ROM After Dark Fri., Nov. 25, Sat., Dec. 31 & Fri., Jan. 20, 7:30 pm $30 ROM, 100 Queens Park rom.on.ca
ROM After Dark has finally made its long-awaited return! For one night each month, the Royal Ontario Museum opens after hours for an adults-only evening of live entertainment, themed food and cultural exploration. Each event is themed and November is all about being legendary. Explore the colourful exhibit by Indigenous painter Kent Monkman alongside the permanent natural history collection.
In December, celebrate New Year’s Eve with access to the Fantastic Beasts and Wildlife Photography exhibitions. January is hosted by Design TO, with a collection of 100 Canadian-made artifacts, from fashion to furniture.
Get your tickets in advance — there won’t be any left at the door!
The Taylor Party Fri., Nov 25, 8 pm $30 Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave. thedanforth.com
It’s time to embrace the latest craze: Taylor Swift dance parties! While you impatiently await the announcement of her Canadian tour dates, loudly sing along to all her hits with your fellow Swifties. If one party isn’t enough, check out Swiftmas at Lee’s Palace (Sat., Dec. 10).
’Tis the season for twinkly lights, ice skating and festive food, and Canada’s Wonderland has the perfect setup for all of the above. The park grounds are transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a nightly tree lighting ceremony and live carollers. If you’re feeling brave, you can hop on one of the thrilling rides too!
Make It Fashion Fri., Dec 2 – Fri., Dec. 30 TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W. tiff.net
4 TIFF celebrates fashion and film with 14 screenings exploring the works of Prada, Dior and more. Partnering with Fashion Art Toronto, the opening night viewing of Marie Antoinette will feature an exclusive runway show (Dec. 2). Hear from Black Panther costume-designer Ruth E. Carter in person (Dec. 3). Other films include Mahogany (Dec. 15) and Cabaret (Dec. 25 & 26).
Wavelength Monthly Series Fri., Nov. 18 – Sat., Dec. 3 Pay What You Can ($10/$30/$60) Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave. passemuraille.ca
5 Wavelength Music continues their long-standing monthly showcase series with two special performances to close out the year. In November, catch the post-rock stylings of Broken Social Scene’s Charles Spearin with shoegaze artist Sunnsetter. In December, see Montreal art-rock group Thus Owls and experimental folk-pop artist Shirley Hurt.
Crows Theatre excitingly hosts the Toronto premiere of award-winning British play Red Velvet. An imagined re-telling of true events, Red Velvet is set in 1833 London, England and shares the story of Ira Aldridge, one of the first Black stage actors. Starring credited American actor Allan Louis, don’t miss this powerful performance!
One Of A Kind Show Thurs., Nov. 24 – Sun., Dec. 4, $18 – $23 Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd. oneofakindshow.com
If you’re looking for unique gifts this holiday season (or just want to treat yourself!), the One Of A Kind Show will have that special something you didn’t know you needed. This craft show brings together hundreds of Canadian artisans, including painters, jewellery designers, candlemakers and chefs with gourmet butter tarts and chocolates.
Stackt Market brings six weeks of holiday festivities to the heart of the city. Shop for gifts at local businesses, like streetwear vendor Makeway and jewellery maker Two Cities. Ride the Ferris wheel, take photos under mistletoe and wander Santa’s Village, complete with inflatable Christmas trees. Every Friday night, treat yourself to the free Holiday Hills Music Series at Blue Moon Brewery. Showcasing emerging local talent, performers include Devon Cole (Nov. 18), Loviet (Dec. 2) and Mauvey (Dec. 16). All performances start at 7 pm but get there early to claim your spot in the crowd!
Our Place Fri., Nov. 18 – Sat., Dec. 3 Pay What You Can ($10/$30/$60) Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave. passemuraille.ca
Theatre Passe Muraille debuts Our Place, a witty tale of two undocumented Caribbean women building a new life in Scarborough and trying to secure their Canadian citizenship. The venue will host a special Black Night Out performance on Fri., Nov. 25, creating a safe space for Black audiences to experience theatre for them, by them.
Festival of Cool Thurs., Dec. 8 – Sun., Dec. 18 Free – $25+ Cultural Festival Harbourfront Centre harbourfrontcentre.com
Closing out a year of cultural programming for Nordic Bridges is the jam-packed Festival of Cool. Hosted by Harbourfront Centre, this fest celebrates art, music, theatre and community across 10 days. Catch performances by Tuuletar, an all-female Finnish folk hop group, and VÍÍK, a Nordic band that uniquely blends Scandinavian folk songs with jazz and alternative rock (Dec. 15). Watch seven actors, 50 puppets and several breathtaking visual displays tell the captivating story of Moby Dick at Fleck Dance Theatre (Dec. 13 – 16). Bring home a new art piece from the Post Capitalistic Auction or wander the free exhibits at the waterfront.