Tired of preparing the same old brunch routine? We totally get it–finding fresh ways to keep Thanksgiving fun and creative can be quite the challenge as each year goes by.
But don't gobble down in despair, we’ve whipped up a list of unique ideas to make your Thanksgiving weekend in Toronto a little more exciting:
Unique Ways to Spend Thanksgiving in Toronto
Attend the Annual Toronto Chocolate Festival
— From: @omnikingedward
Contact number: 416-931-9900 or 905-820-6400
The Annual Toronto Chocolate Festival is a delightful city-wide affair that pays homage to the delectable world of chocolate. It made its grand debut in 2005 and has since become a cherished October tradition for Torontonians.
This cocoa extravaganza typically spans a few weeks, coinciding sweetly with Thanksgiving, offering a delectable escape for chocolate enthusiasts.
You’ll discover a medley of chocolate-themed experiences, featuring tastings, hands-on workshops, and mouthwatering culinary showcases presented by celebrated chocolatiers and chefs.
You’ll be sampling (and taking home) a lot of chocolate at the festival, so make sure to bring a bag! You’ll probably need a bottle of water too.
Join the Pumpkin Festival
Address: 35 Carl Hall Road Toronto, Ontario M3K 2B6
PumpkinFest Toronto is a four-day family-friendly bash, a true ode to autumn and all things pumpkin. The festival features thrilling rides, a vast pumpkin patch, local food trucks, live performances, and lots of photo opportunities with the family.
There are also inflatable parks where your kids can bounce all they want. What could be a sweeter Thanksgiving treat than sharing smiles and giggles with your little ones?
If you’re feeling a bit competitive, join the Pumpkin Seed Spitting Contest. It’s a competition where the only objective is – yep, you guessed it – see who can spit a pumpkin seed the farthest!
You can bring your furry friends along to the PumpkinFest! Your doggos are allowed to stroll on the festival grounds, but they must be leashed at all times.
Enjoy Toronto’s Oktoberfest
Address: Garrison Common, 100 Garrison Rd., Toronto, ON M5V 3K9
Oktoberfest in Toronto is a lively and culturally rich celebration of German culture and, of course, beer. This Canadian twist on the Bavarian classic festival is a colossal party in TO, drawing over 100,000 visitors each year.
As with any Oktoberfest, beer is the superstar of the show. You can expect to find a wide variety of German and local craft beers, along with traditional German brews like lagers and wheat beers.
Traditional German cuisine is also a highlight of the festival, so expect to savour classic dishes like schnitzels, sausages, and strudels. There’s also live music, playing polka (traditional German music) and lively performances by bands and dance groups.
Arrive early to avoid the crowds and lineups. Also, the organisers give out a bunch of freebies to the first few attendees every year.
Enjoy fall colours at a park
— From: @naladoodlegurl
Address: 711 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M5V 3T7
If you’re craving some good ol’ nature vibes this Thanksgiving, we’ll let you in on a secret: head to Coronation Park on Lake Shore Boulevard. This is one of the best places in Toronto to see the changing leaves.
This place is a tree lover’s dream, with all sorts of beauties like maples, oaks, and birches. When fall hits, they put on a show with fiery reds, warm oranges, and sunny yellows–you won’t wanna miss it!
There’s no rush here. You can mosey around the paved paths, whether on foot or bike! If you’re feeling peckish, you can also set up your own mini Thanksgiving picnic either on the grounds or on one of the picnic tables around the park.
The fall colours (Top X places where you can see fall colours in Toronto) are most vibrant in the early morning light and late afternoon sun, so we suggest visiting during these times.
Dine at Joni
Address: 4 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2E8, Canada
For a fancy celebration, we recommend trying out the Thanksgiving three-course dinner over at Joni. They’re a fine-dining restaurant located in the Park Hyatt hotel known for its elegant atmosphere, premium seasonal menus, and innovative dishes.
Joni also offers a special Thanksgiving brunch buffet that features a variety of classic Thanksgiving dishes, as well as some creative options like Maple Pecan Sticky Buns and Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding.
Their brunch slots fill up quickly, especially on Thanksgiving. Be sure to reserve your seats online in advance.
Explore Lights and Pumpkin Shows
Address: Scarborough Town Centre, 500 Progress Ave., Toronto, ON M1P 2X1
Halloween Nights of Lights and Pumpkinville is a two-part event that takes place at the Toronto Downsview Park in October.
Halloween Nights of Lights is a walk-through experience featuring millions of LED lights synchronised to your favourite Halloween beats. The trail features a variety of spooky displays, including Jack-o’-lanterns–which feature over 25,000 real carved pumpkins.
At the end of the Halloween Nights of Lights trail, you’ll reach Pumpkinville. Here, you’ll find colossal pumpkin sculptures, a patch where pumpkins reign supreme, and a variety of rides and games.
Little ones can have fun at Pumpkinville’s Trick or Treat Lane. This eerie “neighbourhood” is filled with spooky characters that give out free candies!
Indulge at Old Mill’s Buffet
Address: 21 Old Mill Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8X 1G5, Canada
Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to indulge at the Old Mill Restaurant. While their offerings may vary from year to year, you can typically expect a traditional Thanksgiving spread that includes roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and all the classic fixings.
The Old Mill boasts not one, but several dining rooms, each with its own unique character. Whether you’re sharing an intimate moment or having a family get-together, there’s a space that suits your vibe.
The fact that it’s housed in a historic building dating back to the 1800s also adds to its charm and character, making it a perfect Thanksgiving destination if you’re looking for a change of scenery.
If you’re craving Old Mill’s delicious fare but want to enjoy the food in the comfort of your own home, they also offer Thanksgiving Take Out sets to choose from.
Attend the Halloween Haunt
Address: Vaughan, ON L6A 1S6, Canada
Canada’s Wonderland is a popular amusement park located in Vaughan, just outside Toronto. It’s one of the largest amusement parks in North America and is known for its world-class rides and attractions.
The Halloween Haunt is one of the most popular events in Canada’s Wonderland during this season. Yep–some folks seek a good scare even on Thanksgiving, who’s judging?
The park is transformed into a spooky wonderland with haunted mazes, scare zones, and themed attractions. You’ll also get to enjoy special Halloween shows and live entertainment!
To make sure everyone can join in the fun, Canada’s Wonderland also often has a kid-friendly daytime version of Halloween Haunt for children and families called “Camp Spooky”. Visit their events page to know more.
Drive to Woodbridge’s annual Fall Fair
Address: Woodbridge Fairgrounds, 100 Porter Avenue, Woodbridge, ON L4L 2A2
The Woodbridge Fair is an annual shindig that happens right in the heart of Woodbridge– a stone’s throw from the bustling streets of TO, all while we’re stuffed with turkey and giving thanks over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The fair has its roots in agriculture, and it often showcases various agricultural and livestock displays. You can expect to see farm animals, such as cows, horses, sheep, and poultry, along with competitions and exhibits related to farming and horticulture.
Visitors can witness or participate in pie-eating contests, pumpkin-carving competitions, and more! There are also a lot of food stalls and vendors with every fair treat and beverage that you could ever dream of.
If you’re attending with family, opt for the Family Day Pass worth $30 to save a few bucks. The pass admits two adults and three children with ages 6-14.
Grab TOCA’s Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet
Address: 181 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON Canada M5V 3G7
TOCA is a high-end fine-dining Italian restaurant located in the prestigious Ritz-Carlton hotel. Every Thanksgiving, they host a Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet that you have to try even once in your life.
Before indulging yourself in their classic Thanksgiving dishes, we recommend you savour their pumpkin bisque with orange essence served with savoury rosemary croutons.
Seats at Toca’s fill up immediately during Thanksgiving. If you missed making a reservation, go for their Turkey-To-Go package, which you can serve at home.
Give back to the community
Address: 191 New Toronto St, Etobicoke, ON M8V 2E7, Canada
If you’re planning to translate your gratitude into actions this Thanksgiving, The Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto hosts a Thanksgiving Public Food Sort event annually. You can join volunteers to sort and pack food for banks and meal programs across the city.
This one-day event is organised to address food insecurity and hunger in Toronto. It’s a way for the community to come together and make a positive impact by providing food assistance to individuals and families in need, especially during Thanksgiving weekend.
If you plan to make this a regular thing and give back even when it’s not Thanksgiving, you can register to be one of their “Community Champions” and organise a food drive or fundraiser in your own neighbourhood.