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10 Great Things to See and Do in Toronto with Kids

Toronto skyline | © Taxiarchos228 / WikiCommons
Toronto skyline | © Taxiarchos228 / WikiCommons
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

Aquarium
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Canada,Ontario,Toronto,Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, people viewing a display. Image shot 2015. Exact date unknown.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is home to 20,000 aquatic animals | © Cosmo Condina / Alamy Stock Photo
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.
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Sun:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm

Toronto Islands and Centreville

Park
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Visitors leaving the ferry at Toronto's Centre Island park
Centre Island has fountains, gardens, an amusement park and much more | © Steven Chadwick / Alamy Stock Photo
Kids will love taking the short ferry ride from Queen’s Quay Terminal in downtown Toronto to the multiple interconnected Islands, located approximately half a mile (one kilometer) offshore. After exploring the islands by foot or rental tandem bikes, families can also enjoy Centreville Theme Park, which has over over 30 fun-filled rides.
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The Toronto Zoo

Zoo
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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.
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Sun:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Ontario Science Centre

Museum
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Celestial globe plots position of the stars at any time and location at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto Ontario Canada
The Ontario Science Centre has hundreds of activities for visitors | © Bill Brooks / Alamy Stock Photo
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.
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Sun:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Museum
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Over the fire at Black Creek Pioneer Village
Over the fire at Black Creek Pioneer Village | © Robert Taylor / WikiCommons
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.
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Sun:
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Canada’s Wonderland

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

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, just a 90-minute drive from the city, is the best bet for a family day trip from Toronto. Kids will marvel at the 750,000 gallons of water that roar over the cliff every second. Take them right up close on the Maid of the Mist or Journey Behind the Falls experiences. Kids will also love going to the Butterfly Conservatory.

Table Rock Welcome Centre, 6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, +1 905 358 3268

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

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Harbourfront Centre

Concert Hall
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Aerial shot of Harbourfront Centre | © Mark Bradshaw / WikiCommons
Aerial shot of Harbourfront Centre | © Mark Bradshaw / WikiCommons
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.
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