If you haven’t considered Toronto as a family holiday destination yet, it’s time you did. With flights to Toronto in under 8 hours from the UK, it’s really not too far away and the journey is comparable to flying to New York (and is shorter than a flight to Orlando. Move over, Disneyworld.)
You can do Toronto in 3 days and we offer a great 3 day, 4 night city break package. Of course, you can easily spend longer exploring Canada’s biggest city or tie Toronto into a road trip or motorhome adventure. In the city, you’ll find plenty to do to suit kids of all ages. The weather is hot and sunny in summer, pleasant in spring and autumn and delightfully snowy (but cold) in winter. There’s really no bad time to visit.
Take a look at our favourite fun, family-friendly attractions which we’ve rounded up below and start planning your adventure!
1. Visit Canada’s largest aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Canada, home to more than 20,000 aquatic animals! We’ve never met a child yet who doesn’t love some underwater creatures, whether its sinister sharks, adorable seahorses or mesmerising jellies. Kids will love the underwater tunnel with moving walkway and strange creatures like the green swordfish. For grownups, the aquarium is easily located at the foot of the CN Tower in central downtown and has a café inside.
Top tip for visiting: Save money on your tickets by booking in advance online or purchasing with the Toronto City Pass. The City Pass gets you 36% or more off the top attractions of Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum and either Toronto Zoo or Ontario Science Centre.
2. Take a ferry to Centre Island
Everyone loves a boat ride. The adventure starts with the ferry ride itself, which takes 10-15 minutes and departs regularly from downtown. (The ferry terminal is actually right next to the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel which is very handy if you’re staying there!) Once you arrive at Centre Island, there will be plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained. There’s a petting zoo, plenty of bike trails, and of course, Centreville Theme Park. The park has more than 30 rides and attractions and is perfect for young children.
Top tip for visiting: Bring a picnic or BBQ food with you are there are plenty of places to enjoy a picnic on the island. There are BBQ stations (bring your own charcoal) and plenty of grassy areas.
3. Explore the Ontario Science Centre
There’s nothing better than when kids love learning, without even realising it! The Ontario Science Centre is so much fun that they’ll barely notice that it’s educational too. The IMAX Dome Films are firm favourites, with films about the planet, the Amazon, our oceans and even pandas on offer. Kids will love the planetarium and the ourdoor Nature Escape in the Don River Valley ravine. In the Science Arcade you can navigate a distorted room and make your way through a shadow tunnel, while the Living Earth exhibit lets you touch a tornado and crawl through a cave.
Top tip for visiting: The Science Centre is one of the attractions offering a discount on the Toronto City Pass. It’s a bit further out of downtown so make it a day trip and enjoy the plentiful surrounding parks and feast on Greek Food in nearby Greek Town.
4. Zip up the CN Tower
The 533 metre tall CN Tower is an iconic landmark of Canada and is the perfect choice to entertain all ages. Kids and adults alike will love the amazing views and the novel revolving restaurant at the top. Older (13+) more adventurous kids will relish the opportunity to strap on a harness and walk around the outside of the tower on the daring EdgeWalk!
Top tip for visiting: You can get discounted ticket prices with the City Pass or you can opt for a Sea to Sky Combo Ticket to save on the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium together.
5. Take them out to a ball game
Whether your kids are sporting or not, nothing beats the atmosphere at a Toronto Blue Jay’s baseball game! A game is one of the highlights of a trip to Toronto. The bright lights of the stadium, the entertainment between innings, the giant hot dogs and the singing crowds are an experience that the whole family will never forget. You can check out what’s on at the Rogers Stadium on their website, or even book a stadium tour.
Top tip for visiting: Book your tickets well in advance so that you can snap up aisle seats. This makes it much easier to get out for toilet breaks, food stops or even just taking a break from the noise with little ones. The stadium is easily accessed by public transport like the subway, bus or streetcar. Plus, if you leave in the second-to-last innings (the eighth) you’ll get away much quicker.
So there you have it. Plenty of fun, easily accessible and affordable ways to keep the kids entertained on a holiday to Toronto. Have you started planning yet?
Image credits: Tourism Toronto, Canadian Tourism Commission