7 Fun Toronto Drive-Thru Experiences this Holiday Season

Entertainment-on-wheels is the new normal and we’re here for it.

License up to date? Check. Backseat clean (or cleanish)? Check. Favourite snacks on hand? Check. Buckle up for Toronto’s eclectic drive-thru scene. Beyond traditional drive-in cinemas, local attractions and venues have innovatively adapted to our current climate and gifted us with never-before-seen experiences. Cruise through Van Gogh’s iconic artwork, a holiday-themed valley of lights or keep it simple with a drive-in movie.

1. Drive through Starry Night at Immersive Van Gogh. (1 YONGE ST.)

At this internationally-acclaimed exhibit, Van Gogh’s post-impressionist masterpieces project from ceiling to floor, while also animated by mesmerizing movement. From the comfort of your car, entrench yourself in stunning projections that emphasize the artist’s technique and use of colour. Each vehicle timed-ticket purchase includes free walk-through tickets. Plan your visit ahead of time as space is limited.

2. Plan a movie night at Ontario Place. (15 ONTARIO DR.)

Ontario Place’s Drive-In Theatre is perfect for couples, families, friends and solo cinephiles who want to watch a movie somewhere other than their sofa. Sit back and enjoy a repertoire of films from comedy to horror, including new releases and classic favourites. Purchase your tickets online or on location, with food available on-premises via the Vista Eatery. Parking spots are on a first-come, first-serve basis so arrive a little earlier to snag your preferred view.

3. Explore a festive Toronto Zoo. (2000 MEADOWVALE RD.)

The Toronto Zoo reopened as a magical Holiday Drive-Thru. Look forward to a drive-by meet and greet with Santa, a 35-ft tall Christmas tree, reindeer and even Santa’s toy-making elves. The Zoo’s Christmas village also has a mailbox where kids can drop off letters to the jolly man himself. The experience lasts around 15 to 20 minutes and accepts donations of non-perishable food items, should you wish to donate. Tickets are on sale, with proceeds going toward the zoo’s animal care and operating costs. 

4. Travel through 1,000,000 festive LED lights. (80 INTERCHANGE WAY)

Start the car because Holiday Nights of Lights is brightening up the holiday season. This immersive, drive-thru experience features 1,000,000 LED lights in sync with Christmas music. On until the first week of January, surprise your kiddos, significant other or roommates—all ages are welcome—with this dazzling light display. Time slots are limited, so buy your tickets online asap! 

5. Embark on a multi-level holiday adventure. (6145 VISCOUNT RD.)

Toronto Pearson International Airport recently transformed into a winter wonderland—that you can now experience! Polar is Canada’s first multi-level drive-thru event with six levels of themed holiday decor. Venture through numerous LED light-filled tunnels and even snap a few pictures of Santa. He’ll be waiting for his photo opp, at a safe distance. The event is on until January 3rd and you can purchase your tickets online.

6. Journey to the North Pole. (25 THE WEST MALL)

For this magical holiday experience, the northeast parking lot of Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens is transforming into the North Pole. Explore seven holiday-themed areas, as you follow an elf on a mission to power Santa’s sleigh. The event lasts 35 minutes and includes narration and interactive activities. Finally, you’ll also get to meet Santa for a holiday photo opp. And did we mention it’s free? Simply reserve your spot online. Spots fill up quickly so hurry!

7. Take a ride through the magical Bluffs. (1 BRIMLEY RD. S.)

The more holiday drive-thru events, the merrier! This time around, enjoy a 1-km stretch of Christmas lights and decorations at the base of the Scarborough Bluffs. Bluffs Winter Wonderland takes you past iridescent snowmen and reindeer before reaching Santa’s house, where you can safely greet him at a distance. There’s even a special mailbox where kids can drop off their letters to the North Pole. Purchase your tickets online. Additional donations for this event go toward Feed Scarborough’s food banks.

8. Cruise Toronto’s neighbourhoods toward BigArtTO.

Note: BigArtTO installations have been put on hold until further notice, following the province’s guidance.

What’s BigArtTO you ask? This new City of Toronto program (part of ShowLoveTO) takes place at different locations throughout the city, wherein local artists project their work onto buildings and landmarks—for a limited time. Consider yourself lucky if you own a car because you can hop in and easily head to any BigArtTO projection! Check out the full schedule online, so you’ll know where to drive to next.

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.

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