have low maximum capacity limits to reduce potential exposure. Health and safety are key! If none of the above interests you or you are looking to remain indoors this season, celebrating the holidays can be as simple as kicking back with a cup of hot cocoa, a pair of fuzzy socks, and a healthy dose of holiday movies! Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!
Whether it be a fictional escape to an alternate reality or an emotional liberation amid the pages of my journal, writing has always been a light in the midst of my darkness.
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