Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is a vibrant metropolis filled with a diverse range of attractions and activities for families. With its world-class museums, sprawling parks, lively festivals, and a bustling waterfront, Toronto offers something for everyone. This guide explores an array of things to do in Toronto with your family and kids.
What to do in Toronto with family and kids 2023: Unique things to do
1. Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
A trip to Toronto would be incomplete without a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, one of North America’s largest museums. The ROM offers an array of exhibits from art, archaeology to natural science. Kids will especially enjoy the dinosaur exhibit and the Bat Cave. The museum also offers hands-on galleries and interactive displays to make learning fun for kids.
2. Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo, one of the largest in the world, is a must-visit for families. Home to over 5,000 animals representing 450 species, kids will love exploring different geographical regions from the African Savannah to the Australian Outback. Don’t miss the Giant Panda Experience and the Tundra Trek featuring polar bears.
3. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Located at the base of the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a fantastic family-friendly attraction. The aquarium is home to over 16,000 aquatic animals and features North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel. The interactive touch pools provide an opportunity for kids to get up close with horseshoe crabs and bamboo sharks.
4. Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre, located in Toronto’s Don Valley, is a top-notch science museum offering a variety of interactive exhibits. Kids can explore the world of science and technology through hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, and planetarium shows. The KidSpark area is perfect for kids eight and under to learn through play.
5. Toronto Islands
Just a short ferry ride from downtown Toronto, the Toronto Islands offer an excellent city escape. With beautiful beaches, picnic areas, bike rentals, and even a small amusement park, Centreville, the Islands are a perfect place for a family outing. Don’t forget to enjoy the stunning views of the Toronto skyline from the islands.
6. High Park
High Park is Toronto’s largest public park, offering a variety of activities for families. Kids will love the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground, the park’s zoo, and exploring the nature trails. Visit during spring to catch the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom.
7. Hockey Hall of Fame
For sports enthusiasts, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a must-visit. Here, families can learn about hockey history, explore interactive exhibits, and even try a simulated hockey game. Kids will love taking a photo with the Stanley Cup.
8. Toronto’s Neighbourhoods
Toronto is known for its diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience. Kensington Market is renowned for its vibrant colors, eclectic shops, and global food scene. The Distillery District, with its cobblestone streets and Victorian-era buildings, offers an array of boutiques, galleries, and eateries. Explore Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, and more for a multicultural urban adventure.
9. Ontario Place
Ontario Place is a waterfront park and entertainment venue offering various attractions. Enjoy a picnic in Trillium Park, rent a paddleboat to explore the lake, or catch a movie at the Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre. In winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with skating, light displays, and bonfires.
10. The CN Tower
Take a trip up the CN Tower, one of the world’s tallest freestanding structures, for a bird’s eye view of the city. The glass floor and outdoor SkyTerrace offer thrilling experiences. For older kids and adventurous families, the EdgeWalk, the world’s highest full-circle, hands-free walk, is a must-do.
11. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
The AGO houses an impressive collection of over 90,000 works of art, making it one of the largest galleries in North America. In addition to its permanent collection, the AGO offers a range of family-friendly programming, including hands-on art-making activities and interactive exhibits.
12. Toronto Railway Museum
Located in Roundhouse Park, the Toronto Railway Museum is a treat for train enthusiasts. The museum offers a peek into Toronto’s railway history through its collection of vintage locomotives and carriages. Don’t miss the miniature railway and the guided tours of the restored Don Station and the 1896 railway roundhouse.
13. Black Creek Pioneer Village
Step back in time at Black Creek Pioneer Village, a recreation of a 19th-century rural village in Ontario. Here, families can learn about life in early Canada through interactive exhibits, heritage buildings, and live demonstrations by costumed interpreters. Activities like horse-drawn wagon rides and farm animal petting make it an engaging experience for kids.
14. The Ontario Place Children’s Festival
Held annually at Ontario Place, this festival is a delightful experience filled with music, theatre, dance, and interactive activities, all designed for children. It’s a great place for kids to engage in creative play and learning.
15. Toronto’s Waterfront and Harbourfront Centre
Stroll along Toronto’s scenic waterfront, which offers plenty of space for biking, rollerblading, and picnics. The Harbourfront Centre, located along the waterfront, hosts a variety of free events and festivals throughout the year, including concerts, dance performances, and kids’ activities.
16. Casa Loma
Visit Casa Loma, a majestic castle in the heart of Toronto. Kids will be awestruck exploring the castle’s secret passages, towers, and over 90 rooms. The beautiful gardens, the underground tunnel, and the classic car exhibit in the garage are other highlights.
17. Toronto’s Many Festivals
Toronto is a city of festivals. From the Canadian National Exhibition to the Toronto International Film Festival for Kids, from the Beaches International Jazz Festival to Winterlicious, there’s always something happening. These festivals offer a mix of food, music, art, and culture, providing fun and entertainment for the whole family.
Toronto is a city that thrives on its diversity, culture, and love for fun. Whether your family is into history, science, art, sports, or just loves exploring new places, Toronto has something to offer. This guide merely scratches the surface of what this city has in store for you and your family. So pack your bags and get ready to make some unforgettable memories in Toronto!
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