8 queer things to do this winter

8 queer things to do this winter

The dark days of winter bring out the ice queen (or king) in all of us. No matter how optimistic we try to be, sometimes there’s just no pushing those cold, dark clouds away. This is why we’ve put together a list of fun events and activities to warm, or at least thaw, your blizzard-bruised heart.

Go to the disco on ice at the Natrel rink!

Natrel rink | 235 Queens Quay W

Every Saturday until February 16, Harbourfront centre hosts DJ skate nights at the Natrel rink. Bring a date or a bunch of friends to skate on this gorgeous rink right in front of Lake Ontario and (PRO TIP) stop by the Natrel Bistro for a latte on the way - it’s a winter fairytale come trueeeeeeee!

You can rent blades on site and twirl around the rink until 11pm to a pretty impressive lineup of DJs. Most impressive of them all? Us! We’re hosting a night – featuring the Yohomo DJs and eight queens gliding past you in full gowns!

Check out these legendary figure skating looks for inspiration

Heat things up in a bathhouse

Multiple locations

Honestly, just go to a bathhouse. Most of them have wet and dry saunas, large hot tubs, and at the very least, many, many warm bodies. We’re not just talking about the fellas: there’s also Bathhouse and Body Works, the monthly queer night at Oasis Aqualounge. For real though, why not go sit in the sauna one freezing afternoon just for fun.

Check out our bathhouse guide for all your options


Catch some steamy theatre

Buddies in Bad Times | 12 Alexander St

The country’s longest running new and experimental theatre fest, Rhubarb, is back this year with a superbly diverse cast of players, works, and parties. It’s a great chance to support local, queer theatre and keep cozy with a beer and a date inside Buddies in Bad Times. 

Inside the gloriously humid world of Allan Gardens. Photo courtesy of  Trip Savvy .

Inside the gloriously humid world of Allan Gardens. Photo courtesy of Trip Savvy.

Step inside a humid jungle

Allan Gardens | 160 Gerrard St E

Allan Gardens is our favourite place in Toronto in the middle of winter. No joke. It’s free, it’s open daily, and it’s humid, peaceful (maybe not so peaceful mid-day on weekends), and smells gorgeous. There are several climate zones, and special floral and plant-life displays change with the season. If you need a heat boost, warm your soul and visit the turtles and stunning flowers. Put on your favourite album in your headphones and get lost!

Walk around the Winter Stations

The Beaches

Bundle up and check out several large interactive art installations spread out along the boardwalk in the Beaches, from Ashbridges Bay east to Balmy Beach. On display from February 18 until April 1, they’re meant to encourage folks to get outside, be with one another, and question spacing. Or maybe life itself. Or maybe to answer the question: how is Lady Gaga an Oscar-nominated actress?

See some mind blowing Wildlife photography

Royal Ontario Museum | 100 Queens Park

This is one of our ultimate fave things to do in the winter. You may have seen enough dino action at the ROM, but fork over a bit more cash and enter rooms filled with the best wildlife photography from across the globe. The photos are always stunning, sometimes shocking, and no lie: we’ve shed a few tears. 


Catch Kuumba

Harbourfront centre | 235 Queens Quay W

Kuumba: Journey to Black Liberation Symposium happens February 1st and 2nd at the Harbourfront Centre. This year’s focus is “conversation between various Black communities around the world engaging in discussions that are affecting us on a micro as well as macro level.” Don’t miss the free talk with Dominique Jackson from Pose as part of the series!

Hot chocolate tour

Multiple locations

Need a date spot or somewhere to warm your bones with a hot drink? Whether you’re with pals or alone with a book – or let’s be honest, enjoying one-on-one time with your phone – this blogTO list shows you where to get some of the best hot chocolate in the city. Our personal fave is Soma, btw. 

Cover for this story is the PussyHut by Martin Miller + Mo Zheng at the 2018 Winter Stations exhibit, courtesy of the Facebook page.

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