things to do in toronto thanksgiving weekend

15 things to do in Toronto this Thanksgiving weekend 2020

Things to do in Toronto on Thanksgiving weekend 2020 will be entirely different than years past. Health officials are urging people to tone down the indoor festivities, scale back social gathering numbers, and — for the love of God — skip the giant family turkey dinner.

What’s left to do in these not-so-celebratory times? Well, drive-thrus, virtual events, and social distancing in the great outdoors are certainly all things to be thankful for this year. It goes without saying: use your judgement and gobble gobble safely. 

Take a scenic nature walk 

Scattered between the dense urban landscape of Toronto are green areas of immense natural beauty, you just have to know where to go. Coops are for turkeys, not humans, so work those gams at some of Toronto’s best walking trails, spacious expanses like Edwards Gardens or ravines like Glen Stewart or Coxwell.

Eat in a pumpkin patch

A pop-up pumpkin patch might be the most pandemic-friendly, fall apropos thing to do right now. Fall activities like pumpkin decorating, pumpkin bowling, and food served in pumpkins, eaten by the fire are all on the menu at the Fall n' Leaves TO pop-up.

The event runs until the end of the month at the southwest corner of Bathurst and Richmond. Reservations are recommended. Hand sanitizer, contact tracing QR codes and social distancing are in effect.

Check out some massive illuminated art outside

The city’s BigArtTO art program continues until Dec. 25, meaning you have plenty of time to check out the giant-sized installations popping up around the city.

Thanksgiving Weekend’s artwork will include Online//Offline 1 by Enna Kim at Christie Pits Park, and Sunken by Nikole Hidalgo at the Driftwood Community Recreation Centre. Shows run from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Do a drive-thru lights festival

You may be jumping the gun with the jack-o'-lantern festivities, but Toronto's Halloween Night of Lights is a great way to have fun with those in your household without leaving the car.

This 2.2 kilometre drive-thru experience includes more than 700,000 LED lights. Buy your ticket online, head up to Improve Canada, turn up the radio channel and roll down the windows. 

Host a virtual turkey mukbang with friends

You basted and cooked a whole turkey, and you have no one to share it with. What do you do? Get on a Zoom hang with your pals and eat the whole bird to your face, that’s what. Just kidding — unless you want to do it, mukbang-style, in which case: bon appetit friend. 

Grab some eats to-go from Asialicious 2020 

The prix-fixe food festival Asialicious, which was born from a need to support Asian-owned businesses during the pandemic, ends Oct. 11.

That means this Sunday is your last chance to take advantage of the many $10, $20, and $30 promos they have going at restaurants across the city. 

Tune in to Toronto’s queerest film fest

Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a movie theatre is the last thing you want to do right now, but we’re pretty much living off of Netflix and Amazon Prime these days, so why not support some local film festivals? It’s the thirtieth year of Toronto’s LGBT film fest, Inside Out, and they’re screening films until Oct. 11.

Watch an outdoor dance performance at High Park

The High Park amphitheatre has been seeing more action than ever as of late, and this weekend will be no exception. The Dora Award-winning Red Sky Performance will be bringing its contemporary Indigenous show to this spacious park's stage.

The event is free, and runs from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11. Show times vary. 

Be serenaded by a choir at home 

You can revel in the sweet sounds of the Grammy-nominated Toronto Mendelssohn Choir this Saturday at 8 p.m.

The choir is hosting a virtual event called Kannamma, A Concert of Thanksgiving, which will include an array of performances, from European classical to South Indian Carnatic Museum. Tune in for free and donate to support the TMC.

Hit up an outdoor street food market

We didn’t get to do any fun summer food festivals this year, but Street Eats Market is launching their brand new, permanent outdoor market at Hillcrest Mall this Saturday, meaning food trucks galore.

Head to Richmond Hill for eats from El Bosco or The Cuban Thing. Street Eats is doing socially-distanced walk-ups and curbside pick-ups. 

See DVSN in a drive-in concert

The OVO-signed R&B duo DVSN is playing at the CityView drive-thru venue on Saturday, and again on Sunday for their encore. Gates open at 7 p.m., and shows start at 9 p.m. Tickets are purchased per vehicle, and priced based on the number of people in each car.

Attend the TD Festival of South Asia online 

Celebrate all the things that South Asian cultures have to offer, but do it from the safety of your home.

The annual TD Festival of South Asia is holding its celebrations digitally by highlighting local businesses plus dance and musical performances via Youtube livestreams, which start nightly at 6 p.m. The festival runs until Oct. 11. 

Hit up a virtual escape room

One of the most popular virtual escape rooms in North America comes from Daydream Adventure, located on the Danforth. They’re running a dreamy online adventure called The Witch’s Forest, where all you need is fast WiFi, two devices, a paper and a pen to play. It’s $95 for four players, and $10 per extra player. 

See Toronto's new giant head

It might hurt your brain but seeing this new outdoor sculpture needs to be on your fall to-do list. Right downtown in the Financial District, this just installed optical illusion was designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and is already a social media sensation.

Go for a ride on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront

Riding a bike this year has never been more popular and the Leslie Street Spit and Beaches area are two spots that are ideal destinations this time of year. The Spit has a seemingly endless path with views of Toronto's skyline while areas just further east like Ashbriges Bay come with secluded beaches and picnic areas that make for perfect pit stops.

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