Family Getaway – Toronto Style

Are you and the whole crew planning a vacation? Toronto has attractions your kids won’t want to miss. From exciting sports and cultural and scientific wonders, to treats and eats that everyone can enjoy, here are tons of tips for your trip. ShareThis

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The great exchange rate means you get more for your money when you visit! Some examples (for illustration only): A luxury hotel room for $400 Canadian dollars would be $292 US dollars. Great seats at a Blug Jays game for $102 Canadian dollars would be $79 US dollars. A half-day at a luxury spa for $250 Canadian dollars would be $182 US dollars.

Recommendations / Itineraries

From a 24-hour marathon of all things Toronto to an extended urban getaway, check out what others are recommending to see, do and taste in Toronto. You’ll get some great ideas.

Top 5 Things To Do With Families

  1. See the animals. This is a wonderful time of year at the Toronto Zoo with all the baby animals, including the Giant Panda cubs, being active and accessible. Or the Bat Cave at the Royal Ontario Museum is a fun way for kids to discover the real stories behind these mysterious creatures.
  2. Try out a new food. Toronto is home to many different ethnicities and the restaurants and food that kids around the world have been enjoying for years. How about Middle Eastern tabule or Chinese dim sum or even Canadian bannock?
  3. Get outside. Explore the waterfront area, which has boat tours (including a tall ship!) that run into October. Or take the ferry, that runs all year round, over to the Toronto Islands for the best view of the Toronto skyline or just stroll around the car-free environment.
  4. Be hands-on. Take a Master Builder workshop or check out the dozens of other bricktacular activities at LEGOLAND or try tile painting and clay modelling at the Gardiner Museum.
  5. Dig into history. For a unique and fun approach to learning about the living habits and customs of people around the world, the Bata Shoe Museum has over 13,000 artifacts spanning 4,500 years of history. Or take in a little piece of this city’s past at the Fort York National Historic Site. The site of a major battle in the War of 1812, its fortified buildings and real cannons bring history alive.
Canada’s largest city is also the world’s most multi-cultural. Over 140 languages are spoken in this teeming metropolis, allowing families a rare opportunity to explore several different cultures within a few blocks. Each neighbourhood has a pulse of its own and there’s always something vibrant going on in Toronto.” – Calgary Herald

Fall for Your Family

The action doesn’t stop just because the weather cools down a bit. Fall is an ideal time to take in a combination of outdoor and indoor events so we’ve rounded up a few that are fun for kids and grown-ups alike.

  • Camp Spooky runs every weekend in October at Canada’s Wonderland! This family-friendly daytime event includes Halloween-themed live entertainment, three mazes and trick-or-treating, plus favourite rides will be open during the day.
  • From October 8 to 18, Spirit Horse, at Young People’s Theatre, follows the adventures of two Indigenous children whose family is caught between traditional ways and contemporary urban culture.
  • The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, a 10-day event filled with horse competitions, animal displays and fascinating food demos takes place from November 4 to 13.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs turn 100 this year and the Hockey Hall of Fame has mounted a special exhibit in celebration. See treasures from the team’s legendary past, such as Mats Sundin’s jersey from the final game at Maple Leaf Gardens, and much more. On now!
  • Plan Ahead for the Holidays

  • Music, dance and colour light up Famous People Players TREE-MENDOUS holiday show through November and December.
  • The Toronto Christmas Market (November 18 to December 21) in the Distillery Historic District will transport you back in time with its old world charm.
  • It’s all kids on deck when the big guy comes to town on November 20 for the Santa Claus Parade.

Neighbourhoods to Explore

One of the best ways to discover the city is by picking a neighbourhood and start exploring. Whether you’re looking for the busy downtown core with major gathering places like Nathan Phillips Square and Yonge-Dundas Square, or the more bucolic vibe of the Beaches or High Park, check “Go Local” for tips on photo opps, the smartest shops and restaurant stops.

View the full Toronto Magazine online or request a free copy on our Maps & Guides page.

Check out these pages from past issues of Toronto Magazine to get more insider info.

Family Time

Discover, delight and devour, and see how you stack up as a city explorer. By Yuki Hayashi with illustrations by Remy Simard.

Family Time (online PDF)
Family Time (accessible PDF download)

Family Fun

Gather the family and explore Toronto from A to Z with help from this article. By Yuki Hayashi.

Family Fun (online PDF)
Family Fun (accessible PDF download)

Child’s Play

Explore these top family-friendly draws in this fun piece. By Yuki Hayashi with illustrations by Jaqui Oakley.

Child’s Play (online PDF)
Child’s Play (accessible PDF download)

Save Money with CityPASS

Save up to 43% off 5 of Toronto’s top attractions, plus skip lines. Toronto CityPASS includes admission to: CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, Ripley’s Aquarium and either Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre. Adult: $72 CAD ($126 value) + tax; Child: $46 CAD (ages 4 to 12) + tax. Valid 9 days. Purchase booklets or printable vouchers online.

Book Hotels & Attractions

Video Playlist: Toronto Attractions

From exciting theme parks and incredible zoos to spectacular gardens and attractions Toronto has so much to offer no matter what time of year you decide to visit.

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