(By: Isabelle Kirkwood)
I’ll be spending my second Thanksgiving away from home this year, and I know I’m not alone. But fear not, Thanksgiving solo-ers! There is a host of activities to do all over the city throughout the weekend you can take part in with a significant other, a group of friends or even on your own.
How can I not mention the hottest event of the fall? 6 FEST is hosted by the Ryerson Students’ Union in the heart of Toronto. The highly-anticipated two-day festival is closely approaching, and boasts headliners such as Diplo and Big Sean, and let’s not forget the fact that the 6God, Drizzy, the Champagne Papi himself Drake performed at the last two events. This festival is a must for all Ryerson students.
Photo courtesy: @hitmann07
I always have to shout out my favourite local dive whether it’s for a fun night out, brunch or maybe the odd overnight stint at this artsy hotel on Queen West. On Sunday, October 9, The Drake is hosting their “Get Stuffed” Thanksgiving Dinner with a $35 fixed price menu, and if your Sunday is taken, fret not; they will also be having a “Turkey Hiatus” on Monday 10th.
Photo courtesy: @TheDrakeHotel
Veggies unite! Thanksgiving can be a huge struggle for vegans like myself. Watching everyone eat turkey and creamy mash with gravy, bacon-y Brussels sprouts – darn my morals! Always getting in the way of a good time. Alas, for those who cringe at the thought of watching our families feast while we pick at dry spinach – head to Yam Chops Vegetarian Butcher for their delicious Thanksgiving menu. This year, they’re featuring a cranberry chutney, pumpkin brownie pie and mushroom and lentil “meatloaf”. Chances are you’ll probably catch me there this weekend.
Photo courtesy: @marissabronfan
One of Toronto’s most historic sites is hosting a Thanksgiving Harvest Brunch on Sunday, October 9. At $60 per person, the castle is yours to explore after you enjoy seasonal dishes like a turkey roast, pumpkin pie, various charcuterie options, and a wide array of seafood options. If you’re new to the city, it’s also a great sightseeing opportunity in midtown Toronto. Reservations are required.
Photo courtesy: @casalomatoronto
Are you looking to travel back in time this Thanksgiving? Black Creek’s got you covered. Black Creek Pioneer Village is a heritage village and a historical collection of sites and artifacts in North York. This weekend, you can treat yourself to a three-course Thanksgiving feast around $60 per person. Although you’ll likely see a lot of families, it could be a fun and different thing to do with a group of friends.
For the fine diner, America Restaurant is having a $65 three-course Thanksgiving meal prix fixe featuring a turkey feast, pumpkin pie and Osprey Bluffs honey-glazed ham. This is a great option for couples looking to wow their significant other in this gorgeous contemporary dining room in the heart of the financial district.
Nestled in the Rouge River Valley in Markham, Whittamore’s Berry Farm owns Pumpkinland which is open through October to Halloween. It’s a great place for child-like fun. For a $13 general admission, you can pick your own pumpkins, and participate in a host of activities from the Jumbo Pumpkin Jumper and the Pumpkin Cannon Show. It’s a great place to get into the fall festivities this weekend.
While you’re in the Markham area, pay a visit to the Reesor Farm Market that is putting on a Corn Maze and a Pick-a-Pumpkin-Patch this weekend. It’s just one of those things you have to do in the Fall! You can also find a ton of fresh produce from strawberries to sweet corn and of course, pumpkins as well.
If you missed out on 6 FEST, try to snatch some tickets to Drizzy and Future at the Air Canada Centre performing on Saturday Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Browse on Ticketmaster, Facebook and StubHub for remaining tickets.
The famous haunted house opens October 7, and runs between 7 p.m. and midnight. It will be running until Halloween at about $30 per person plus tax, available at the door. The 90% indoor event is at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the heart of Toronto. You can expect the Asylum, the Skull Castle, the Darkness, the Diabolical House of Cards, the Slasher Wax Museum, the Haunted House and the Field of Screams. Illusionist Ryan Brown is also hosting a gory magic show at the event, and you can find great eats and drinks at the Vampire Lounge. This attraction is certainly not for the faint of heart.
If you’re still in the waterfront area, check out the market that brings together bakers, crafters, chefs and artificers. In HTO Park, between Rees and Spadina, which overlooks gorgeous views of the skyline, harbour, sandy shoreline and Lake Ontario. Some featured artisans include Eative, Farmhouser, H Bar, Holy Cannoli and Kunfu Dawg.
The Date Night package is now on sale at $60 that buys you a great number of activities include the “Sharks After Dark” tickets and vouchers to the café and gift stores. It’s another great sightseeing opportunity for non-locals.
From October 10-12, Downsview Park is holding PumpkinFest to get people of all ages to celebrate the season. Ride the Pumpkin Express train through the park or take a crack at the Bull Riding contest. If bull riding isn’t for you, there are many other contests to participate in such as the Pumpkin Carving Contest and a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest.
Whether you live near U of T, Black Creek, the Distillery District, or you want to participate in the general Toronto walk. “Ghosts, graveyards, hangings and haunts.” Listen to bone-chilling ghost stories, including haunted theatres, unsolved mysteries and the terrifying encounters at Mackenzie House. The tour claims you will never look at Toronto the same again. This tour departs from the courtyard in front of the Hockey Hall of Fame (30 Yonge St). Adult admission is $19.75 and student admission is $17.75.
- Celebrate solo
Sure, it may not be the most fun option, but we all know reading week is coming up, and it never hurts to get ahead on studying. It’s probably more likely you’ll be binge-watching Netflix and eating cold pizza, so maybe try out a couple of recipes at home and rejuvenate this weekend!
Just remember that no matter how lonely you might feel on Thanksgiving weekend, remember you are definitely not alone. If your friends are MIA this weekend, try to find people who are also in your boat whether they’re international students or just hail from the West Coast (AKA me). To all: have a great Thanksgiving weekend.