Things to do in Toronto

Family Activities in Toronto

Enter a world of interactive exhibits and imagination that pushes the limits with these family activities in Toronto.

Kids and adults jump for joy in this city, where family fun never ends. There are so many exciting things to do in Toronto with kids that are sure to please just about every interest. Of course, there are amusement parks, but you can visit those in most major cities.

These prime attractions are worth the trip, and you won’t forget them any time soon. Make memories that’ll last a lifetime in this great urban paradise, and prepare to be amazed, inspired, and excited every step of the way.

Museums and Art Galleries

Pack up the kids and head to some of Toronto's best museums and art galleries. This city has something for everyone, from an eclectic museum with a primary focus on shoes to art exhibits and everything in between.

A trip to these places will make your kids eager to get involved. The fun is effortless, and the learning comes naturally.

1. Royal Ontario Museum

Grab your little ones and show them how much fun exploring the past can be at one of the largest museums in the city. At the Royal Ontario Museum on Bloor Street West, you’ll walk from prehistory to the modern day.

Dinosaur skeletons towering 40 ft. in the air await alongside meteors and gemstones. Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including mummified animals and the sarcophagus of the court musician Djedmaatesankh, await your discovery. With numerous permanent and temporary exhibits to explore, the whole family will find something to love.

Children, particularly those aged 3-8, will adore the hands-on WonderWorks gallery, where everything is on their level. Imagination reigns supreme in this space through experimentation and interactive exhibits.

The exhibits feature prompts, props, and play spaces that inspire exploration and, most importantly, a lifelong love for learning. Even better, the museum is within walking distance of numerous other attractions, including Queens Park.

Photographer: Mitul Grover

2. Hockey Hall of Fame

Are there budding athletes or sports fans in your midst? Toronto is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame, a sports history museum sitting in a grand building with stunning masonry just south of downtown.

Walking through the 65,000-square-foot exhibits, you'll find artifacts from hockey players worldwide. Some themed exhibits delve into the lives of the greatest players throughout history. You can even step foot into a replica NHL dressing room.

Several interactive experiences test your skills. The Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout shoots out sponge pucks while you try to block them. At the Goodyear Shoot Out, you can face off against computer-simulated versions of players like Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price.

Photographer: Mykola Swarnyk

3. Bata Shoe Museum

You’ve heard of the little old lady who lived in a shoe, but have you heard of the big, grand museum that sits in a shoebox? Architect Raymond Moriyama’s inspiration for the distinctive building came from, you guessed it, shoeboxes.

Today, the Bata Shoe Museum holds almost 15,000 pairs of shoes and similar artifacts, culminating in 4,500 years of history. Discover some of the most iconic iterations of shoes throughout the ages, such as the Egyptian cartonnage, their intricate paintings, and the spiral-tipped Indian mojaris worn by dancers.

4. Gallery Arcturus

Inspire dreams and explore artistry at the Gallery Arcturus, one of Toronto's hidden gems. This not-for-profit gallery is completely free to visit. The building dates back to the 18th century, with pale brick walls and bay windows expanding four floors. Step through its bold, black doors and walk into a world that celebrates North American artists.

Wander through five exhibition spaces featuring sculptures, paintings, collages, and photography. The exhibits rotate regularly, so there’s always something new to see. Here, your children will learn that art comes in all shapes and sizes and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

5. Museum of Illusions Toronto

Nothing is what it seems at the Museum of Illusions Toronto. Your mind will surely play tricks on you, and your perspective will constantly change as you explore the mesmerizing, interactive exhibits.

Illusion rooms abound, where things seem to tilt and shift before your eyes. It’s as if you’ve entered a new world when you plunge into this immersive experience.

Watch every rule you thought you knew about how the world works vanish around you. In the Anti-Gravity Room, things appear to float in midair, while the Vortex Tunnel creates a constant sense of instability, as the room feels like it's spinning beneath your feet.

Want something a little more interactive to go with your museum day? Check out the Smart Playroom, where you’ll tackle brain teasers and puzzles. If your family enjoys subverted expectations, this is one attraction you won’t want to miss.

6. Museum of Contemporary Art

At the Museum of Contemporary Art, the whole family can dive into creativity. It’s always a blast to visit, but on the monthly MOCA Family Weekend, the space transforms into a family-centric environment.

Participate in a workshop where you’ll explore new art techniques and partake in numerous family-friendly activities, such as guided tours. Rather than permanent exhibits, everything is temporary. Most art on display features Canadian artists, but you’ll occasionally find exhibits focusing on international creators.

7. Toronto Railway Museum

Load up your little aspiring conductors and chug over to the Toronto Railway Museum. Alongside trains and artifacts that will blow your child's mind, you’ll learn about the history of railway transportation in Toronto.

Has your child dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a train for their own adventures? Hop in the Train Simulator, which uses real locomotive parts integrated with the Trainz 2010 program specifically customized for the museum.

Try your hand at connecting the cars of the Canadian, a famous Pacific Railway train. Then, drive imaginary passengers to their next destination. For even more excitement, jump on the miniature train for a quick trip.

Parks and Beaches

Nothing beats getting out into the great outdoors with the whole family. Soak in the sun, see the sights, and prepare to be wowed at these great parks and beaches. From running around on playgrounds to going on an urban adventure that feels far from the city, there’s plenty to do at these locations.

Once you’ve worked up your appetite, don’t hesitate to visit some of Toronto’s best restaurants.

8. High Park Toronto

Get some fresh air and let your kids burn off energy at High Park, where you’ll find just about everything you could ask for from a day trip.

This is the largest public park in the city, and it’s positively brimming with opportunities. Go on an urban safari wandering the public zoo, spend your day picnicking on the lakefront, or simply relax in the grass while your children enjoy the playgrounds.

Imagination abounds at the Adventure Park playground near the duck pond. The entire structure evokes grand journeys with its castle motif, daring children to brave wooden bridges and zip down winding slides.

9. Bluffer’s Park and Beach

The Scarborough Bluffs line the shores of Lake Ontario. Along the bluffs, you’ll find Bluffer’s Park and Beach. Whether the appeal of beaches for your family is walking along the shore, swimming, or fishing, you can do it all here.

Meander along numerous trails and make your way up to some of the most scenic vistas in the area. Want a boat adventure? This park’s marina is a great launching point and is fully accessible to the public.

Photographer: Eric Aiden

10. Tommy Thompson Park

At Tommy Thompson Park, nature and man-made structures come together unexpectedly and uniquely. The park is built on the Leslie Street Spit, an artificial peninsula that juts out 5 kilometres (about three miles) into Lake Ontario. Here, you can discover the natural habitats that once expanded across the city before it became urbanized.

Meadows, cottonwood forests, beaches, dunes, and coastal marshes all intermix. Wildlife has moved in with no reservations, making it one of the best places in the city to catch a glimpse of all sorts of animals. You can hike, cycle, or even snowshoe through many multi-use trails.

While the animals are beautiful, they're also wild, so keep your distance and don't feed them under any circumstances. Feeding the animals is strictly prohibited at Tommy Thompson Park.

Photographer: Jeffrey Eisen

11. Rouge National Urban Park

If you haven’t gotten your fill of natural hiking areas in the city, check out Rouge National Urban Park, one of the largest urban parks on the continent. Regular free tours, led by volunteers, take you through vast expanses of wilderness, from quiet marshlands to massive forests shaded by trees.

Here, you’ll find some of the best hiking in Toronto, with trails for every skill level. The park has several family-friendly trails, such as the Harvest Trail, that wind through crop fields, marshland, and shaded forest. Others, like the Mast Trail, take you through harsher terrain.

Animal lovers have a lot to see here. The area is well-known for its wildlife, including black bears, beavers, and weasels. Caution—and a camera—are recommended.

Sports Venues and Facilities

Get ready to cheer your heart out for your favorite team at these sports venues. There’s nothing like being surrounded by the uplifting energy of thousands of people in the crowd roaring after athletes demonstrate awe-inspiring feats.

12. Scotiabank Arena

A family trip to watch a sports game creates unforgettable memories. Whether your family is avid about sports or wants to try something new, you can’t go wrong at Scotiabank Arena.

The sheer passion and spirit that exudes from the crowds is contagious, and you'll be cheering from your seat in no time. Here, you’ll catch athletic prowess from the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs on their home turf as they tackle their competition.

Prefer something a little less sporty? This arena also hosts concerts, one-time events, and more. When hunger strikes, visit the vast range of concession stands. You'll find everything from stadium classics, such as hot dogs and pizza, to poutine.

13. Rogers Centre

Catch a Toronto Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre. In the heart of downtown, this stadium is easily accessed by public transit, and if you want to avoid traffic and parking mishaps, we strongly recommend you take it.

The stadium is an architectural marvel in itself, as it's the first venue in Canada with a fully retractable motorized roof. Depending on the weather, your event may occur with a fully open or closed dome. Of course, that means the game must go on, rain or shine.

Photographer: Harrison Haines

14. Downsview Park Sports Centre

Sure, you could catch a game at Downsview Park Sports Centre, home of the TMU Bold hockey team, but that’s not all this sports center offers. It’s a truly gargantuan complex with room for numerous indoor and outdoor sports. You can play basketball in the HoopDome or enjoy the soccer and skate parks.

Including a trapeze school on-site is especially exciting to us — that means you’ll get to experience our favorite kind of athleticism. Try some of the basic tricks that serve as the foundation for our skilled performers, and get a taste of just how much hard work goes into each of our shows.

Do you have a need for speed? The Grand Prix Kartways takes you racing around a track for the gold in eco-friendly go-karts. Or, jump into the fray at the outdoor paintball course, where your family can square off head-to-head to see who comes out a little less painted.

15. Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre

If you’d rather participate in sports than watch them, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre is the place to be. This public sports complex spans 312,000 sq. ft. and features two Olympic-sized swimming pools, a diving tank, and more.

It offers dozens of activities, from hockey and basketball to guitar and art classes, and plenty cater to families. There's so much to do, from drop-in family games and gym nights to basketball games against each. Check out the calendar so you know which days to attend based on the events.

Wrapping Up: Memorable Family Adventures in Toronto

Every step of your Toronto adventure overflows with the promise of a grand time. If you happen to be here for the holidays, you’ll find even more adventure by discovering the joy of Christmas in Toronto. Once exploring, it's time to think about mind-boggling entertainment.

Our shows in Toronto are dazzling experiences that will delight every member of your family. We dare to dream of a world with no limits. Our stories inspire new ways of thinking and create brand-new worlds to explore.

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