Toronto is one of the most popular cities in Ontario and all of Canada for families to visit, as it's packed full of fun things to do for adults and kids alike. From museums and galleries to classic amusement parks and farms, the possibilities here are virtually endless no matter what your family's interests are. Even the most iconic buildings in the Toronto skyline can be worthwhile destinations on your vacation. Take a look at the top kid activities in Toronto, and discover the best options for your family's unique interests.
1. CN Tower
CN Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, stretching a massive 553 metres into the sky. When you visit, you can travel to the top to the observation deck. From there, you can see out for miles on a clear day. Because of its stunning viewpoint, it's popular as an early stop on family trips as a way to get a grasp of the layout of Toronto. Kids will especially enjoy the view as even the elevator to the top is made from glass, offering stellar views all along the way up.
2. Royal Ontario Museum
At the Royal Ontario Museum, you and your family can enjoy a massive collection of natural and cultural artifacts from all over the world. This includes a collection of real dinosaur skeletons as well as a simulation of a bat cave that offers valuable insight into what these fascinating creatures are like. The discovery gallery is a must-visit section within if you're travelling with kids, as it features numerous interactive exhibits. The building itself is quite impressive as well with an imposing design sporting jagged angles that stand out from the surrounding structures.
3. Centreville Amusement Park
Sometimes classic amusement park fun is exactly what you need during a vacation to Toronto with kids. Centreville Amusement Park has much to offer including pony rides, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel painted in vibrant and fun colours. The rides here are typically best suited for kids 12 years of age or younger. Additionally, this amusement park is located on an island, so you'll have to embark on a brief ferry ride to get there, which can be a fun ride in its own right for your little ones. Keep in mind that the amusement park is only open from May to October each year.
4. Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre offers interactive learning experiences for kids that are as educational as they are fun. Kids of all ages can enjoy the offerings at this science centre with fascinating exhibits and experiences that let them find out what it's like to touch a tornado or hear a heart murmur. Keep in mind that this attraction is about 11 kilometres away from downtown, so if you're staying near the city's centre, you'll have a bit of a journey ahead of you to get you there. Fortunately, you can take the subway the entire distance, making visiting easy.
5. Riverdale Farm
Riverdale Farm is one of the more unique attractions in town, as it allows you to take a step back in time to learn what Toronto was like in decades past. This historical site is meant to emulate what life was like in the city during the early 20th century where kids can discover a world without fast food, the internet, and cell phones. It takes about 2 hours for the full tour of the place, but your visit may take longer if you decide to have a picnic in the nearby park. Plenty of restaurants are situated nearby, so it's easy to take advantage of the eating opportunities.
6. Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame is one of the most popular attractions in the entire city. Just about every family in the country has a hockey fan, and visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame is a dream come true for any of them. You'll find numerous exhibits that showcase the history of the National Hockey League with legendary memorabilia. The exhibits here even include a replica of an NHL dressing room and a trophy room. It's open every day except for major holidays, and it's centrally located downtown, so it should be easy to add to your itinerary.
7. Toronto Zoo
Just about every kid in the world loves a trip to the zoo, but the Toronto Zoo is particularly special. You'll find more than 5,000 animals here from all over the world throughout its 287 hectares of space. It's split up into 7 zones with each covering its own unique ecological environment. As if that weren't enough, you'll also find an interactive kids' zoo where your little ones can interact directly with some animals. Plus, there's an African safari experience here that lets you see impressive creatures from a whole new perspective.
8. Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
When you visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, you'll find yourself at one of the largest aquariums in the entire country with an incredible 12,542 square metres of space. Upwards of 15,000 animals have made their home here including a diverse array of sea turtles, jellyfish, rays, and sharks. Many of the most popular creatures are sorted into their own unique sections like the Ray Bay and Planet Jellies. Additionally, you won't want to miss out on the Canadian Waters portion that focuses on the unique marine life native to the Canadian coast.
9. Canada's Wonderland
If you're looking for an amusement park that offers thrills and endless fun, Canada's Wonderland just might be your best bet. This theme park is one of the largest in the entire country, and it features a wide variety of rides including high-speed coasters for adults and older kids alongside rides better suited for youngsters. There are even live shows put on here and an adjacent water park if you're looking to cool down a bit during a summer visit. Keep in mind that it takes about 35 minutes to get to the park from downtown, but it's worth it as the largest theme park in the Toronto area.
10. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is a unique attraction in Toronto that functions much like a shrunken-down version of a typical LEGO theme park. Even with its scaled-down size, however, you and your little ones will find plenty to do with 10 different open play areas and fun rides. You can even enjoy a special 4D movie theatre here that's perfect for unique and enhanced movie-going experiences. Everyone can have fun here given the mass appeal of LEGO even among adults, but most of the attractions are designed for younger children.
11. Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario is home to more than 90,000 unique works by a variety of artists. While that's enough to attract art-loving adults, some kids will need a bit more. Fortunately, this gallery also features a hands-on centre that they'll particularly enjoy with opportunities to make their own works using provided materials and mediums with experts showcasing different techniques. When you are perusing the permanent collection, you'll find that a lot of it tends to focus on Inuit art. More variety can be found among the temporary exhibitions.
12. Sugar Beach
Travelling to a major city doesn't mean you have to miss out on the beach. Sugar Beach is one of the best places to go in Toronto with kids thanks to its soft sands and calm waters. While there isn't an actual shore here to spend time in Lake Ontario, there is a designated water spot within a giant granite maple leaf if you're looking to cool off. Most of your time here can be spent relaxing in a chair under an umbrella, while kids are free to build sandcastles.
13. Bata Shoe Museum
One of the more interesting museums in town is the Bata Shoe Museum. Here you'll find a massive collection of artifacts and exhibits that cover more than 4,500 years of history with a sole focus on footwear. It turns out that footwear has changed quite a bit over the years since the ancient world. The permanent collection here has a special section that focuses solely on showcasing fascinating history with a children's audience in mind. Several events for kids in Toronto are held here as well, including arts and crafts workshops and treasure hunts, though they also tend to be centred around footwear.
14. High Park
High Park is one of the most popular parks in the city, and it offers about 160 hectares of space for you and your family to explore. While the walking paths are satisfying enough, that's just the beginning of what this fun urban park has to offer. You'll also find a playground that's notably large along with greenhouses and even its own zoo. Be sure to consider visiting during the spring, as that's when you'll be able to see the cherry blossoms blooming for the first time of the year.
15. Black Creek Pioneer Village
When you visit the Black Creek Pioneer Village, your family can enjoy a glimpse back in time to what the area was like during the frontier era. It's an open-air historical museum designed to capture the atmosphere of the mid-19th century consisting of 40 different buildings. Even the guides here are dressed in period clothing to add a bit of authenticity to the experience. The guides are especially good with children and provide valuable insight into how people lived all those years ago. Plus, your kids will find the opportunity to dress up in period clothing themselves as well as learn 19th-century baking techniques.
16. Rogers Centre
When most people think of Rogers Centre, they imagine watching a sporting event, but that's just the beginning of what you and your family can enjoy at this legendary landmark. While it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Argonauts, it's also home to a tour experience that showcases the most prominent parts of the stadium. This hour-long experience showcases what it's like to sit in a luxury suite and will take you to the press box. This behind-the-scenes look is especially impactful for young sports fans. Just keep in mind that tour hours vary based on the season and whether or not a game is being held.
17. Fort York
Fort York first made an impact on history during the War of 1812. In the many years since, it has been preserved as a national historic site that's open for visitors who are interested in learning about this 19th-century fortification. You'll find it open all year long offering tours that show off the most impressive aspects of its construction. Be sure to check the calendar to see when they offer demonstrations of cannon firings if your family is interested in more bombastic shows of historical education. Other events are often held here as well.
18. Niagara Falls
If you're looking for a day trip from Toronto, a quick option is Niagara Falls. This natural wonder of the world is just 90 minutes from downtown by car, and your family will be in awe of these massive falls. While the falls themselves are impressive along with the tours you can embark on that take you up close, you'll also find the Skylon Tower here, which offers a unique bird's-eye view of the area. Plus, several water parks are located here along with a vibrant and diverse array of tropical birds drawn to the multilevel rainforest.
19. Kidstown Water Park
Summer vacations can be unforgettable, but they're at their best when you take time to cool down. Fortunately, cooling down doesn't have to stop the fun when you visit Kidstown Water Park. This aquatic play area can keep you and your family cool during Toronto's hottest summer days while offering fun like a slide, a splash pad, a tipping bucket, and a wading pool. Keep in mind that this water park is generally suited for younger kids, as it doesn't have any deep pools or high-speed tube slides.
20. Harbourfront Centre
At Harbourfront Centre, your family can enjoy a wide variety of activities, as this venue tends to host something different every week. Kids' shows are common whether they're dance performances, concerts, or films, but that's just the beginning. You'll also find a canoe and kayak centre here that lets your family venture out into the water for a more aquatic adventure. No matter what you do here, you can take in the stunning sight of Lake Ontario stretching out into the distance before you. It's open year-round, so check its calendar to see what's on during your visit.
21. Casa Loma
Casa Loma is one of those attractions that will impress your kids the second they lay eyes on it. It's an early-20th-century mansion that was crafted in the iconic Gothic Revival architectural style making it look like a castle out of the Edwardian era. You'll find a total of 98 rooms inside with tours available showing off its elegance and overindulgence. The grounds are quite appealing as well as they're immaculately kept and offer vibrant greenery with colourful flowers. Plus, a ticket to this attraction also includes an audio guide for your tour and access to a Sir Henry Pellatt documentary about the soldier and financier whom this mansion was built for.
22. Sunnyside Park
If you're looking for a simple trip to the beach, Sunnyside Park has got you covered. This park is home to Sunnyside Beach, which features inviting waters and soft sands situated next to well-maintained parkland with plenty of walking trails and green space. During the summer, lifeguards are on duty, so you can let your little ones splash around with peace of mind. Additionally, you'll find playgrounds and pools here if you're looking for additional fun outside of the trails and the beachfront. Cycling is also a popular pastime here with bike rentals available nearby.
23. Bluffer's Beach
At Bluffer's Beach, you'll find a relatively quiet place to enjoy some fun in the sun away from the crowds of the more popular areas. The beachfront here is somewhat small, but it still has plenty of room for your family to relax, mess around in the sand, and splash in the water. This beach also has its own boat launch, so you can venture out into the water if you've brought your own vessel with you. Additionally, this beach features designated picnic areas along with scenic lookouts that let you take in the sights of this picturesque area.