One-Tank Trip for Nov. 28/15
(c) By Jim Fox
A holiday season tradition now is making fun of “ugly” Christmas sweaters.
Start knitting or searching for that classic pullover or cardigan for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise Dec. 18 on Toronto’s Waterfront.
This adults-only event marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, so “get decked out in your ugliest,” says publicist Peter Ashworth.
|Getting ready for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise on Toronto’s Waterfront.|
This will be a “festive evening” on Mariposa Cruises’ Northern Spirit that includes a Santa costume contest, with the two-hour sailings boarding at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
“Everyone has at least one Christmas sweater that is truly hideous,” said Carol Jolly, executive director of the Waterfront BIA.
Cruisers can pop into the “bad Santa” photo booth and dress up their ugly sweater with festive holiday props for a complimentary souvenir picture, she said.
The cruise includes fun food stations, hors d’oeuvres and a DJ playing Top 40 tunes and “horrendous holiday classics” to set the mood.
A family event is joining Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves for a two-hour brunch cruise aboard the Northern Spirit on Dec. 19 and 20, boarding at 11:30 a.m.
Along with a lavish brunch menu, the elves will be entertaining, handing out holiday treats and making sure everyone has a photo keepsake taken with Santa.
|Taking part in a BeaverTail pastry-eating contest at Winterfest|
There will be kid-friendly activities including crafts, carolling, face painting and plenty of reindeer games.
Advance tickets are needed for the sweater cruise, costing $39.95 plus tax. The Santa cruise is $48.95, adults; $44.06, seniors; $24.95, ages four to12; no charge to age four. mariposacruises.com; (416) 203-0178.
Other activities during Winterfest, Dec. 18 to 20, include people and pet photos with Santa, the Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show at Purina PawsWay, crafts, carolling, face painting, visits to the Museum of Inuit Art and a pastry-eating contest hosted by BeaverTails mascot Beav.
|Pets can get their photos taken with Santa at Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront.|
The waterfront is also holding its Spectacle of Lights from today through Jan. 1 that kicks things off with a Shop the Neighbourhood event. waterfrontbia.com; (416) 596-9821
Wunderbar in Kitchener
The Christkindl Market recreates a Christmas tradition dating back 700 years when towns and
cities across Germany came alive with the sights and sounds of the season.
In Kitchener, the oldest and largest German community in Canada, the market takes place at city hall from Dec. 3 to 6.
This free event brings back “the sights, sounds and smells” of an authentic German Christmas market, said president Astrid Braun.
|Organ grinder Klaus and farmhand Knecht Ruprecht entertain at the Christkindl Market. (Photo: Pirak.com)|
Along with rustic wooden booths and stalls full of traditional handmade Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, wooden figurines and food are about 30 bands, choirs and dance groups performing.
Folkloric characters include Christkindl (Christ Child), her angels, farmhand Knecht Ruprecht, and Klaus the Organ Grinder.
There’s a candlelight procession “led by Mary, Joseph and their stalwart donkey,” accompanied by the Grand Philharmonic Choir and carollers, and there’s a popular model railway display. christkindl.ca; (519) 741-2200
Port Stanley Terminal Rail’s “Santa Treats” train chugs through the Elgin County’s countryside the first three weekends in December.
Railway president Dan Vernackt said there will be live entertainment on some trains and included are treats of hot chocolate, apple cider and mince tarts.
|Santa gets ready to ride the Port Stanley Terminal Rail.|
“Watch the children’s anticipation grow as we near our destination to meet Santa,” he added.
Train times are Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Fares are $15, adults; $9, children, ages two to 14, tax included. pstr.on.ca; 1-877-244-4478
Flight of White: Experience a Snowfall of Butterflies at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory from Dec. 5 to Jan. 30.
“This truly unique holiday exhibit transforms the tropical butterfly conservatory into a magical oasis featuring thousands of additional rice paper butterflies flying freely,” said Doug Wilson, board chair.
|A rice paper butterfly rests on a leaf at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.|
The butterfly is a large relative of the monarch and floats through the air moving from flower to flower.
The experience also includes lush white poinsettia flowers, thousands of sparking white lights and soft strains of classical music playing in the background.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the conservatory on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for photos and cookie decorating. Reservations are required. cambridgebutterfly.com; (519) 653-1234
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca