Toronto is not only Canada’s largest city, but also the perfect place for a family trip.
Known for its safety and diversity, you’ll be made to feel welcome the moment you set foot in this exciting city!
Toronto is a cultural melting pot with neighborhoods representing cultures from all over the world. From beaches and green spaces to waterways and museums, we’ve put together a list of our 15 favorite things to do with kids in Toronto.
When it comes to getting around Toronto, keep these things in mind:
- The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) includes streetcars, buses, and subways. To make it easy, you’ll want to make sure to grab a Presto Card.
- If you’re going to be exploring the waterfront, it’s a good idea to rent a bike or use a bike share program like Bike Share Toronto. If you’re headed to the Toronto Islands, you can travel there by ferry or water taxi.
- If you must drive or rent a car, just know ahead of time that you’ll have to deal with traffic and ongoing construction, and that parking is very expensive.
What to Pack
- Toronto is a great place to explore on foot, so comfy shoes that fit the season are a must.
- If you’re traveling from May to September, you’ll want to pack layers of clothing as temperatures vary from 88 degrees Fahrenheit down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter months are frigid and icy, with temperatures rarely reaching 40 degrees Fahrenheit and getting as low as 3 degrees, so heavy winter gear is essential.
- Toronto can get pretty windy, especially downtown and by the water, so bring along a lightweight jacket in the warmer months, and extra layers in the winter.
- Having a child carrier as well as a lightweight stroller will make it easier for you to explore the city with your baby or toddler.
4 Must-Stay Hotels in Toronto
Toronto has plenty of family-friendly hotels to choose from. But these 4 are our favorites:
- The Four Seasons Toronto – The rooms are spacious and cozy, and they’ve thought of all the details. The hotel has an indoor pool, spa, gym, and a yummy weekend brunch. Fun bonus: turndown service includes maple syrup candies and children’s books!
- The Chelsea Hotel – The largest hotel in Canada does not disappoint. There are tons of spacious rooms, including family fun suites that have kitchens and a toy corner that is filled with movies, games, and puzzles. The pool has an indoor water slide and there’s a Kid Centre that offers supervised play. Parents will love the affordable kids menu.
- Hotel X Toronto – Kids will love going swimming in the rooftop pool or visiting the library. Adults will love the golf simulator room, spa, and state of the art gym. The rooms are spacious, and suites are available for larger families. Kids also receive a cute welcome gift upon arrival.
- Ritz-Carlton – This hotel is not only luxurious, but it’s also extremely family-friendly. In the Club Lounge, families can grab breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day, and kids can enjoy board games and puzzles or hang out and watch movies. They even have an in-room camping experience that comes with a tent and glow sticks!
15 Things To Do with Kids in Toronto
- CN Tower – Offering the best views of the city, this recognizable landmark is guaranteed to thrill. The 360 Restaurant gives you panoramic views, while the high-speed glass elevator will take you to the Glass Floor for a heart-stopping view of the ground 1122 ft below. Older kids and adults can conquer EdgeWalk, which is 116 stories high.
- Centre Island – It’s only a 15 minute ferry ride across Lake Ontario to this family-friendly park. Take in the Toronto skyline, play on the beach, go on a bike ride, or have a picnic. In the summer, the island has an amusement park that can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all ages.
- Black Creek Pioneer Village – Learn what life was like back in the 1860’s, while you explore a re-created country village. Costumed educators demonstrate different trades and crafts. There are plenty of hands-on experiences, as well as 40 historic buildings, multiple gardens, rare and heritage breed animals, and over 50,000 artifacts.
- Casa Loma – This cool castle is one of Toronto’s most unique architectural landmarks. Kids will love exploring the rooms, climbing the narrow staircases, and taking in the views from the top of the gothic towers. Spend some time strolling through the grounds and gardens and grab a bite to eat at Liberty Caffe.
- Royal Ontario Museum – The exhibits at the ROM are fun and engaging, with everything from Chinese architecture and Egyptian mummies to European fashion and Greek antiquities. Kids will love the natural history wing, especially Gordo, the 88.5 foot long Barosaurus.
- Toronto Zoo – Covering more than 700 acres, this modern zoo houses more than 5,000 different animals. Ride the Conservation Carousel, take a tour on the Zoomobile, explore the kids zoo, or cool off at Splash Island in the warmer months.
- Kensington Market – This is a great spot to visit on an afternoon or evening. It’s the perfect place to shop for art, fashion, or vintage items. Grab a bite to eat at various eateries and coffee shops or just do a little people watching.
- Ontario Science Centre – Kids will be wowed by the demonstrations, science exhibits, and hands-on activities. There’s something for everyone including a rock climbing wall, planetarium, and IMAX theater.
- Little Canada – This place offers an experience unlike any other. It’s a celebration of all things Canada – on a much smaller scale. Kids will love the miniature models of Canadian cities, with buildings and landscapes, moving cars, trains, boats, and even tiny people!
- Hockey Hall of Fame – This place is all about Canada’s national obsession with hockey. Kids will love facing off with the best goalies and shooters, using a kid-sized set of sticks and pucks. You can host a sports show, call some play-by-plays, or check out a replica of a professional locker room.
- Lake Ontario Beaches – Toronto has some truly beautiful beaches, both natural and man made. Two must-see spots are Sugar Beach and Bluffer’s Park Beach. Play in the sand, watch boats sail across the lake, or have a picnic.
- High Park – This public park is the largest in Toronto, with playgrounds, a beautiful lakefront, hiking trails, and even a zoo! It’s the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, have a picnic, or visit the pond. In the spring, you’ll want to check out the cherry blossom trees in bloom.
- Chinatown – This must-visit neighborhood is a colorful spot, with plenty of stores, street vendors, and delicious authentic Chinese cuisine. If you’re traveling to Toronto in February, you’ll definitely want to check out the Lunar New Year Celebration.
- Harbor Cruises – Cruise around Lake Ontario and enjoy spectacular views of the Toronto skyline on a harbor cruise. Tall Ship Kajama is a vintage German trading schooner that is nearly 100 years old. You can also take a ride on the Toronto Island Ferry and cruise to one of three different islands.
- Local Festivals – No matter what time of year you visit Toronto, there are festivals and events that focus on music, art, food, and culture.
4 Must-Do Day Trips
If you have a little more time on your hands and you want to explore outside the city, these 4 day trips are worth the trek.
- Niagara Falls – It’s only a 90 minute drive from Toronto to the Ontario side of Niagara Falls. There’s plenty to see and do no matter what the weather may bring. On the Niagara Parkway, you can view the waterfalls from multiple scenic viewpoints. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the family on a guided tour with Journey Behind the Falls or ride a zip line 220 feet above the Niagara River.
- Chudleigh’s Farm – Located in Milton, just an hour from Toronto, is a farm where you can pick your own apples and pumpkins, meet some farm animals, go on a hayride, or hike along a few nature trails. Open during the summer and fall, you can spend the day enjoying life in the country. Kids will love learning about how food is grown, jumping in hay bales, and grabbing a treat from the Blossom Cafe.
- Blue Mountain – This spot offers plenty of family fun year round. In the winter, it’s a destination for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, and snow tubing. During the summer, this resort will keep you busy all day with gondola rides, and trails you can hike and bike.
- Horseshoe Resort – Less than an hour from Toronto is a resort that has plenty of trails for skiing and snowboarding, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter months. In the warmer months, go golfing, splash in the man-made lake, or do some Treetop Trekking. You can also visit the spa, take a dip in the indoor pool, or grab a bite to eat in one of their restaurants any time of year.
Ready to take on Toronto? With this list of 15 things to do, your trip to Toronto is guaranteed to be memorable!