Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

Hudson's Bay Christmas windows (Toronto)

Family Tested

A new Christmas tradition

New windows for Christmas 2017!

I still remember how enthralled I was the first time I saw the wonderful Christmas windows of The Bay department store at Yonge and Queen Street. There were so many little details to take in. Santa's elves made toys while he consulted his long list of "good" kids (while a postman was sorting out all the letters). Then, it was villagers signing carols outdoors by the Victorian shops, followed by a family getting cosy on Christmas night (with a family of mice reenacting the same scene under the floor). In the last window, Santa was having a well-deserved feast with his "gang" after a job well done.

For 2016, they've gone a different direction with the "Enchanted Forest" but you can still expect animated tableaux with music. And you know what? I was not disappointed at all! There's the modern addition of animations in the background of each scene, with a focus on animals. In the first window, a couple of racoons are dancing over the den of a family of curled up foxes in hibernation (watch the clip). The second one, my personal favourite, features squirrels in a tree, looking down at a pond filled with skating rabbits (see it here). In the third, mice are frolicking in the snow around a huge bear (how cute is that!). The next one is inhabited by a mother owl lovingly protecting her babies with her white wings. Finally, there's a flock of geese with red bows, reminding us of Michael Snow's famous geese at the Eaton Centre across the street (where we can once again admire the giant Christmas deer).

Don't miss Saks Fifth Avenue's first Christmas windows along Yonge (the store opened in 2016), where glamorously kitsch dolls are reflected in angled mirrors amidst whimsical garlands. Quite spectacular!

Skating rabbits
Loving white owl with her babies
Frolicking mice
Hibernating foxes

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After years of doing all kinds of outings with my children, I can assure you the secret to a perfect outing lies in the details, not the destination.


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