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Toronto Hit List: ROM for the Holidays, Aurora Winter Festival, Good Enough Live Karaoke, Dirty Talk & More!

December 25th-31st WinterFest @ Canada’s Wonderland, 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive (Vaughan). Canada’s Wonderland will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland full of enchantment and holiday cheer! Become immersed in the season’s spirit with spectacular holiday lights and décor, world-class live entertainment, savory treats, and fanciful experiences.

December 25th-January 5th Toronto Aurora Winter Festival @ Ontario Place (West Island), 955 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Experience Canada’s largest winter festival this holiday season. Ontario Place will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland with a beautiful skating rink, tube park, massive light displays, a Christmas Market, amusement rides, food gardens, magical characters, and plenty of other exciting activities. 

December 25th-January 5th A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle @ Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. Celebrate the holiday season at Casa Loma! Guests will be surrounded by holiday magic throughout the castle, which will be resplendent with holiday décor, including a 40-foot tall tree and eight other signature trees by talented Canadian designers. Enjoy shows by famed illusionist entertainer Professor Wick, ice skating performers Glisse on Ice, a dazzling lighting display, outdoor holiday Christmas market, performances by the Casa Loma Holiday Orchestra, and more. 

December 26th-30th What’s In The Box @ The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W. What’s In The Box is where the plethora of Canadian talent – from DJs, to singer-songwriters, to cultural producers – get to showcase their music, their ideas, and their visions for all of us to relish over.  It’s where the flourishing club culture the Drake has witnessed within its four walls continues to push the boundaries and gain momentum across the city. Full lineup here.

December 26th-January 5th ROM for the Holidays @ Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park. Celebrate this festive season at ROM for the Holidays! Discover over 30,000 species that feed on blood, explore an extraordinary collection of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters, and catch a glimpse into the world’s most stunning wildlife photography. Open 10 am to 5 pm.

WEDNESDAY

10 am A Christmas Story @ Paradise Cinema, 1006 Bloor St. W. Head to Paradise for a screening of the beloved holiday classic A Christmas Story, which promises a multitude of festive feels. $14 advance tickets available online.

3:30 pm Gremlins @ Paradise Cinema, 1006 Bloor St. W. The naughty, not nice Gremlins cause chaos in quaint Kingston Falls in Joe Dante’s 1980s horror-comedy. $14 advance tickets available online.

9 pm Love Shack @ Swan Dive, 1631 Dundas St. W. DJ DangerCat plays all the best rock ‘n; roll, indie, surf, garage, and new wave hits (no Christmas tunes) all night long. 

THURSDAY

9 pm Pressure Drop Boxing Night Fundraiser @ The Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. For the 12 consecutive year, Pressure Drop is throwing down this Boxing Night with the ruffest tuffest roots, rocksteady, rub a dub, dubwize, ska, dancehall, and much more. Strictly vinyl selections from regulars Chuck Boom and Gov’nor General alongside Chocolate, Higher Heights Hi-Fi, and special guests. $10 donation to the Daily Bread Foodbank at the door.

9 pm Boxing Day Karaoke @ The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave. Come sing your heart out in front of the most supportive karaoke crowd going!

9 pm All Vinyl Everything @ The Drake Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W. All Vinyl Everything returns with special guest DJ Starting From Scratch alongside residents DJ Agile, Mista Jiggz, and D Mensa, who will be throwing down a mix of funk, soul, RnB, hip-hop, reggae, classic house, and more strictly on wax. $5 online in advance and at the door before midnight, $10 after. 

FRIDAY

8 pm Gen-X + Zaneoke @ The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. Keep the holiday spirit flowing with Gen-X! They’ll kick off the night playing all your favourite ’90s rock jams, followed by karaoke hosted by their lead singer Zane.

10 pm Jerk @ The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W. Now in its sixth year, Jerk has become a staple of Toronto’s music community. More importantly, Toronto DJ/producer Bambii’s focus on providing space for queer, POCs has made her a voice for less represented communities, a theme that is integral to the production and execution of Jerk. As always, the event will feature her signature, free jerk chicken plates and today’s most relevant club music, seamlessly blending the sounds of the Caribbean diaspora with global electronic movements like Jersey club, ballroom, afrobeat, and UK funky. 4 AM LAST CALL.

10 pm Wild Wild Holiday Party @ Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave. All vinyl 45RPM 1950s-60s holiday rock ‘n’ soul dance party with DJ Derek B. Garage! RnB! Beat! Fuzz! Hipshakers!

10 pm Eighties + Nineties @ Stones Place, 1255 Queen St. W. Party tunes from the ’80s and ’90s all night with DJ Blush. $5.

10 pm DJ Teenage Werewolf @ Swan Dive, 1631 Dundas St. W. Friday night freak out with DJ Teenage Werewolf playing rock ‘n’ roll, soul, psych, and punk.

10 pm Forth: Aquarian, City Dance Corporation, Venus In Foil @ Bambi’s, 1265 Dundas St. W. Forth comes all the way back around to where it all started, a ground-breaking producer holed up for another basement bumping rumble. Aquarian makes raw, arresting and immediate music aimed squarely at the dance floor. He’ll be joined by City Dance Corporation, who dishes out raw off-the-cuff moments with his improvised live techno, and Venus In Foil, who plays high octane techno and de-constructed club aimed to get bodies moving. $10.30-20.60 advance tickets available online.

10 pm SHED @ Farside, 600 Gerrard St. E. House, deep house, techno, and cosmic vibes with DJ Nala Ish.

10 pm Emo Night @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St. Revisit your teen angst! Spinning your favourite emo anthems all night every Friday at Sneaky Dee’s. $5 early bird tickets available online.

10 pm Wax Candy Disco Party @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W. DJ Efsharp and Cyclist serve up platters of the sweetest soulful, refreshing, and uplifting disco in one of the best sounding rooms in the city. $10.

10:30 pm Beam Me Up Disco @ The Baby G, Dundas St. W. The Patchouli Brothers play a disco mix of gospel, funk, soul, boogie, rare groove, house, and jazz sounds surrounded by smiling faces.

SATURDAY

8 pm DJ Skate Nights: Mel Boogie @ The Natrel Rink (Harbourfront Centre), 235 Queens Quay W. Sharpen your skates and skills as Toronto’s number one outdoor winter party returns with another stellar lineup of DJs that will bring the heat to your Saturday nights. This week, join award-winning DJ Mel Boogie for skating and old-school hip hop! She’s known for setting the prime time morning airwaves at CHRY 105.5FM on fire for over six years. Skate and helmet rentals available. Until 11 pm. 

10 pm Good Enough Live Karaoke @ The Gladstone Melody Bar, 1214 Queen St. W. If you’ve ever had a secret desire to sing onstage with a band, Good Enough Live Karaoke will unleash your inner rockstar and make it happen! Pick one of the 400+ songs the band knows and get on stage

10 pm Dirty Talk @ The Embassy, 223 Augusta Ave. Music for dancing with pleasure models. Music to transport you to the far reaches of Orion, to watch the C-beams glitter in the dark. Music for robots, runners, and replicants. Pammm and Diana McNally (Automaticamore) play Italo, cosmic disco, ’80s Euro synthpop, Montreal sound, and weird dad jams.

10 pm Selectress Sunshine @ Swan Dive, 1631 Dundas St. W. Selectress Sunshine plays all the best mod and soul tracks. Good vibes and good times!

10 pm Juicebox @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W. DJs Babs and Jorge spinning the indie, retro, and Britpop you need! You will hear: The Strokes, David Bowie, Pulp, The Stooges, LCD Soundsystem, Bloc Party, The Human League, Joy Division, Holy Ghost, Glass Candy, and lots more! $10.

10 pm DJ Moe Funk @ Farside, 600 Gerrard St. E. Funk, soul, old skool, jazz, and other treats – strictly vinyl.

10 pm Panic: All Request Video Dance Party @ Remix, 1305 Dundas St. W. The ultimate retro party with DJ Lazarus spinning the kind of retro that changed your life. ’80s, ’90s, new wave, post-punk, classic alternatives, synth pioneers, Britpop, shoegaze, madchester, new romantic, classic industrial, ska, and more. Bring your best and coolest requests! $10 before 11 pm, $15 after.

10 pm Saturday Night Jukebox Dance Party @ Stones Place, 1255 Queen St. W. Sweat it out to the sweet sounds of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll and soul music! DJ Blush plays rock, soul, funk, pop, and disco from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.

10 pm Intermission: This Is The End @ The Beaver, 1192 Queen St. W. Join DJs Dare and Joee Fro as they pull together the best hits and queer jams from the decade that brought us Lizzo, queer rights, and Bb Yoda!

10 pm Wedding Party @ The Boat, 152-A Augusta Ave. Everyone is the bride at Wedding Party! Playing the golden hits for any and all to groove to – soul, funk, new wave, and hip-hop.

10 pm Worst Behavior @ Clinton’s, 693 Bloor St. W. Saturdays are for getting loose and being on your Worst Behavior! Bangs & Blush roll out rap and hip-hop from now and then. $10.

10 pm Drakemas: Drake Holiday Dance Party @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St. Get into the holiday spirit at Drakemas! Expect to hear plenty of Drake tracks and your holiday favourites. $5 early bird tickets available online.

11 pm Hey Girl Hey @ The Baby G, 1608 Dundas St. W. Queer dance party featuring DJ Orange Pekoe playing hip-hop and R&B from female and non-binary artists + a 12:30 floorshow starring May Queen Miss Moço and an unmissable performance by Australian rapper/saxophonist Jamarz On Marz. $10.

SUNDAY

1 pm Polar Bear Skate @ The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd. The Bentway’s Polar Bear Skate for a second year! Strip down to your skivvies and hit the Bentway Skate Trail (skate rentals available onsite). What you don’t wear to skate, donate! Project Comfort will provide donation bins on-site to collect gently used or new winter wear for the most vulnerable in our community. More details here.

7 pm Brass Facts Trivia @ The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave. Test your knowledge and win prizes! Hosted by Famous Kirk Hero. Until 10 pm.

10 pm Sinful Sundays Burlesque: Sinners Soiree @ Cherry Cola’s, 200 Bathurst St. Come be entertained at this weekly “temple of tease,” where you’ll find a fresh lineup of burlesque entertainers, drag, and variety acts. Working NYE? Need to blow off some holiday stress steam?

Just can’t get enough of the nightlife? Let Sinful Sundays entertain and indulge you as they say goodbye to 2019 at the Sinners Soiree. Free entry; tipping encouraged.

~ For event submissions, email Caitlyn Holroyd at caitlyn_holroyd@hotmail.com

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