How to Plan an Epic Family Vacation

Get ready for a family vacation you'll rave about for years (because you made everybody happy). Toronto is a bustling city full of amazing experiences and surprising discoveries for both the kids and the grownups in your group.

No matter how much you love your offspring, there’s only so many animatronic critters a parent can bear. Plan your next family vacation around these Toronto activities everyone will love.

Score Hot Seats at a Game (or Several!)

Toronto is home to Canada’s only NBA and MLB teams, the Raptors and the Blue Jays. The Canadian Football League’s Argonauts hold the record for the most championship Grey Cup wins. (Arrive early to join their new in-stadium tailgate section.)

The Toronto Football Club (TFC) boasts many Canadian championships. Or catch the Rock (National Lacrosse League) or Wolfpack (British Rugby Football League) for their fan friendliness.

Make a pilgrimage to the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF). Housed in a historic building not far from Scotiabank Arena’s home ice, the HHOF honours Canada’s official national winter sport. Take a selfie with the Stanley Cup. Try scoring against Carey Price or shut out Sidney Crosby.* Complete your visit with a 3-D hockey flick and a tour of planet Earth’s biggest collection of hockey memorabilia.

*OK, OK: life-size, simulated versions of Carey Price and Sidney Crosby.

Get Up Close and Personal with Famous Art(ists)

From the country’s leading galleries and museums (we’re looking at you, Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario!) to unique events and festivals, Toronto’s the place to get your arts ’n’ culture fix.

The Museum of Contemporary Art – Toronto (MOCA) offers thought-provoking work in the up-and-coming Junction neighbourhood. Hit up Young People’s Theatre for its dramas, musicals and adaptations of stage classics.

Visiting in winter? The National Ballet of Canada’s The Nutcracker sells out, so book well in advance. Each performance is preceded with the much loved Nutcracker Story Time.

Fill Up on International Cuisine

Bring your appetite and feast like it’s going out of style (don’t worry: it’s not). Hit St. Lawrence Market to nosh on Canadiana such as peameal bacon sandwiches, smoked salmon on Montreal-style bagels and gooey butter tarts.

Stroll funky Kensington Market for delish global fare: Salvadoran pupusas, Caribbean roti, Venezuelan arepas, and sooooo much more. Save room for dim sum: Chinatown is just around the corner!

Visiting in summer? The annual Canadian National Exhibition (aka The Ex) is a must. Besides a ride- and game-filled midway, The Ex is known for OTT carnival fare like buttermilk fried chicken on a cinnamon bun, or cheese-stuffed deep-fried Doritos. Toast the city at family-friendly brewpubs Indie Alehouse (colouring books), Mill Street Beer Hall (kids’ menu, crayons) and Left Field Brewery (Wrigley, the brewery dog!).

Or hit The Distillery Historic District to sightsee, shop for artisanal sake or vodka and watch SOMA Chocolatemaker chocolatiers create decadent treats.

Walk on the Wild Side Together

Get your heart racing with experiences for every thrill seeker. Many attractions let you adjust the adrenaline to suit each family member (age restrictions may apply).

The CN Tower boasts eye-popping views, thanks to newly renovated window walls and a bigger glass floor. Daredevils can stroll outside the observation deck with EdgeWalk.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada up the excitement for those not content to observe tiger sharks, moray eels and sawfish; how about snorkelling with stingrays or scuba diving with sharks instead? Over at the Toronto Zoo, young naturalists will be enthralled by polar bears, Siberian tigers and one-horned rhinos.

Wanna kick it up a notch? Try the Gorilla Climb Ropes Course or TundraAir zip line. And if the secret passages and underground tunnels of Casa Loma aren’t enough, visitors can partake in immersive escape room experiences within the castle.

Want even more action? Canada’s Wonderland’s new roller coaster, the Yukon Striker, is the world’s fastest, tallest and longest dive coaster, hitting top speeds of 130 km/h (80 mph), with a 90-degree 75 m (245 ft) drop and over 1,105 m (3,625 ft) of track.

Treetop Trekking offers ropes courses for all skill levels. Avid fliers can try uFly Simulator’s cockpit experience. Or float on air at iFLY Indoor Skydiving. Finally, Go-Karts at Polson Pier promises timeless, wind-in-your-hair fun.

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.


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