Winterfest 2015It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! And while Santa and his elves are gearing up for their busiest night of the year, they are looking forward to returning to Santa’s favorite ship for a relaxing cruise along Toronto’s waterfront with all the boys and girls.

Rather than taking the kids to the nearest mall to have their photo taken with Santa, why not make seeing Santa a unique excursion that the whole family can enjoy?

One of the nicest places to enjoy a family outing is on board the Northern Spirit during The Waterfront BIA’s annual Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront presented by the Ports Toronto this holiday season from Friday December 18 to Sunday December 20.

“Celebrate the magic of the holiday at Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront including photos with Santa, crafts, caroling, face painting and dog shows,” states Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Waterfront BIA. “In addition, this year’s Santa Cruise features programming for both children and adults alike, with the return of Mariposa Cruises’ Santa Brunch Cruises for families and the debut of their Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise for adults only.”

There are plenty of ways for families to celebrate the magic of the holidays at Winterfest. This year you can watch the comedy stunt dog shows by the Ultimutts Stunt Dogs, meet a real dog sledding team, learn more about the Arctic and create your own piece of art at the Museum of Inuit Art. People of all ages can also take part in a FREE pastry-eating contest, hosted by the BeaverTails mascot Beav, and enjoy holiday carols by a cappella group The Current throughout Winterfest.


There are three unique Santa Experiences at Winterfest this season!

1. The 10th Annual Santa Cruise

Santa Brunch CruiseMariposa Cruises’ annual Santa Cruise is becoming quite the tradition down on Toronto’s waterfront. It’s a great way for families to join Santa and his elves while enjoying the majestic winter landscape of the Toronto harbour during the two hour brunch cruise.

Bring your little ones to meet Santa aboard the Northern Spirit and enjoy a delicious brunch including chef’s famous cinnamon French toast, a carving of roast turkey with house stuffing, fresh salads, eggs, bacon and much more.

Children are encouraged to bring their wish lists to share with Santa while they have their picture taken with him by The Waterfront BIA’s professional photographer.

Ms. Claus & Santa’s merry elves will be on hand to entertain families, hand out holiday treats and help make sure each family has their photo taken with Santa. There’s no shortage of activities to entertain the kids including arts and crafts and face painting on board too.

Reservations must be made in advance. Adults are $48.95 + HST & HSC per person and children age 4-12 are $24.95 + HST & HSC per child. Children under 4 are FREE!


Dates: Saturday December 19 | Sunday December 20

Boarding: 11:30am | 12pm-2pm

Remember to download your FREE photo with Santa on Monday, December 21, after 5 pm by visiting

2: Pet Photos with Santa at Purina PawsWay

circle_pic03 santa dogSanta isn’t just for kids anymore! Now every member of the family can take part in Winterfest, including your furry ones. Find out if your cat or dog has been naughty or nice as Santa pays a memorable visit to Purina PawsWay. Capture that special moment between Santa and your pet and help support a guide dog.

Photos cost $12 + HST and include one print. A $2 donation will be given to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides for every photo purchased.

DATE: Saturday December 19 | Sunday December 20

TIME: 11am – 2pm | 3pm – 5pm

LOCATION: Purina PawsWay (245 Queens Quay West)

Purina PawsWay is open daily from 11am-6pm, general admission is FREE.


Ugly Sweater Christmas Cocktail CruiseWinterfest is not just for families anymore. New this year, adults can get in the holiday spirit aboard Mariposa Cruises’ Friday night Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise!

Get decked out in your ugliest Christmas sweater or dress up as Santa and celebrate National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, for a festive evening on the Northern Spirit, where you can enjoy an adult only Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise on Friday December 18. Choose between Mariposa Cruises’ early evening cruise, boarding at 6:00pm and cruising from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, or their late evening cruise, boarding at 9:00pm and cruising from 9:30pm to 11:30pm.

“Everyone has at least one Christmas sweater that is truly hideous,” adds Jolly. “This is your chance to take it out of the closet and show it off.”

Pop into the bad Santa photo booth and dress up your ugly sweater or Santa costume with some festive holiday props for your complimentary souvenir picture.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise includes fun food stations, hors d’oeuvres, an Ugly Christmas Sweater and Santa Costume Contest, a Bad Santa photo booth, along with their DJ playing Top 40 tunes and horrendous holiday classics to set the mood.

Reservations must be made in advance. This is an adults only cruise. Tickets are $38.95 + HST & HSC per person.

Date: Friday December 18

Boarding: 6:00pm | 6:30pm-8:30pm

Boarding: 9:00am | 9:30pm-11:30pm

Must be 19+ to attend

Join in the holiday spirit at Winterfest from Friday December 18 to Sunday December 20. For more details on the other Wintefest events visit

The Santa Brunch Cruise & the Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise are just some of the many special events that Mariposa Cruises runs throughout the season. Check out our other upcoming Special Events.