The holiday season is a great time of joy for our family and we love everything about the holidays (sleeping in is one of them). But part of our family tradition is to enjoy some performance arts and a bit of culture. From music to theatre there are many great and affordable options to expose your kids to more than a visit to the mall. Check out your local listings in your home town and see what’s happening.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra (www.roythomsonhall.com) Adults $20-$65. Children $16.50- $33. The Twelve Days of Christmas, Special Family Concert at Roy Thomson Hall, Sunday, December 11th. Conductor Richard Hayman creates and lends his rendition of the familiar holiday favourite for the entire family. Kids will experience the partridge in a pear tree, the swans, the geese in an entertaining way. Intermission includes free art activitivies for the kids in the lobby. Alternatively, check local community centres, churches and young people drama schools who also offer great holiday concerts and plays.
The Wizard of OZ by Ross Petty Productions at the Elgin Theatre. (Toronto)Tickets for adults from $27-$85 and $59 for Children under 12. www.rosspetty.com for performance schedule. Runs November 25 to January 6. Starring Dan Chameroy, comedian Jessica Holmes, Elicia MacKenzie (Rock of Ages), Yvan Pedneault (Rock of Ages, We Will Rock You) and Ross Petty. In what’s become a family tradition in theatre, Ross Petty has created yet another a wacky musical around another famed story. With a star-studded and super talented cast, the entire family will looooove this clever and funny story with a twist. Cheers and boo’s are encouraged as the evil witch tramps his (I mean her) way onto stage. I had to laugh when this came through…”So, somewhere over the rainbow (blame global warming), Dorothy and Toto might realize there’s just no place like home..in Toronto..with a man-hungry Aunt called Plumbum von Botox…well, it’s just a fractured fairy tale!”
We’re looking forward to taking the kids to this next week..stay tuned for our review and we’ll see how my boys like it too!
Old Montreal International Village of Christmas Traditions.For the month of December the historical district Place Jacques Cartier will be transformed into a magnificent Christmas market in European tradition. Dozens of chalets will showcase artisans inspired by the arts and traditions of Christmas highlighting the Alsace region of France. Traditions and superstitions throughout the centuries will be celebrated. Our family spent a few days in Old Montreal last year over the holiday season and our kids were enveloped into the richness of the culture and the offerings of la Belle Provence. Our 11 year old was thoroughly excited to try out his French and discovered that he understood more than he had anticipated! Our kids are begging to return to this beautiful city and ski at Le Massif …we’re working on it!
Grouse Mountain (BC) offers skeptics with proof that “it’s all true” when the spirit of Christmas comes alive. Families can meet and learn about Santa’s reindeer. Take a walk through the SOS Children’s Village Parade of Trees in the Spirit Gallery. Enjoy Christmas movies at the Theatre in the Sky. Listen to carols sung by choirs from country singers to gospel and soul. Skate on an 8000 square foot mountaintop ice skating pond. Activities are complimentary with admission, annual membership, winter season pass or lift ticket.
Bright Nights Train Ride in Stanley Park (BC). Get in the spirit of the holidays as and take a train ride ($9 adults / $6 for kids) through the forest that will be transformed with 2 million twinkling lights and animated displays. Enjoy hot chocolate, popcorn and roasted chestnuts. Visit Santa and the parade of trees at the North Pole. This is the 14th annual event and runs Dec.2 to Jan 2.
The West Coast Railway Heritage Park also offers the annual trip aboard the Polar Express train. December 4 & 5. Families can join Santa for a holiday experience on the train but book early for this popular event.
Share your favourite family traditions with us!