The Ultimate December Girls Getaway in Toronto

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Nutcracker: National Ballet of Canada

I have a confession, I love Christmas and everything that comes with this holiday event – Christmas carols, cooking, visiting family, eating, shopping and Nutcracker Ballets.

For me, the season starts with a girl’s getaway trip, usually in December, to do some last minute Christmas shopping, hang out with my best peeps and of course, attend a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet, something guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit,

Our top place to shop til we drop is Toronto, the mecca of Christmas shopping in Canada. Christmas markets, museum shops, exquisite chocolate boutiques, how can a girl resist? Here’s our recommended plan of attack for a fun December weekend in Toronto:

Toronto Christmas Markets

Lowes Christmas Market at the Distillery District

Distillery MarketHeld each year during the first two weeks of December, this free annual event captures all of the tradition, heritage and charm of a European Christmas Market. The Market showcases hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products from all over the province. Our favourite find: The Maple Sugar Shack, yum!

Distillery District, Mill St. and Trinity, Toronto ON

Friday November 30 to Sunday December 16

Monday to Friday Noon to 9pm Saturday and Sunday 10am to 9pm


The Artisans’ Gift Fair at the Tranzac

The Tranzac holds its annual Gift Fair every Saturday and Sunday in December leading up to Christmas, featuring more than 40 vendors each day. Find one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade crafts, jewellery, clothing, cards and more made by local crafters. If you’re looking for funky this is the place to be.

Admission is free and, bonus, you can also pop into the Tranzac’s Southern Cross lounge for free live music throughout the day.

Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave. Toronto ON

December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 – 2012

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Best Museum Gift Stores in Toronto

We love shopping at museum stores for unique, one of kind Christmas presents, and sometimes we even manage a visit in the museum!

Gardiner Museum

Nice things come in small packages. The Gardiner Ceramic Museum Gift Shop may be small but it delivers with seriously beautiful gift ideas. Our favourite find: Ceramic White Angel Christmas ornaments.

Gardiner Shop. 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto ON

Monday to Thursday 10 am – 6 pm

Friday 10 am – 9 pm

Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Art Gallery of Ontario

This is our most loved Toronto museum gift store ever! It’s enormous and choc full of pretty things. I dare you to leave this store without buying anything! Our favourite find: Pull Tab Bracelet made from recycled pull-tabs and interlocking aluminum jump rings.

Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Tuesday: 11:30 am – 6 pm

Wednesday: 11:30 am – 9 pm

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11:30am – 6pm

Closed on Monday


Toronto’s Best Chocolate Shops

SOMA Chocolates

SOMAWe consider SOMA to be THE best chocolate shop in the city. If you worship chocolate this is the store for you. The tiny (but charming) café has a large glass wall that allows customers to watch as professional chocolate makers produce chocolate heaven right from the bean. Our favorite is the Cherry Bomb truffle but the Mayan hot chocolate is to die for!

SOMA

Distillery District

32 Tank House Lane, Toronto ON

Mon. to Sat. 10am to 8pm

Sun 11am to 6pm

Christmas Eve 10am to 4pm

443 King St. West, Toronto ON

Mon. to Sat. 10am to 8pm

Sun 11am to 6pm

Christmas Eve 10am to 4pm

Delight Chocolates

Chocolates from Delight can be described as delightful?! Ok sorry, I couldn’t help myself! If you’re looking for seriously awesome chocolate in west Toronto head straight to this store. Jennifer Rashleigh, former restaurateur and pastry chef of Citron, and her hubbie are responsible for luscious sweets made with a dash of whimsy and decadence. Our favourite find: Fig and Balsamic chocolate. So, so, very nice!

Delight Chocolates, 3040 Dundas St. West, Toronto ON.

Tues to Sat 10am to 9pm. Sun to Mon 11am to 8pm

Nutcracker Ballet

Nutcracker: National Ballet of CanadaA girls’ getaway in December wouldn’t be complete without attending the National Ballet of Canada’s production of the Nutcracker Ballet. What a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!

This year’s Nutcracker charms with wonderfully capable child dancers who shine in their roles. The kids almost manage to upstage the principals, but the sheer athletic poetry of Ms . Ogden’s Sugar Plum Fairy and Cote’s Peter/Nutcracker wins our hearts.

Santo Loquasto’s sets and costume design make this fairytale come to life, he takes us on a magical journey through the glittering world of the Snow Queen and dazzles us with the opulent splendour of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. 145 Queen Street West, Toronto ON

December 19, 2012 – January 5, 2013

Attending this performance, along with some downtown shopping and chocolate sampling and you have all the ingredients of a special holiday girls’ getaway in Toronto.

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