6 Things to Do in Toronto If You’re Taking a Pre-Holiday Booze Break

Many Toronto young professionals are currently opting for a little booze break before the holiday party circuit gets in full swing and the copious glasses of wine and eggnog begin to flow.

But just because you’re staying sober, doesn’t mean you need to retreat into a Netflix-and takeout-filled hibernation den.

There are lots of things to do in the city that doesn’t involve alcohol.


1. Get Temporarily Inked
Inkbox – the company behind the world’s first two-week temporary tattoo – has popped up in Toronto with a gifting suite until November 26. The shop will have over 350 tattoos available for purchase at 48 Charlotte Street. This includes a limited edition Toronto collection. The suite comes complete with hot chocolate, cookies, a gift-wrapping station, and a tattoo chair where guests can have their own designs applied. Plus, Inkbox’s artist-in-residence is available to freehand custom classic tattoos.


2. Get Your Culture Fix
The Toronto arts and culture scene is on fire right now so you may as well take advantage of it. After all, the cost of a museum, gallery or ballet performance is probably less than you’d spend on a typical night out at a bar.

Until January, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) you’ll find rare masterpieces by Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin, and more, breaking new art historical ground in the process by exploring the mystical experience of nature. Over at the stunning Four Seasons Centre, the National Ballet returns with “The Nutcracker” – the type of performance even the ballet newbies can enjoy – on December 10.

Image: Urban Craze

Image: Urban Craze

3. Tap into your Inner Picasso
Get creative at Paint Lounge as you and your date or group of friends create your best work of art on side-by-side canvases and sip smoothies or caffeinated beverages (head’s up, there’s no liquor license even if you wanted a drink). As an added bonus, your canvas will serve as a memento of the occasion. If it’s good enough, you may just want to hang it on the wall.

Image: Macleans

Image: Macleans

4. Hit the St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market has a way of turning grocery shopping into an experience in itself. Just because it doesn’t include wine, doesn’t mean you can’t create a great meal. Aside from the seemingly limitless local and organic options, one of the best parts about a trip to the market involves the conversations you strike up with the merchants, who always help with a tip or two. If you need more inspiration to hit the market, check out these 8 reasons to do so.


5. Lace Up Your Skates
Few things unleash your inner child as much as a little holiday season skating session. It also makes a great sober date night. Really, is there anything more romantic than an ice skating date, even if one of you ends up falling flat on your face? That’s why you should hit one of the city’s skating rinks like Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink. A far cry from your local community centre rink, this is one of the city’s most scenic. The best part? The skating is free (if you bring your own skates).


6. Eat Your Way through The Christmas Market
While mulled wine and holiday cocktails are always a staple at The Distillery District’s Christmas Market, there’s still a ton of fun to be had that doesn’t involve alcohol. Come hungry and make a stop at all of the mouthwateringly good food stations, shop for holiday gifts, and take comfort in the fact that a dreamy hot chocolate from SOMA is just as good as the boozier offerings.

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