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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Winter Activities to get out and enjoy - before spring arrives!!

Hello March - spring is less than a month away, and the cold temperatures we often complain about will be gone too! and so will these fun winter activities. No matter what city you live in - if you get winter - snow and cold - you can enjoy these season dependent activities. Below are some places to enjoy a little winter fun in Toronto. I did include a few that have already passed - so you can add to your calendar for next winter.

Outdoor Skating -

The Natrel Rink - located at the foot of the city next to the Harbourfront Centre, along the shore line of Lake Ontario. Indoor heated change room with lockers and change rooms; rink side restaurant serving hot food and drinks. DJ skate nights (Saturdays), skate rental (Gov't issued ID required for all rentals - i.e. driver's license; age of majority etc.) . Opens late November - end of February). (no charge to skate)

Nathan Phillips Square - located in the heart of the city in front of City Hall. Skate rental,snacks and food are available. Opens late November - late March. (no charge to skate)

Evergreen Brick Works - located in the heart of Toronto's Don Valley - offers a skating experience like no other. The exposed beams of the old roof create an open air feeling, while being protected by the walls of an old factory building. It's like skating in the country - only you don't have to leave the city. Skate rental is available and various food and drink options are also available on site. (no charge to skate)

Tobogganing -  

Withrow Park- located in the heart of Greek town, tucked in just south of Danforth, between Carlaw and Logan, offers up a steep but short hill - perfect for the little ones. And when you are ready for a little tobogganing break cafes along the Danforth are just steps away.

Riverdale Park East - located on Broadview just south of Danforth has been proving great tobogganing slopes for over 100 years - check out the sledding photo from 1912 here- . It also offers up some amazing views of downtown Toronto's skyline. When you are ready for a hot cup of java or hot chocolate pop across the street to Rooster Coffee House - a neighbour favourite.

Winter Festivals -

Toronto Christmas Market - It is ranked one of the top Christmas Markets in the world. Located in the Distillery District, it brings the magic of Christmas to life. Vendors from around the world and locally - gather to bring you unique gifts many handcrafted. There is something for children from 1-92 - and Santa photos for children and furbabies too!! The Christmas tree is always beautiful and the twinkling lights strung throughout the market really make it magical. You can read and see photos of my experience in 2013 here. 2016 dates - November 18 - December 21.

Winter Stations Design Competition - Taking art outside - submissions for this art exhibition is accepted from all over the world. Finalists will have their art installations on view along the Kew, Scarborough and Balmy Beaches in the heart of The Beaches. Come see the beach come to life. February 15 - March 20, 2016.

Bloor Yorkville Ice Fest - Art comes in various mediums and here you will be amazed at how blocks of ice are turned into masterpieces. It's amazing watching the ice sculpture competition - what the participants create before your eyes with chain saws and other hand tools is breath taking. The event is in support of Heart and Stroke Foundation with something for all ages. And if you get a little too chilly just pop into one of the many restaurants and cafes to warm up and enjoy their menu offerings. End of February.

Sugar Bush Maple Syrup Festival - You will need to travel a little outside the city, but oh the sweet reward you will be treated too!! Wagon rides,activities, demonstrations, pancakes and real maple syrup. Gift shop and cafe. Check out one the four locations for specific details on dates and activities. Festival runs March 5 - April 3, 2016.

Sugar Shack at Sugar Beach - For those who wish to stay in the city and still enjoy some maple syrup fun and activities - Waterfront Toronto is hosting a winter party transforming Sugar Beach to a Québec-style cabane à sucre complete with maple taffy on snow; ice sculpting; hot chocolate, skating and traditional French Canadian music, cooking demos and all weekend long food trucks will also be serving Quebecois favourites like tourtière and poutine. March 12-13, 2016.

What are your favourite Winter Activities where you live?

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  1. You get the full winter experience where you live. I grew up in Wisconsin and ice skated outdoors a lot, in parks where they flooded the grass and let it freeze. Free of course. I live in temperate California so I continue my walks along the ocean as usual. I love snow though.

    1. Hi Terra - today we are expecting a huge snow storm in Toronto ... so I wish I was somewhere like California enjoying sunshine too! :) thanks for visiting..xo

  2. I grew up skiing but never ice skated! I love sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of bubbly and Alpha Hubby. Not much else to do around here!

  3. Dearest Celia,
    No special winter activities for us here in Georgia.
    Even though the weather goes up and down quite a bit. We just love to walk and bike, if warm enough for doing so.
    And my favorite winter activity is going down south to Florida! Hope next year will be a 'normal' year and we can do that again.


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