Get ready to embark on a family escapade like no other, as we uncover a treasure trove of ‘Things to Do in Toronto with Kids.’ From towering CN Tower views to playful harbor cruises, Toronto is a playground of endless delights for both the young and the young-at-heart. Whether you’re wandering through vibrant neighbourhoods, discovering interactive museums, or savoring iconic treats, this bustling Canadian metropolis has something to enchant every member of the family. So gear up for memorable adventures that blend education and excitement, turning your Toronto getaway into a joyous voyage of discovery for all ages
Table of contents
- Planning Your Toronto Vacations
- Best Places to Stay for Families in your Toronto Vacations
- Top Family-Friendly Attractions in Toronto
- Dining in Toronto with Kids
- Outdoor Activities for Families in Toronto
- Indoor Activities for Families in Toronto
- Transportation in Toronto for Families
Planning Your Toronto Vacations
Toronto is the capital province of Ontario and is a major city that is located along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It is also Canada’s largest and North America’s fourth-largest city. Toronto is home to a diverse culture and has many green spaces that make it a beautiful city.
Toronto was founded in 1793 after the Mississaugas surrendered the land to the British. Indigenous people have been living in this region for more than 1200 years. The city has a diverse population and is rich in culture. It holds several significant cultural events throughout the year. From modern musical festivals to symphony orchestra performances and sporting events, Toronto has a combination of everything.
The Canadian Dollar is the official currency of Toronto. English and French are the official languages of users.
How to get to Toronto
Most of the world’s leading airlines have regular flights to Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto. You can get flights via Canada’s official carrier, Air Canada, or most of the other premier airlines like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, and many more.
Pearson International Airport is located in Mississauga, Ontario, approximately 25 km northwest of the city center. It is Toronto’s primary airport, serving its metropolitan area and the Golden Horseshoe region. The airport is named in honor of the 14th Prime Minister of Canada who is also the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957, Lester B. Pearson.
All international travelers should have proof of identity in the form of a passport to enter Canada. If the country you’re coming from requires a visa to enter Canada, you should have an approved visa status as well.
Best Places to Stay for Families in your Toronto Vacations
There are a variety of options from luxury to budget-friendly, when it comes to choosing accommodation in Toronto. Some of these are kid-friendly and suitable for family vacations.
There are luxury hotels, boutique hotels, guesthouses, vacation rentals, furnished apartments, and hostels, to suit couples, families, and solo travelers looking for accommodation at various budget levels.
Here are some of the kid-friendly accommodations you can choose to stay in Toronto.
The Chelsea Hotel Toronto
A popular, classic hotel that falls into a lower-mid price range. It is located at a central point, just off of Yonge Street and north of Yonge-Dundas Square, renowned as the “Times Square” of Toronto. The hotel has an onsite restaurant and lounge, fitness center, and 2 indoor pools, and is excellent for families and kids.
Sandman Signature Toronto Airport Hotel
This hotel is situated 4.6 km from Pearson International Airport. It comes with fully-featured rooms, free airport shuttle service, and facilities for disabled guests. The hotel features an indoor swimming pool and is perfect for families and kids.
Booking.com, expedia.com, and hotels.com provide excellent offers and deals for accommodation options in Toronto. Ensure to check out family-friendly features like swimming pools, gaming rooms, and special kid-friendly menus that some accommodation options offer.
Top Family-Friendly Attractions in Toronto
The CN Tower is a concrete communication tower located in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Completed in 1976, it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure until 2007, when the Burj Khalifa surpassed it. It was also the world’s tallest tower until 2005 when the Canton Tower surpassed it. At present, it is the tenth-tallest free-standing structure in the world and the tallest free-standing structure on land in the Western Hemisphere. The tower attracts more than two million foreign tourists annually and consists of several observation decks, an entertainment complex, and a revolving restaurant.
|9.30 am to 9.00 pm
|Child (3 to 5 years)
|Youth (6 to 13 years)
|Adult (14 – 64 years)
The CityPASS saves 40% off admission at Toronto’s top 5 attractions, including the CN Tower. You can visit the attractions at your own pace, in any order, over a 9-day period.
The Toronto Zoo spreads across a sprawling 10-acre land area and is the largest zoo in Canada. The zoo has several different sections, including the Americas, Africa, Indo-Malaya, Eurasia, Australasia, Tundra Trek, and the Canadian Domain. There are several attractions within the zoo such as the Kids Zoo, Splash Island, and Waterside Theater. It has over 5000 animals representing more than 500 species. The zoo was opened on August 15, 1974.
|9:30 am – 4:30 pm
9:30 am – 6:00 pm
|Child (3 to 12 years)
|Adult (13 – 64 years)
It’s best to visit the Toronto Zoo in the morning so that you can visit every section and avoid crowds.
The CityPASS saves 40% off admission at Toronto’s top 5 attractions, including the Toronto Zoo. You can visit the attractions at your own pace, in any order, over a 9-day period.
Ontario Science Center
The Ontario Science Center which is located in Toronto, Ontario, is one of the world’s first interactive science museums. The center opened to the public on September 28, 1969. The center gives the opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn through play and discovery, unveiling their inner scientists. It also hosts summer camps, on-site field trips, and virtual school programs. Its opening hours are from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. It’s recommended to visit the museum during the early hours to savor the entire experience without the crowd that tends to build up later in the day.
|10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
|Adult (18 – 64 years)
|Youth (13-17 years)
|Child (3 to 12 years)
Dining in Toronto with Kids
Toronto is full of restaurants and sits high on the list when it comes to having an amazing dining experience. Many places serve kid-friendly menus and have a fantastic range of activities for kids and the whole family to enjoy.
Parents with young kids are in for a treat here as the place has several activities to keep the young ones entertained. The eatery serves a kid-friendly menu, especially desserts, including the chance to decorate their own cookies. It specializes in barbecue served in a variety of styles and dishes. Also, kids get a coloring book, crayons, Play-Doh, and a special menu that includes brisket on smoked wings, tortillas, and more.
Queen Margherita Pizza
Queen Margherita deserves a special mention when it comes to being kid-friendly. The pizza place offers a full-size pizza or pasta and ice cream for 7.37 USD. While you wait for the food to arrive, your kids can have fun coloring with a pack of crayons or visit the brick pizza oven to see how pizzas are made here.
Outdoor Activities for Families in Toronto
Exploring the Toronto Islands
The Toronto Islands consist of 15 small islands on the south shores of Toronto. You can reach the islands via a boat ride across Lake Ontario. The three main islands that you can visit include Wards, Hanlan’s Point, and Centre Island. These islands offer a city escape with a fantastic skyline and relaxing beaches. The ferry departs the main city almost every hour. Ticket prices are as follows:
|Under 2 Years
Pro tip – Pack your own lunch to save money on buying food outside, which would cost you more. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the trip.
Hiking in High Park
High Park is the largest public park in Toronto, featuring sporting facilities, hiking trails, and many more features. The High Park area consists of a 5.1 km loop trail near Toronto, Ontario. It is an easy hiking trail that takes an average of 1 hour and 6 minutes to complete. The High Park area is a popular region for activities like mountain biking, hiking, and snowshoeing. The trail is open year-round for adventure enthusiasts to enjoy doing various activities.
Pro tip – Bring your own hiking gear, snacks, and a picnic basket to get the best experience. The park is free for everyone to enjoy their preferred outdoor activity.
Visiting the Riverdale Farm
Riverdale Farm is located in Toronto’s downtown Cabbagetown neighborhood. It is the perfect place to get a feel of farm life right in the middle of the city. Here, you’ll experience everything about farm life, including all about raising livestock such as pigs, sheep, cows, and hens. Admission to the farm is free and it is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm all year round.
Indoor Activities for Families in Toronto
Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum displays art, culture, and nature exhibits, representing regions from around the world and across all ages. It has become one of the world’s foremost 21st-century cultural institutions.
Opening hours of the museum are as follows:
|Tuesday – Sunday
|10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Pro tip – Apart from this, museum members are required to reserve timed tickets ahead of visiting, which is free for members.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Aquarium of Canada is a public aquarium which is situated in Toronto, Ontario. The aquarium consists of a tank that holds 1.5 million US gallons of water and attracts millions of visitors annually. It has about 20,000 animals and is most popular for shark exhibits that feature 10-foot sharks and two of the world’s longest underwater tunnels. The aquarium is open daily from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm. Ticket prices are as follows:
|9.00 am to 9.00 pm
|Adult (14+ years)
|US$ 32. 41
|Youth (6-13 years)
|Child (3-5 years)
Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame is a museum and hall of fame that is located in Toronto, Ontario. The museum is dedicated to the history of ice hockey and displays many exhibits related to teams, players, National Hockey League records, and memorabilia. The museum is open daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Ticket details are as below.
|10.00 am to 5.00 pm
|General admission (14 – 64 years)
|Youth (4 – 13 years)
|Children (under 3 years)
Transportation in Toronto for Families
There are several ways of getting around in Toronto. Here are the options you’ve got when traveling in Canada with family.
You can get buses to travel to most parts of Toronto. Bus stops are located on either side of the road and mark the routes which arrive there. The destination and route number of the bus is displayed on the front and back of the bus. You pay the bus fare at the machine that is directly behind the bus driver.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates four-way sublines:
- Yonge-University: U-shaped route running south from northern Yonge Street to Union Station, and then back north to Highway 7 and Jane Street
- Bloor-Danforth: A line that runs east-west along Bloor and Danforth Streets, connecting with both Line 1 and Line 3
- Scarborough: A line that runs from downtown Toronto to Scarborough Town Centre
- Sheppard: An east-west line along Sheppard Avenue East to Don Mills Road, connecting with Line 1 at Sheppard-Yonge Station
You can also travel via streetcars and trains. Getting the PRESTO card is an affordable way to travel anywhere in Toronto. You can get yourself a PRESTO card at any subway station entrance or the airport. After that, you can either load it with money as you need it or load a monthly pass. These cards are automatically set to adult fares, but children, and students are able to receive discounts on these fares.