Find ideas and inspiration for kid-friendly fun and a most memorable Family Day in the city.
Family Day in Ontario is on February 19, 2024, and with so many events in Toronto, it’s prime time to spend the long weekend in the city. With top city attractions, pop-up events, and winter festivals in full swing, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.
Make the most of your time in the city with this full weekend itinerary for the ultimate Family Day long weekend in Toronto.
Day 1 – Aquarium, arcade & après ski!
Kick off your Family Day long weekend with a visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. There are extended hours for the long weekend, so get there when doors open at 9 a.m. to avoid the afternoon crowds.
There’s much to see at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, from the Rainbow Reef to Planet Jellies and the ever-popular Dangerous Lagoon—a moving sidewalk that guides you through an underwater tunnel while sharks and fish swim beside and overhead.
For lunch, walk across the street to The Rec Room. Equal parts arcade and restaurant, this family-friendly entertainment hub will satisfy all your cravings.
The menu features a wide selection of shareables and individual entrée options, plus a fun kid’s menu that lets you pick a three-course meal for just $10. Once you’ve refuelled, let the kids (and your inner child) loose at the various game stations.
Next, make your way east to Toronto’s Distillery Historic District* and enjoy an après ski—without the skiing. The Distillery District’s Trinity Square has been transformed into an outdoor winter lounge with Muskoka chairs and fire pits, free to enjoy on a first-come-first-serve basis.
There’s a food truck and drink stand on-site serving up tasty sips and bites for purchase. The kids will especially love roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. There’s also a DJ spinning tunes on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For dinner, the Distillery District has a number of great options, especially kid-friendly spots like El Catrin and Mill Street Brew Pub. El Catrin serves up traditional Mexican classics in a colourful and vibrant setting while Mill Street Brew Pub features your classic pub dishes alongside almost a dozen in-house brewed beers on tap. Reservations are strongly recommended for both.
*Family Day Weekend Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Day 2 – Family-friendly attractions
Take it easy this morning and make the most of the amenities at the Chelsea Hotel. It’s the ultimate family-friendly hotel to spend your Family Day long weekend in Toronto. It’s centrally located and is the only hotel in downtown Toronto with a 130’ corkscrew water slide!
In addition to the indoor heated family pool, there’s the Kid Centre with arts and crafts, games, play structures and even bunnies in residence. Plus, the Club 33 Teen Zone will keep the tweens and teens happy with old-school arcade games, two LCD flat-screen TVs, and a foosball and pool table.
For food, choose from the Elm Street Bar & Lounge, Market Garden Restaurant for value-focused breakfast and dinner, or the Expresso Coffee & Wine Bar for a quick coffee and sandwich on the go.
The Chelsea Hotel offers flat rates from $159/night from Feb 15–19 and there’s a special kids check-in desk too, where they’ll be treated to a small toy.
Save money while staying at the Chelsea Hotel with their Show Your Key and Save program, which discounts many of Toronto’s attractions, including Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and Little Canada. Speak with the hotel concierge for all the latest information, offerings, and how to book.
After spending time making the most of the Chelsea Hotel’s amenities, head over to the AGO. All weekend long, they’re running free drop-in programs beginning at 11 a.m., including artmaking, storytelling with Yolanda T. Marshall and dance performances and workshops. Those aged 25 and under are free to enter the AGO.
The AGO will also offer a Family Friendly Food Market pop-up in the Atrium Espresso Bar or AGO Bistro. Boxed lunches will be available for purchase along with a selection of family-friendly refreshments.
If you’d prefer to stay indoors for the afternoon, Little Canada is a great option as the next stop for the whole family. Spanning an incredible 45,000 square feet, Little Canada showcases miniature versions of notable landscapes, famous landmarks, and iconic skylines.
Six destinations are currently on display, with more in the works. Visitors can explore the space, meet with the miniature makers, search for Maurice the Moose in each destination, and even step inside the Littlization Station and become part of the destinations themselves.
If the weather is favourable and you want to be outdoors, head to Riverdale Farm in the east end. This 7.5-acre property is a working farm and will give you a glimpse into farm life. The kids will love getting up close to the animals. The Meeting House on the east side of the property hosts year-round programming, plus there are washrooms on-site and free admission.
For a little thrill, walk south to Riverdale Park West and take to the toboggan hills. This side is less steep and less crowded than the popular Riverdale Park East and is much more suited for young kids.
Day 3 – Outdoor adventures & events
Start your final day of the Family Day long weekend with a visit to the beach. Yes, you can enjoy the beach in the winter months too! Woodbine Beach celebrates the season with its annual Winter Stations—reimagining the lifeguard towers that dot along the shore.
This year’s theme is Resonance and will see seven designs from the international and local design and art community. There’s a UFO you can climb into and even an interactive, moveable ‘couch.’
If you have a sweet tooth that needs satisfying, head to Sweet City Fest next. Located in stackt market, North America’s largest shipping container market, Sweet City Fest will host workshops, community events, specialty vendors, food trucks, and so much more. The market itself is very family-friendly (no vehicular traffic and wide spaces to roam) and you’ll be supporting small, local businesses in the process.
Last up, burn off those sweet treats with a skate along The Bentway Skate Trail. This 220m skate trail is located right under the Gardiner Expressway, just steps from stackt market. For Family Day Monday, they have a long list of specialty programming.
They’ll be celebrating the history of skating with the Bata Shoe Museum through an interactive scavenger hunt and a Boots and Blades Workshop, where you’ll get to decorate your own skate boot covers.
A Dairy Chill Après Ski Village will be set up to serve dairy-forward treats, and Armstrong Cheese’s food truck will be on-site to provide free, high-protein cheese snacks. Plus, the Mom Market Toronto will have vendors selling hand-crafted, locally-made artisan goods. The Bentway Skate Trail offers skate rentals and there are washrooms on-site too.