Things To Do With Kids
Toronto is filled with exciting, educational and character-building activities for kids of all ages.
As an international hub filled with multiculturalism, world-class art, and natural beauty, you might be inclined to think Toronto isn’t a city for kids—think again! Whether your young ones like to explore the outdoors on a boat, learn everything there is to know about shoes, or get their adrenaline pumping on a roller coaster, Toronto’s your city.
1. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
For young and avid learners, check out the likes of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada or the Toronto Zoo. These hands-on experiences are the perfect way to expose your little ones to new and exciting worlds, like what takes place beneath the cool waters of Lake Ontario.
Where to eat nearby: Grab a quick bite at Ripley’s Café, which has lots of family-friendly favourites from hamburgers to chicken fingers and pizza.
2. Black Creek Pioneer Village
At Black Creek Pioneer Village, your kids can imagine life in the 19th century with this living history museum. The village is sprawling and meticulously designed with historic and replicated buildings that’ll spark your kids’ imaginations and have them wondering what a kid like them would’ve been up to back in the 1800s.
3. Toronto museums
Don’t miss out on Toronto’s many art and history museums. Toronto’s art museums are sophisticated and world-renowned, but nearly all of them have exhibits designed specifically for families with kids. You could spend an entire day exploring the exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), or head over to Casa Loma and the Bata Shoe Museum for a more unique museum experience. Each museum has programming specifically designed for kids, but your smart cookies will be intrigued just by the well-designed, impressive exhibits at these iconic Toronto institutions.
Where to eat nearby: Find plant-based treats for the whole family at Fennel Eatery just a short walk from the Royal Ontario Museum, including a pay-by-weight salad bar and comfort food dishes that help you eat your vegetables.
4. Adrenaline rushes at Canada’s Wonderland and the CN Tower
If you’re looking for pure entertainment to treat your kiddos and keep the parents interested too, check out the iconic Canada’s Wonderland, filled with thrilling rides and skill-based carnival games. Keep your adrenaline pumping with a visit to the CN Tower, where you and your family will skyrocket to the top of Toronto’s tallest building. Enjoy dinner among the clouds or treat your kids to the experience of a lifetime with a (safe, harnessed) walk along the outside rim of this impressive tower with EdgeWalk.
Where to eat nearby: Enjoy casual eats and arcade games close by at The Rec Room, which specializes in uniquely Canadian dishes like poutine.
5. Toronto Island
Here in Toronto, you don’t have to pay a lot of money or plan a big excursion to have a wonderful day outside. Take the ferry to Toronto Islands and let your children explore the stunning nature on these safe, quiet beaches of Lake Ontario. With tons of waterfront parks within walking distance of downtown, it’s easy to enjoy a low-budget picnic on the shore. Plus, most of Toronto’s parks feature splash pads, jungle gyms and trails for active kids to get that energy out.
Where to eat nearby: Carousel Cafe inside the Centre Island amusement park is a perennial favourite for families with a fresh blend of kid-friendly treats and menu items the adults can get excited about too.
6. Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre is full of hands-on opportunities to learn, from kinetic sculptures crafted by artist George Rhoads to simulated ecosystems from around the world to the Pipe Dreams art installation by Bruce Shapiro. Young children will love getting their energy out at the Cohon Family Nature escape, while older kids will be fascinated by the human anatomy gallery and the collection of science-themed arcade games, not to mention the Space Hall and planetarium.
Where to eat nearby: Have a side of delicious coffee shop fare at the MakerBean Cafe at the Ontario Science Centre. They pair dishes like pastries, soups and salads with 3D printer workshops and a selection of souvenirs built with lasers and other tech.
7. The Hockey Hall of Fame
Kids of all ages will enjoy the Hockey Hall of Fame, where Canada’s athletic chops are celebrated to full effect. Since 1992, the Hockey Hall of Fame has been housed in an impressive building on Yonge Street just a short walk from the Scotiabank Arena where the Toronto Maple Leafs play each season. Since 1943, the HHOF has been a place to learn about the National Hockey League, the winners of the Stanley Cup and the history of Canada’s signature sport.
Where to eat nearby: Grab a bite at Eggspectation, a breakfast-themed restaurant with treats like French crepes, pancakes, waffles and eggs benedict.
Parents love Toronto because you never have to go far to find a park, attraction, museum, or shop that will excite the kids. Whether you’re an outdoorsy family who wants to spend a day paddleboarding around the lake, an adventurous crew ready for the amusement park, or a spontaneous family ready to explore the city on a whim, this kid-friendly city has you covered.