6 Fun Things to do in Toronto with Kids

Ideas for keeping kids busy in the city

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Image courtesy Tibor Kovacs vis Flickr

Toronto is filled with family and kid-friendly activities for all seasons. Whether you’re interested in something active, educational or on the quieter side, there’s something in the city suited to your kids and the type of activity you’re looking for them to take part in. Here are a few excellent, all-season options to consider the next time you're looking for what to do with kids in Toronto.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

The next best thing to exploring under the ocean with a snorkel mask and a set of fins is a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, home to 16,000 aquatic creatures. Kids will love the interactive exhibits where they can get up close to various creatures, even encouraged to touch a few, like the horseshoe crab. The Aquarium also features North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel with more than 5.7 million litres of water. This is where you get to experience sharks, rays, green sea turtles and other large sea creatures swimming above and around you as you move (on a moving sidewalk) through the fascinating tunnel – a pretty awesome experience for anyone with even a passing interest in marine life.

Ontario Science Centre

It’s not hard to see why the Ontario Science Centre is a mainstay on the school field trip circuit – kids love it and it’s educational - the perfect combination. Anything that allows kids to learn through interactive means is a great venue for family outings. There are exhibits and areas to suit all ages, from the eight and under set all the way up to teens. Exhibition halls and demonstrations cover everything from outer space to the potential and limits of the human body. Explore a 15-metre long replica of a cave in Guelph, Ontario, visit Toronto's only public planetarium, gaze at the “Cloud”, a unique art installation composed of hundreds of rotating glass panels designed to mimic the changes of state from solid to liquid to gas, or see what’s playing at OMNIMAX Theatre.

Check the schedule before you go to see what types of films are playing.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

If you and your kids are in the mood to bounce, head straight for Sky Zone Trampoline Park. There’s one right in Toronto as well as one in Mississauga, depending on where you are in the city. People of all ages can jump – simply make a reservation to ensure you get a spot. Jumping on a trampoline makes for great exercise, and it's a fun indoor activity ideal for energetic kids. Just keep in mind that jumpers are grouped by size to avoid injuries so you won’t be jumping directly with your kids. 

Family Sundays at the AGO

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) offers a fun, family-focused program from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays that takes place at the Weston Family Learning Centre and runs until the end of April. Program topics change monthly but are usually based around an artist, art movement, or type of art and include educational as well as interactive elements. No matter what's on offer, you can expect to get creative as a family. The price for Family Sunday is included with the cost of general admission making it easy to explore the AGO in addition to taking part in the program.

Children’s Programs at the Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library isn’t just a place to borrow books and movies or quietly get some work done. There’s always something going on for kids of all ages, including teens. From crafts for kids and story time, to after school programs, it’s worth seeing what’s available for kids at your local branch, whether your kids are looking to learn something new or simply hang out with other kids in a relaxed setting.

Bata Shoe Museum

Love shoes? This vibrant museum offers a number of eye-opening exhibits that will keep kids of all ages interested. For starters, All About Shoes is the museum’s flagship exhibition that covers 4500 years of footwear. The historical progression is a fascinating one and something even younger kids can relate to because, well, we all wear shoes. There is an area here that also has a fairy tale theme, which most kids get a kick out of.