December on the Cheap! 2014

Holiday Open House at Toronto Botanical Gardens

The holiday season has finally arrived! It’s time for festive shows, visits with Santa Claus, and spectacular light displays. All the hustle and bustle is great fun but it can also be a strain on the wallet. We’ve rounded up all the free and cheap events taking place in and around the city at this time of year. So relax and enjoy some seasonal fun with your family!

Santa's Log Cabin in Trinity Square (Eaton Centre)
Dec 1, 2014 to Dec 24, 2014 - 11:30 am until 6:30 pm
Visit Santa in his log cabin at Toronto Eaton Centre where he’ll read a story, then you can sit on his lap and have mom or dad take a photo. Once you’re done explore our tyke-sized Christmas Tree Maze too. They'll get a sneak peek at new toys being developed and listen to Santa read a Christmas classic. Then they can climb on to Santa’s lap, whisper in his ear while mom or dad snap a photo. Free.
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Skype with Santa
Dec 3, 2014 to Dec 17, 2014 - 3:30 pm until 6:00 pm
Reserve your spot for Skype with Santa below. Skype sessions are available for three consecutive Wednesdays in December from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm (see schedule below). Each session is approximately 10 minutes. Fill in your contact information and a little information about your child(ren) to help Santa know them better, then choose a date and time for the call. Free.
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Holiday Open House at Toronto Botanical Gardens
Dec 4, 2014 - 12:00 pm until 9:30 pm
Visit the TBG's annual Holiday Open House, presented in partnership with the Garden Club of Toronto and Milne House Garden Club. The building will be decked with holiday cheer (including a giant gingerbread tree!) and well-stocked with unique items to fulfill your holiday shopping needs. Enjoy complimentary cider and cookies beginning at 5:30 pm. Holiday baking and homemade crafts and more! Free.
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A Christmas Story - A Family Favourites Presentation
Dec 6, 2014 - 11:00 am
Ralphie has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940s. With Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin. Cost $2.50. At Participating Cineplex Theatres.
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Festive Christmas Weekends at Scarborough Museum
Dec 6, 2014 to Dec 28, 2014 - 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm
'Tis the holiday season! Sample hot chocolate, and baked holiday goodies. We ho-ho –HOPE everyone enjoys their time here at Scarborough Museum this month! Admission is Pay What You Can.
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A TOY Pop-Up Museum: Child's Play at Spadina Museum
Dec 7, 2014 - 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm
Come and play at Spadina Museum this Christmas! Young or old, bring your favourite toy to this community-curated Pop-Up! You can display whatever you like: dolls, blocks, musical instruments, games, or action figures – don't be shy! Your object doesn't need to be historic or collectable - what's important is what it means to you. We will also be displaying vintage toys from the City of Toronto's collection. Free.
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 Build and Grow at Lowes: Science Lab
Dec 13, 2014
Get your kids excited about science! Bring your child into Lowe’s and they can build a cool Science Lab. This product and activity is for children ages 5 and older. Free.
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The Polar Express 3D - A Family Favourites Presentation
Dec 13, 2014 - 11:00 am
It doesn't matter where the train is going. What matters is deciding to get on. Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards the mysterious train that waits for him: The Polar Express. Based on the classic Christmas story by Chris Von Allsburg. Cost $2.50.
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Meet a Real Sledding Dog Team
Dec 13, 2014 to Dec 21, 2014 - 11:00 am until 5:00 pm
This is your chance to meet and have your picture taken with a real dog sledding team during Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront! Visitors will be able to have a quick ‘pat and chat’ with Tanya Hawley and her authentic sled dogs and see various items used in dog sledding! Free!
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Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show
Dec 13, 2014 to Dec 21, 2014 - 1:00 pm until 4:30 pm
The Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show is coming to Purina PawsWay (245 Queens Quay West) during Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront! Featured on Family Channel, Animal Planet, and The Pet Network, The Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show is a one-of-a-kind comedy stunt dog show featuring more than 50 incredible and hilarious stunts and tricks. The highly trained dogs demonstrate some amazing circus style tricks including: tightrope walking, bike riding, piano playing, skipping, and more! Free.
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Crazy Christmas Extravaganza
Dec 13, 2014 to Dec 14, 2014
This Christmas season The Christian Performing Arts Centre and the Church on the Queensway presents the musical theatrical experience "Crazy Christmas Extravaganza" featuring a fantastic cast of singers, dancers, and actors, and accompanied by The Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra. Experience the true meaning of Christmas in a wonderful stage show filled with familiar carols, a lot of laughs and a few surprises! $5.
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Winterfest on Toronto's Waterfront
Weekends - Dec 13, 2014 to Dec 21, 2014
Celebrate the magic of the holiday at Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront. There is so much for families to experience from cruising and photos with Santa, to creating arts and crafts and watching performances as well as dog shows. Free.
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Fred Claus - A Family Favourites Presentation
Dec 20, 2014 - 11:00 am
Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn) has lived almost his entire life in his little brother’s very large shadow. Fred tried, but he could never live up to the example set by the younger Nicholas (Paul Giamatti), who was just a perfect... well... Saint. True to form, Nicholas grew up to be the model of giving, while Fred became the polar opposite: a repo man who then steals what he repossesses. Now Fred’s dirty dealings have landed him in jail. Cost $2.50.
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New Year's Eve at Nathan Phillips Square
Dec 31, 2014
Join the celebration and ring in the New Year on December 31, 2014 with residents and visitors alike at Nathan Phillips Square. Skate on Toronto's famous ice rink to the sounds of a local DJ, enjoy live musical performances from top Toronto talent throughout the evening, and a spectacular fireworks presentation at midnight. The free event begins at 8:00 pm.
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