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5 things to do this weekend: Hallelujah time, winter solstice celebration

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Saturday, Dec 20th, 2014

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As our regular CityNews.ca series continues, we look at events happening in Toronto for a variety of ages and interests.

Dec. 19-21, 2014

Handel’s Messiah: Get swept up in the annual Toronto holiday tradition, featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. The pinnacle moment of the concert, the well-known Hallelujah chorus, will make you leap for joy and warm even Scrooge’s heart. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. Friday (8 p.m.), Saturday (8 p.m.), Sunday (3 p.m.). Prices: $38 to $105. tso.ca

Breakfast with Santa: With Christmas less than a week away, Santa and his crew are very busy, but they always have time for their fans. First up, fill your belly with Mrs. Claus’ scrumptious breakfast buffet that includes pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, shortbread cookies, and croissants. Then, enjoy story time with the elves, taffy rolling, decorating sweets with Mrs. Claus, and of course, a visit with Jolly Old St. Nick. Palais Royale, 1601 Lake Shore Blvd. W. Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Children 12 and under: $15; adults: $20. Free parking. palaisroyale.ca

Holiday movie classics: “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” one of George Bailey’s children says in the classic Frank Capra movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Select Cineplex Odeon locations. Saturday, various showtimes.cineplex.com

Home Alone returns to this big screen in karaoke-style holiday quote-a-long, so feel free to yell out some of Kevin McCallister’s (a.k.a. Macaulay Culkin) memorable phrases like, “you guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?” Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W. Friday, 9:30 p.m. $11, and get some goodies with a donation to their food drive in support of the Stop Community Food Centre. hotdocs.ca

Toronto Christmas Market: This is the last weekend for you to check out the Toronto Christmas Market, now in its fifth year. The market has a European flare with its cobbled walkways and a beer garden, but also embraces Canadiana with mouth-watering poutine and homemade fudge. Children can marvel at the life-sized gingerbread house, sing along with Santa’s elves, say hello to Santa, and catch performances next to the twinkling tree. Adults can sample some mulled wine or hot rum while warming up next to the fire. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. Friday (noon to 9 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Free admission. torontochristmasmarket.com

Kensington Market Winter Solstice: Usher in the winter solstice — the longest night of the year — with light as the season officially arrives at 6:03 p.m. ET on Sunday. Stroll through Kensington Market with handmade illuminated lanterns as you encounter giant puppets, watch shadow play theatrics, dance to eclectic music, and take in the dramatic fire finale in Alexandra Park at Bathurst and Dundas streets. The 25th annual event is hosting by the non-profit community group Red Pepper Spectacle Arts. Kensington Market, starts at Oxford and August streets. Sunday, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Free admission.redpepperspectacle.wordpress.com

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca,or submit it online at CityNews.ca or 680News.com, or via our iPhone & iPad apps.

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