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Your holiday guide to the Gardiner Museum

Golden chocolate service, featuring cups, saucers, and pouring vessels, inside a leather case
1 year ago

We’re bringing the spirit of the holidays to the Gardiner! From a Museum tour inspired by the unique gifts in our collection to family-friendly crafting, a visit to the Gardiner is sure to inspire some holiday cheer. Bring a friend (or two!) and take part in these festive activities on your next visit:

Add your touch to a holiday-inspired community installation

What are your hopes and dreams for the holiday season and the year ahead? Take part in a new festive tradition called Wish in Clay and connect with family and friends through hands-on art making. Shape your wish at the clay table in our lobby, then place it on the shelf for your fellow visitors to enjoy. Visit us throughout the holiday season to see the installation grow!

Make a gift for someone special in a Drop In Class

Two people holding clay bowls made on the pottery wheel

Warm up in our studios while making a gift for a loved one. Our weekly Drop In Clay Classes are the perfect opportunity to craft something from the heart for that special person on your holiday list. You can choose wheel throwing or hand building, and an experienced artist instructor is always on hand to help.

Take a gift-themed tour of the galleries

Golden chocolate service, featuring cups, saucers, and pouring vessels, inside a leather case

Discover objects in the Gardiner’s collection inspired by the theme of gift giving. Pick up a holiday tour card from the Front Desk and take a self-guided stroll through the galleries. From a Maya vessel depicting an offering of cacao to a tea and chocolate service gifted to a friend, we invite you to explore the Museum in search of these fascinating objects whose histories evoke the spirit of the season. You may even leave with some holiday gift ideas!

Find holiday food inspiration in Savour

A recreation of an 18th century dinner featuring roast beef, bread, serving plates, and a wine decanter. A painting of a dining scene is in the background

What’s your favourite holiday dish? From pumpkin soup to roast turkey, the exhibition Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment illustrates the lasting influence of 18th-century food and dining trends. Discover a centuries-old recipe for hot chocolate and other surprisingly modern dishes that might just inspire your holiday cooking.

Connect over lunch at CLAY

Pumpkin soup

After you’ve worked up an appetite in the exhibition, get cozy at CLAY Restaurant overlooking Queen’s Park. Try Chef Bianca Azupardo’s special Savour menu or warm up with a hot drink and a freshly baked dessert. Make a reservation ahead of time to secure your table.

Discover unique, hand-crafted gifts at the Gardiner Shop

A yellow glass vase, a round yellow ceramic vase, and two yellow-toned necklaces

Skip the malls and shop local this holiday season. The Gardiner Shop is your destination for Canadian-made, hand-crafted gifts sure to please even the pickiest person on your holiday list. From one-of-a-kind jewellery to cozy artisan-crafted mugs and show-stopping sculptures, the Shop is full of unique gift options to explore. Plus, Gardiner Friends receive 20% off their Shop purchases until the end of the year!

Get the family together for festive art activities

Children making shapes with clay while an instructor looks over their shoulder

Join us throughout December for additional holiday-inspired family activities. Hand build a wintery mug, make a snowflake ornament, or come to our annual holiday Family Day on December 15. We’ll be making felt holiday cards, decorating sugar cookies, and crafting cut-out clay ornaments!

The Gardiner Museum will be open daily throughout December, with the exception of December 25 and 26. We will also be closing at 3 pm on December 24 and 31. Visit us on Wednesday nights for free admission between 4 – 9 pm! Plan your visit.

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The Gardiner is closed temporarily due to COVID-19.Learn more