You’ll find plenty of fun things that you can do with your toddler when you come to visit Ontario. In addition to the well-known main attraction of Niagara Falls, there are plenty of other sites to see. While you’re taking a look at the majestic falls, you’ll also want to make sure to drop by some of these other attractions, including zoos, farms, national parks, amusement parks and even a couple Christmas inspired attractions.
Check out animals with your toddler
1. Watch the many animals at the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Ontario. It is divided into 7 regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia and the Canadian Domain. With many different kinds of exhibits featuring a wide range of animals from fearsome lions and tall giraffes to adorable ring-tailed lemurs and penguins to colourful snakes and frogs, there’s sure to be something that your toddler will love. Take your toddler on a stroll among the many exhibits where he or she can discover their new favourite animal. You can also visit an event, such as Splash Island, where your toddler can enjoy the waterslides and water-spouting animals. No matter what you choose, the Toronto Zoo is sure to be a blast. In addition to having fun, you’ll be able to expose your toddler to a wealth of knowledge about different habitats and animals, which is sure to leave a lasting impression on them for years to come.
2. Petting and feeding barn animals at Forsythe Family Farms
Forsythe Family Farms is a great place for you and your toddler to visit where you can see many different farm animals. In addition to your toddler being able to pet and feed the many different farm animals available, they will also learn more about the animals by visiting the farm's animal fact board. The site offers plenty of year-round events such as the Barnyard Adventure playground, strolling through the Sunflower Trail in September and riding on tricycles on pedal kart tracks. The farm also offers a fun and interactive wagon ride where your toddler can have fun riding through the farming fields on a tractor-drawn wagon. Additionally, as an adult, you can learn more about the ins and outs of farming, including information on the different crops the farm uses.
3. Shaking paws with polar bears at Churchill
Churchill is the polar bear capital of the world located near Ontario in Manitoba. Here, you and your toddler will be able to get up-close and personal with polar bears. Your toddler is sure to have a blast as the two of you ride the tundra buggies at the Cape Churchill Wildlife Management Area. In addition to snapping magnificent pictures of polar bears, you can capture the images of beluga whales when you take a boat ride down Churchill River. On a clear summer night, you might also be able to see the aurora borealis. Churchill is a fun place to visit while you’re on vacation in or near Ontario.
4. Take a dive at Ripley’s Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium is a great place to visit if your little ones are fascinated by sea life. In addition to seeing plenty of aquatic wildlife, the aquarium also offers plenty of play and exploratory areas for children in Ontario to discover. One of these attractions is the Discovery Centre, where young visitors can have fun in an interactive submarine without getting wet. Make sure to take a ride down the clownfish slide. With a great bevy of fun and interactive exhibits incorporating the aquatic wildlife, your family is sure to have a blast discovering the mysteries of the ocean. Admission is free for children 2 and younger.
5. Take a guided tour at Cedar Meadows Wildlife Tour
Cedar Meadows Wildlife Tour is another great spot for your family to visit if you are an animal lovers. On the guided tour, you’ll ride in a tractor-drawn wagon that’ll allow you and your family to watch the daily feeding of northern Canadian wildlife, such as bison, deer, moose, and elk. The tour offers a unique experience allowing your kids to see animals in their natural habitats and is a great place to take family pictures.
6. See big cats at Jungle Cat World
Jungle Cat World is the last spot on our list for great animal-related events and activities to take your toddler to see. As the name suggests, your kids will be able to watch plenty of tigers, bobcats, lions, leopards, cheetahs and more. While their specialty is large cats, they also have over 60 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. From red foxes to lemurs, cockatoos, spider monkeys, and more, your toddler will have a great time watching all the various wildlife. A visit here will be an experience for your family to remember and is a great place to snap plenty of family pictures together.
Parks, gardens and more
7. Check out the sites at Niagara Butterfly Conservatory
Niagara Butterfly Conservatory is a great place to visit especially if you already find yourself near Niagara Falls. The conservatory is located a short distance from the falls. Your kids will be treated to watching over 2,000 butterflies fly freely through the enclosed tropical ecosystem. The tour typically takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and your child is sure to have a great time as they try to get one of the many beautifully coloured butterflies to land on them. In addition to the conservatory, there are also botanical gardens that you can visit, including perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, a formal parterre garden, herb and vegetable plantings and a rose garden that features over 2,400 roses. Of course, while you’re visiting, you’ll also want to take a chance to take a stroll through Niagara Falls as well.
8. Having a blast a Chinguacousy Park
Chinguacousy Park is a wonderful park for you and your little one to visit near Ontario. This free and beautiful park has a large petting zoo, multiple areas to have a picnic, many playgrounds and even a splash pad. When you visit, some activities you and your toddler can engage in include a tropical greenhouse, paddleboat rentals and mini-golf. If you happen to be visiting in the wintertime, there are activities like tubing that you can explore. There’s also wading pool weekends, and you’ll also be able to treat your family to ice cream treats as well making the park a wonderful place to visit.
9. Have fun a Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park is another park perfect for a worthwhile visit. Among its wide roster of fun activities to engage in, it has the world’s highest waves, over 25 waterfalls, 3 campgrounds and over 100 kilometres of hiking and biking trails. You can go camping, swimming with the salmon or go hiking along one of its many trails. When it’s summer, you’ll be able to go fishing, bird watching, mountain biking and go for a swim in the refreshing saltwater pool. With plenty of beaches, tennis courts and playgrounds, there will be plenty of things that you and your toddler can do while you’re on a family vacation. Additionally, there are also regular musical performances that you can check out.
10. Check out fossils at Tyendinaga Cavern & Caves
Tyendinaga Cavern & Caves is another great spot to take your youngster to foster their exploring side. When you visit, you and your family will be able to explore caverns and caves and check out many fossils and cave curtains. Considered to be Ontario’s largest known cavern, take a peek back into history by exploring the gorgeous sites this place has to offer. Many fossils date back 450 million years. While touring, you might see bats and other living species. As a bonus treat, admission is free for children 5 and under. If you have older children with you, they’ll also be able to learn more about the caves and the subject of geology in general.
11. Take a trip to Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park contains many wonderful, natural sites for you and your toddler to explore. This second largest national park in Atlantic Canada is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is brimming with wildlife. When you make a trip through the Long Range Mountains, you can expect to see wildlife like caribous, arctic hares, moose and black bears. Although the trek to the top of the Gros Morne Mountain might be too much for a toddler, activities such as a scenic boat trip are sure to keep your little one entertained.
12. Take a tour of Windsor Sculpture Park
Windson Sculpture Park is free for everyone and has plenty of amazing sites to encounter. Here your family will be able to take a tour of the amazing sculptured animals, dinosaurs and contemporary works of art in this outdoor setting. The tours are in a vehicle known as the Art Cart, an electric golf cart that can hold 5 people. The large sculptures, which include animals like elephants, dinosaurs and penguins, are awe-inspiring. This outdoor museum is the perfect place to snap pictures.
Fun and engaging Amusement Parks
13. Explore castles at Pacific National Exhibition
Pacific National Exhibition is home to Playland which is considered to be Canada’s oldest amusement park. Among its list of excellent activities you and your youngest can engage in include: three roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, a massive jungle gym and plenty of other fun rides and sites to visit. As a bonus, there’s a section that has been carefully curated to host young children. The amusement park is also home to some of the most beautiful medieval castles. The site is perfect for kids of any age, and you should go because the 2-week annual event is one of the oldest fairs in the country.
14. Have a fun time at Bingeman’s Funworx Indoor Playground
Bingeman’s Funworx Indoor Playground is a perfect spot for kids of any age and is great not only for toddlers, but for older kids as well. The attractions include an interactive playground structure, an arcade, mini-golf, beach volleyball and camping for day trips. With a wide roster of fun activities to keep your toddler and other children entertained, the indoor playground is a perfect spot to visit while you’re on a family vacation.
15. Explore the wonders at Canada’s Wonderland
Canada’s Wonderland is the next amusement park on our list and there’s plenty of fun, engaging activities to explore when you come visit. It’s a place you’ll want to drop by as you’re taking a family vacation in Ontario. Among the list of fun activities to do, there’s a plethora of thrilling roller coasters, carousels, Ferris wheels and giant swings. Additionally, for younger children, there’s a children’s play area with plenty of fun and exciting rides specifically designed for smaller children. Once you and your children have had their fill playing on the many rides, you can take them to cool off at the park's massive water park, where they’ll be able to splash around and have a blast. Additionally, there’s plenty of live entertainment, restaurants and shopping areas, making it a perfect spot for kids and adults alike.
16. Have a splash at Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is another place you’ll definitely want to visit while you’re having a family vacation in Ontario. Located at Niagara Falls, it’s a great place to visit while you’re already busy photographing the beautiful sites at Niagara Falls. Perfect for children ages 14 and under, this waterpark is jam-packed with attractions, such as 16 waterslides, riding the waves in the huge wave pool or taking time to relax on the man-made jungle-style beach. As a bonus for adults as they’re having fun with their toddlers, there are also swimming pools, hot tubs and a beach club that comes with a bar. With plenty to do, this award-winning oasis filled with more than 760,000 litres of water is sure to keep both you and your toddler busy and out of the summer heat.
17. Visit Mill River Fun Park
Mill River Fun Park is another fun and exciting water-themed amusement park that’s perfect for visiting in the hot months. Open throughout summer, some attractions you can expect to indulge in include taking a fun trip down one of the numerous waterslides, getting your feet wet in one of the many swimming pools and having a blast in a bumper boat or a pirate ship. There’s also a pool and playground that’s just for young children making it the perfect spot to bring young children at any age.
18. Make a pirate walk the plank at Pirate Adventures
Pirate Adventure is the last amusement park in our list and it’s definitely one of the most thrilling. If your young one is fascinated with becoming a pirate, this amusement park is perfect. Located in Ottawa, you’ll be able to take your toddler on a 50-inch pirate ship and solve pirate mysteries while defending against fearsome foes using water cannons. Your youngster will have a blast making pirates walk the plank, using a treasure map and other thrilling activities. This attraction is perfect for kids of any age, including toddlers who will be able to watch the thrilling action even if they don’t participate.
Two fun Christmas attractions
19. Going for a ride on Santa Train
Santa Train is an exciting experience which can help your youngest enhance their Christmas spirit. Although many of the attractions are great for the summer months, if you want to take your toddler on a family vacation during winter, you’ll want to take a ride on Santa’s Train in Orangeville. This heated coach will chug along the rails for about 1hour, and you’ll be able to indulge in gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate. In addition to featuring music, the ride wouldn’t be complete without Santa Claus himself making an appearance to give your child a present as well as taking pictures with them. This attraction is perfect for young children, and admission is free for children under the age of 1.
20. Check out the majestic sites at Santa’s Village
Santa’s Village is another Christmas-themed attraction that you’ll want to take your toddlers and other young children to visit while you’re on a family vacation. Located in Bracebridge, this 60-acre Santa plaza is everything about the Christmas experience coming to life. As you’re walking through the majestic forest, you’ll be able to hear Christmas music playing throughout the park. There are plenty of rides, including a train ride around the park and a boat ride on Muskoka River. Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without your kids meeting the big man himself. Your children will be able to meet both Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. They will be gifted a Santa’s Village elf hat, which they can wear while riding in a swan paddle boat. There’s plenty of things to do, and in addition to fun activities that your child can engage in, there are also ziplines and even a camping ground. You can easily spend a whole day here checking out the sites. As a bonus treat, admission is completely free to any child ages 2 and under.