As the warmer weather approaches and weekends are no longer being filled with snow-bound activities like skating, sledding, and hockey practice, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the family over summer vacation. We’ve selected 10 of the best kid-friendly things to see and do that Toronto has to offer.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Located in downtown Toronto, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is sure to be a big hit with children and adults alike. The aquarium is home to 16,000 species of underwater dwellers, taking up more than 135,000 sq. ft. (12,500m²) of interactive underwater exhibits, and features North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel with over 100 interactive demonstrations and exhibits. Kids can be immersed in the colorful world of giant lobsters, jellyfish, sharks, stingrays, and exotic fish from fresh and salt waters around the world. Don’t forget to get up close with the thrilling Touch Tank gallery.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 351 3474
The Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo, which houses more than 5,000 animals, is always a thrill for the little ones. The zoo is the largest in Canada, and contains award-winning exhibits that display a wide variety of species from around the planet – from African Savanna to the Great Barrier Reef to the Arctic. With special programming for kids, there’s always something wild and interesting going on at the zoo.
Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Rd, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 392 5929
Ontario Science Centre
From the hair-raising electrical ball to the steamy Rain Forest simulation, the Ontario Science Centre offers engaging and interactive exhibits for children of all ages. Kids can spend a whole day in hands-on learning experiences connected to technological innovations, telecommunications, optics, biology, physics, space travel, and meteorology. For an immersive entertainment experience, also be sure to check out the IMAX® Dome Films theater on site.
Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd, North York, ON, Canada, +1 416 696 1000
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Located just north of Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a dynamic open-air historical experience for visitors of all ages. Especially fun for children, the site recreates village life in 19th-century Ontario, offering theatrical re-enactments, artisan demonstrations, and historical interpreters in full regalia in a setting of 40 19th-century buildings – including a general store, a church, a water-powered grist mill, and a one-room schoolhouse.
Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York, ON, Canada, +1 416 736 1733
No summer is complete without a visit to Canada’s Wonderland. Located in Vaughan, just outside of Toronto, this is amusement park has 70 rides, including the legendary Behemoth and Vortex coasters, as well as a fun and refreshing 20-acre Splash Works water park. For kids, there’s Planet Snoopy and KidZville, offering a series of brand-new kid-friendly themed rides.
Canada’s Wonderland, 1 Canada’s Wonderland Dr, Vaughan, ON, Canada, +1 905 832 7000
Kidstown Water Park
In the summer, there’s no better place to beat the heat than at Kidstown Water Park in Scarborough. Kidstown is the only water park operated by the City of Toronto, and it offers free aquatic activities for preschool and grade school children. Features include a tipping bucket, spray rings, squirting aquatic animals, a slide, wading pool, splash pad, and a grassy picnic area nearby. Kidstown opens from mid-June until the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
Kidstown Water Park, 3159 Birchmount Rd, Scarborough, ON, Canada, +1 416 396 8325
The CN Tower
The CN Tower
The CN Tower is a must-see attraction for anyone in Toronto – and it’s especially exciting for children. Let the kids marvel at one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, standing at 1,815 feet (553.2 meters) tall. There are viewing decks of various heights, the Glass Floor is a special thrill, and the KidZone play area can’t be missed. The family can enjoy eats at 360 The Restaurant, Horizons, or Le Café.
CN Tower, 301 Front St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 868 6937
Open year-round and located right at the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre emphasizes on culturally diverse acts and features concerts, dance performances, author readings, films, and an array of kids’ shows every weekend and many weeknights. There’s always something interesting happening! Harbourfront also hosts summer camps for children – or simply take the kids out for an ice cream nearby and take a leisurely stroll along the docks and through the parks and gardens.
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 973 4000