Toronto Weekender: December 26 through 29, 2013

The weekend between Christmas and New Year’s can either be a time of rest and recuperation or a chance to keep the party going (hey, they’re called the holidays for a reason). So we’ve stacked the next four days full of ‘merry’ options that can be enjoyed both sober or on the sauce – and we’re happy to let you decide which is which. But whatever you chose to do, we suggest you take some time to revel in the year that was. Cause for now, it’s so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu to 2013…

It’s Boxing Day for crying out loud. As in, the biggest shopping day our country sees all year. So get it together, shake off your Christmas hangover, and hit the stores. Our definitive guide should help you find every must-have deal you’re looking for. And remember, take no prisoners. Nobody ever got 50% off on something they gave up to an old lady.

If heading into the streets with other humans doesn’t exactly seem safe to you, then why not spend the day with some different wild animals? The Toronto Zoo is offering half price admission all day with proceeds going to support the their Endangered Species Reserve Fund. Go get ‘em tiger.

At night, we’re gonna get you laughing one way or another. The Boxing Day Special at The Garrison features live music, comedy, and DJ Diana in the Cantina and hits the holiday spirit by donating all its proceeds to the Parkdale Food Bank. While at both 4pm and 10pm, Second City will be performing their Holiday Spectacular (Miracles Not Included), which includes a ‘new collection of original sketches, songs, and improvisations that celebrate and satirize all the things that make the holiday season special – from office gift exchanges and awkward family reunions to overworked elves’. We can practically hear your accidental snort from here…

Hit up SWITCH Nightclub tonight for more spinning sensations as DJ Whoo Kid will be live at TURNT UP. Mix and mingle to salacious beats as you sip away the season and revel in the no-work week wonder.

Remember when we made that Sound of Music reference in the intro? Well it wasn’t by mistake, ‘cause this Friday you can hit up the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music. We’re talkin’ full-screen Technicolor and subtitles for every song. This is karaoke taken to the von Trapp extreme.

If you’d rather be comfortable than carry a tune, look no further than The Henhouse on Dundas West. Retrograde is hosting a Sweatpants Hangover Party that dares you to dress down while their DJs spin solid beats. Dancing has never been easier (or comfier).

The Drake’s annual mini music-fest, What’s in the Box, is always a great spot to check out the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Friday night gets the nod because that’s when Toronto’s latest indie darlings, Alvvays, will be stepping up to the mic.

For those of you inclined to meet Saturday in the morning, we suggest heading off to the Evergreen Brick Works farmer’s market to pick up a few choice, and local, selections. The Brick Works itself is a gorgeous place to spend the early hours and the high quality food only adds to the experience.

If you’re more in the mood for a good detox (see: do nothing all day), then why not head to I Love Sauna, Toronto’s first traditional Korean Sauna, to sweat out all your turkey toxins? With seven mineral sauna rooms to choose from, as well as massages and body scrubs, we’re pretty sure this is one of the last best things you can do this year.

Once night falls, it’s all about the party. The Gladstone will be hosting the No Pants End of Year Party. We don’t know what the hell it is but it sounds like it might just end well for everybody involved. And were pretty sure a Burlesque show and dance party will only help to back up that theory.

The Mod Club is hosting mashup kings White Panda for those of you who like to move to the beat of two different drums. If you haven’t checked these guys out yet, you should consider it a 2013 must. And just to prove it, here’s an example of the goodness that comes about when they throw Kanye and M83 into the same song.

Let’s face it, you’ve always wanted to be the prettiest cupcake in the room. Well, thanks to Le Dolci, you can now at least learn how to decorate your muffins to an envying degree. Hit up this class and pick up the ins and outs of fondant and buttercream in just 120 minutes (and possibly 1200 calories). 

This is the last day to hit up Vendor Queens, the weekend artist & collector market on Queen W that’s chock full of super-cool creations by some of the city’s elite creative minds. This is one of the funist (it’s a word, dammit!) ways to buy local in the city, which is why we suggest you hit it up while the hittin’s still good. 

What better way to end the weekend than with The Wooden Sky’s Fourth Annual Holiday Revue? Over the past three years, these guys have managed to raise over six grand for the food bank by putting on one hell of a Sunday show. It’s almost sold out already so we suggest you make your move now. 

Top photo courtesy Switch

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