The top events in Toronto this December will fill the gaps in your holiday schedule with music festivals and markets. While you probably have your plate full with awkward family gatherings, there's a roster of events worth pulling the "I'm sick" card out for.
Here are my picks for the top events in Toronto this December.
Union Station Holiday Market (November 30 - December 20)
The Union Station Holiday Market has filled John A. MacDonald Square with some of the city's favourite local designers for the better part of December. You'll find everything from Tuck Shop Co. hats to Mad Mexican salsa. If you're looking for gifts that can't be found in big name stores, it's worth visiting.
Junction Flea Holiday Market (December 4 - 6)
If the mere thought of entering the Eaton Centre in the month of December gives you an anxiety attack, the Junction Flea Holiday Market may be the answer to your prayers. The weekend-long shopping event is less like a battle royale and more like a party where you can get a little boozy and dance to your heart's content while gift-buying.
Andy Kim Christmas Show (December 9)
Head to the Phoenix on December 9th to get your fix of live music while being philanthropic. Andy Kim is bringing his most talented friends to the concert venue for one night only to raise money for CAMH Foundation's Gifts of Light Program. Who's Playing? Tom Cochrane, Barenaked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith, Beaches, Kardinal Offishall, Finger Eleven and many more.
Jason Collett's Basement Revue (December 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)
Jason Collett's Basement Revue takes over the Dakota Tavern this December for it's 9th year in action. Every Tuesday Jason Collett and Damian Rogers will bring out a host of musicians, poets and special guests. As per usual, the lineup is hush hush, but last year's event brought out acts like A Tribe Called Red, Jennifer Castle and Lee Maracle, so you can expect some good shows.
Human Rights Film Festival (December 10 - 13)
If you want to see some truly inspiring cinematic works, grab tickets for the Human Rights Film Festival. The movies screened at this event focus on human rights issues around the globe, spotlighting people that have made a difference in the world. You can check out the full schedule here.
City of Craft (December 11 - 13)
If you like craft shows, this one blows most others out of the water. On the second weekend of December 30 craft vendors will take over The Theatre Centre, selling all the things you never knew you needed. There will also be craft-based installations and free workshops, if you need a break from spending.
WinterFest (December 18 - 20)
For those who fully embrace the holiday season, WinterFest is tried and true. While the pastry eating contest, dog stunt show, and a cappella concert will be entertaining, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise is the star of the show. Don your most horrendous holiday ensemble and head aboard the Northern Spirit for an evening of drinking, dancing, and good, old-fashioned holiday fun.
Kensington Market Winter Solstice (December 21)
Tired of holiday parties with faux Santas and ugly sweaters? Head to Kensington Market to celebrate the winter solstice with its annual parade/party. Past parades have featured everything from pyrotechnic displays to puppeteers, so if you're a fan of pomp and spectacle, this'll be up your alley.
Solaris Winter Music Festival (December 26-27)
Winter is a bit of a dry season for music fests, but the Solaris Music Festival will help tide you over until the return of WAYHOME and Field Trip (to name only a couple). This year's lineup of DJs includes Hardwell, Steve Angello, Fedde Le Grand and more.
What's in the Box at Drake Hotel (December 26 - December 30)
If you weren't able to plan a post-holiday trip to Cuba, The Drake is where to spend the final days of 2015. The venue's annual mini music fest returns on December 26th, and though we don't have all the details yet, the lineup has never disappointed in the past. Expect to find dancing, drinking, and a ton of live performances.
What did I miss? Add other December events in the comments.
Photo of the Kensington Market Winter Solstice by Christian Bobak
by Alice Prendergast via blogTO