Each year, Toronto museums present special Christmas events; the 2014 Yule season is no exception. Here is a 21-event salute to twenty-one 2014 Christmas events in Toronto museums. Some of their Christmas events are just fun; others provide practical skills, such as making your own holiday greeting cards or baking cookies.
Please click on the official links for important details such as the opening and closing times, and especially the “closed dates”. Most of these civic museums will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day: Dec. 25-26, and Jan. 1. Many normally take Mondays off, too. Generally the admission price is under $10/person; but some events go below “frugal” to free!
Oh yes: one drama troupe performs A Christmas Carol at several venues; I’ve counted each venue as a separate event.
Colborne Lodge Hosts Three Christmas Events in 2014
Colborne Lodge has a variety of annual events during Advent and Christmas in 2014.
From Nov. 22, 2014 through Jan. 4, Christmas at Colborne Lodge presents the holiday season as celebrated in the Victorian era. Decorations and foods provide the highlights.
The free Christmas Open House is on Thurs. Nov. 27, with a special tour of the well-decorated home.
This Toronto historical site offers some slightly more expensive workshops on their Colborne Lodge Events page. Let’s just highlight one: the High Park Winter FUNshops on several days within the school break from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2. Pre-register your children for one or more mornings of indoor and outdoor activities; it’s $25 plus tax per child per session.
Colborne Lodge is in southern High Park in Toronto. While there is some free parking, I’d consider taking the long walk south from the High Park station on the Number 2 (Bloor) subway along Colborne Lodge Drive. Or take the 80 Queensway bus south from the Keele station, and ask the driver for the stop closest to Colborne Lodge Drive.
Fort York’s 2014 Holiday Season Event
Fort York welcomes the 2014 Holiday Season from Dec. 15-31, 2014 with baked goods from “the officers’ mess”. If I remember a tour at another museum, the enlisted men and civilians made do with either over- or under-baked bread: the result of heaping coal into the middle of the oven’s hot box. Officers received the properly-baked bread from the oval that received the right amount of heat.
Fort York is at Fort York Blvd and Strachan, north of the CNE. Currently you can only drive there by going west on Fleet St and turning onto Garrison Rd. Or take the 511 Bathurst streetcar.
Gibson House Baking for Christmas 2014
Bake gingerbread cookies at Gibson House on Dec. 13; or your children (aged 7-11) could enjoy day camp on either Dec. 22 or 23 (Monday or Tuesday). Check the Gibson House Events page for details.
Gibson House is at 5172 Yonge St., where Park Home and Empress Way meet, just north of the North York Civic Centre.
Christmas Galore at Mackenzie House
The Mackenzie House museum puts almost all its efforts into the 2014 Yule celebrations. Experience a Victorian Christmas from Nov. 25 – Jan. 4; and your children may also write letters to Santa Claus until Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
It’s not clear whether the Frost Fair on Dec. 6-7 will be at Mackenzie House or at Fort York; but since it involves the print shop, Mackenzie House is the right venue.
Mackenzie House also runs a Christmas Crafts day camp from Dec. 27 through Jan. 4. Meet a long-ago mayor of Toronto; do crafts; and work in the printshop. Check the Mackenzie House Events page for the details.
Montgomery’s Inn for Christmas Cookies and A Christmas Carol
Although Montgomery’s Inn offers a wider variety of events, they do fit Yule into their schedule.
Decorate Christmas cookies on Nov. 22-23; decorate a gingerbread house on Nov. 29-30; sing carols in the tavern on Dec. 5 at 7:30pm; see Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on selected dates from Dec. 4-21; take the children to Fezziwig’s Family Christmas Ball on Dec. 14 (but book by Dec. 8); or experience a Jane Austen Christmas supper on Dec. 19 from 7-10pm (book by Dec. 12). See the Montgomery’s Inn Events page for the details on dates and prices.
Montgomery’s Inn is at 4709 Dundas St. West, just NE of Islington.
Scarborough Museum: Prepare Treats for Santa Claus
The Scarborough Museum bakes goodies and serves hot chocolate for the festive weekends in December. On Dec. 7, children 5-12 will learn to bake the holiday treats themselves; but pre-register! They also provide Christmas holiday day camps for children 5-12, on selected dates from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2. Details are on the Scarborough Museum Events page.
The Scarborough Museum is at 1007 Brimley Rd, in Thompson Memorial Park. That’s north of Lawrence Ave. East. The 21 Brimley bus is your best transit bet, connecting from the Kennedy station where the Number 2 (Bloor-Danforth) subway and Scarborough RT meet.
The Spadina Museum: from a Roaring Twenties Christmas Event to Pop-Up Toys
The main Christmas event in 2014 at the Spadina Museum is the Roaring 20s Christmas from Nov. 25 through Jan. 4: experience a well-heeled 1920s Yule celebration. For the children, the Dec. 7th Toy Pop-Up Museum is a show-and-tell as well as a see-and-play event from 2-4pm; and it’s free. See the Spadina Museum Events page.
The Spadina Museum is at 285 Spadina Road – not Spadina Ave. It’s south of St. Clair Ave. West, just north of Austin Terrace. I think of it as “just above Casa Loma”.
Todmorden Mills Museum Greets Christmas with Cards and Gingerbread
The Todmorden Mills Museum offers a one-day Greeting Cards Workshop for the whole family on Nov. 29 from 1-4pm. Call now to reserve your tickets; your 6-and-up year old children will make their own personal Christmas greeting cards with their accompanying adult. The Christmas in the Valley events contrast Yule in 1890 versus 1940, on several dates between Dec. 7 and Jan. 4. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol also tours here on selected dates from Nov. 27 to Dec. 7. Finally, gingerbread house workshops are available by pre-registration on Dec. 6. You need to read the details on the Todmorden Mills Museum Events page.
Todmorden Mills is in the Don Valley at 67 Pottery Road. Please see the map. It’s a steep walk from Broadview Ave.; it’s one place that a car with snow tires may be the best bet.
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Thanks for reading about these twenty-one 2014 Christmas events in Toronto museums.