Five Great Picks for Family Day Fun in Toronto
by Corinne McDermott
It seems Valentine’s Day gets all the attention come February, but I would argue that Family Day has more to do with the true meaning of love and is gaining ground. It is a statutory holiday, after all, but unfortunately not for all of Canada. But if you are one of the lucky ones with a day off on February 17, it’s time to explore the great city of Toronto and all it has to offer.
Prepare to be wowed – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is truly awesome, and one of those great attractions that mom and dad will enjoy just as much as the kids – maybe even more. We hopped off the moving sidewalk taking us through the Dangerous Lagoon, as the various sharks, stingrays, and swordfish mesmerized us. And we squeezed in the tunnels and viewing ports meant for kids, as we felt like kids again. The sharks share the spotlight with giant lobsters and impossibly tinted jellyfish. It’s busiest between 11am and 4pm, but even crowded Ripley’s Aquarium is totally worth it.
Whether you remember when it was first built (ahem) or you’ve grown up with it as the signature element of Toronto’s skyline, the CN Tower continues to impress and amaze. From the moment you step into those glass elevators and then emerge almost a minute later you’ll be acutely aware of just how impressive Toronto is, and of how the CN Tower is more than just a tall building. It’s truly an incredible feat of modern engineering complete with glass floors (that can support the weight of 14 hippos, in case you were wondering). Save 15% on admission by purchasing tickets online, a minimum of 24 hours before your visit.
It may not have the roller coasters and water parks of its Florida and California cousins, but your kids will love the Model Builder Academy and Kingdom Quest Laser Ride at Toronto’s Legoland Discovery Centre. You will love not paying for airfare and worrying about sunscreen, plus there’s nearby great shopping at Vaughan Mills.
There are some residents of The Toronto Zoo that are big fans of February. The Arctic wolves and foxes, the reindeer, and certainly the polar bears are cheering our chilly temperatures instead of hibernating from them. Celebrate with them Family Day weekend at The Toronto Zoo’s Polar Bear Fest – with meet-the-keeper talks, polar bear photobombing, activities and crafts, plus draws for great prizes. Don’t forget to check out the pandas too!
The ROM is always a great day out with the kids, but on Family Day weekend they are pulling out all the stops with special programs running from 11am – 4pm. Live animal attractions, crafts, and stories inspired by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit and the Schad Gallery Of Biodiversity will entertain your kids while educating them (and you).