Let’s be honest, most of us associate winter with hibernating indoors, making excuses for staying in on weekends, and generally being less adventurous and social than we would be the rest of the year. Yes, winter is cold and snowy, but this season, let’s embrace the snow and brave the cold. Here are a few ideas of winter-friendly activities in and outside of the city.
As the first and only official Christmas market in Toronto, this Distillery District market offers a variety of activities and entertainment for all ages. There’s great holiday shopping and treats, as well as a beer garden with mulled wine (very popular at European Christmas markets), hot rum beverages, European Christmas cocktails, schnapps and a variety of beer. The Lowes Toronto Christmas Market runs daily from December 2 through 18.
Hours: Monday to Friday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
We love grown up versions of our favourite childhood activities. When we heard that there would be a live DJ at the Natrel Skating Rink at Harbourfront every Saturday night this winter, we started rummaging through our closets for old skates and started planning our next date night. Every Saturday night has a different DJ and theme, ranging from Soca, to hip hop and R&B, to electro-swing.
Hours: Saturdays, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Who said patio season was over? Head over to Shack Chaud on Drake Sky Yard, sip on any one of their many amazing cocktails: Whiskey-a-CoCo, Winter Kentucky, Simmering Sangria and lots more. All while sitting by the fire and enjoying the novelty of being outside at a bar in the middle of winter. Yes, please.
Shack Chaud hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 p.m. to close. The Sky Yard is open nightly from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 6 p.m. to 2.a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Go north, young man:
Bring out your inner child with an afternoon of snow tubing. Great with friends or family, grab a tube, tow up the hill and fly down. Snow Valley in Barrie offers hourly rates or you can go per ride. Trust us, it’s just as much fun when you are an adult as when you were a kid.
Instead of sitting back and enjoying the ride, take the reins of a sled and learn how to become a dog musher. Singing Dogs in Wiarton (near Owen Sound) is a great for a day trip or an overnight adventure. Guests can bond with the pooches and learn how to run a team, taking turns as driver and dog handler. Seriously, how cool is that?
Snowshoeing is a great way to be active outdoors. It’s easy to learn, takes minimal equipment and is a killer work out. Located just outside of Collingwood, Scenic Caves Nature Adventures boasts 22 kilometers of trails through the forest. If you’re brave enough, you can also ‘shoe across the longest suspension bridge in Ontario. After your trek, enjoy a bowl of chilli or hot apple cider in their chalet.
What are your favourite go-to winter activities? Tweet us #winteractivities.