Looking for some ideas of things to do in Toronto with kids? Here are 25 great suggestions, with everything from museums and the top Toronto family attractions to some great places to get outdoors with kids, as well as some ideas of things to near Toronto.
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Toronto is a great city to visit with kids! As the largest city in Canada, there is so much to see and do. From museums and tourist attractions to the waterfront, and of course the iconic CN Tower, there are plenty of fun things to do in Toronto with kids.
Living nearby in Hamilton for decades, we’ve visited Toronto countless times and explored different parts of the city each time. Whether walking around downtown and visiting popular spots like St.Lawrence Market and Nathan Phillips Square, visiting the Distillery Christmas Market, stopping for some excellent Korean food on Queen Street, taking the ferry to Centre Island or spending a day at the Toronto Zoo, each time we visit, we try to have a different experience. And with so many amazing things to do in Toronto for families, it’s not hard!
Here are 24 suggestions to help you plan your trip and enjoy your time in the capital city of Ontario.
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Toronto is located in Southern Ontario, on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s the capital city of Ontario and the largest city in Canada, with a population of over 2.7 million. The city is home to people from over 180 countries, making it one of the most multicultural populations in North America.
Toronto is also home to many important landmarks, including the CN Tower, one of the world’s tallest free-standing structures, and Casa Loma, an actual castle in the city. The Toronto Zoo is also the largest zoo in Canada, and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the largest museum in Canada.
Toronto also has many nicknames, including TO, Hogtown and 6ix, which is the nickname that Canadian rapper Drake – who’s from Toronto – gave the city.
Top 5 Things to Do in Toronto with Kids
1. Climb the CN Tower
A trip to Toronto isn’t complete without seeing its iconic landmark. You’ll be able to see the CN Tower from almost anywhere in the city, as it’s the tallest structure around. In fact, it was the tallest structure in the world until 2011!
Ride up in a glass elevator for some amazing views for the Lookout and Outdoor Viewing Gallery, or dine at the 360 Restaurant for an amazing view as you dine. If you’re brave, try the Edge Walk!
Pro Tip: If you plan on visiting a few of the main attractions, consider purchasing a Toronto CityPass. The CityPass provides discounted entry to 5 of the most popular things to do in Toronto with kids: CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Casa Loma, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Science Center or the Toronto Zoo.
2. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium
Probably one of the most popular things to do in Toronto with kids, Ripley’s Aquarium is located in downtown Toronto, right next to the CN Tower.
It’s Canada’s largest indoor aquarium, with more than 20,000 animals and plenty of hands-on experience to touch different creatures. The play area is popular with kids too!
**Admission to Ripley’s Aquarium is included in the CityPass.
3. Visit the Ontario Science Centre
Experience hands-on fun at the Ontario Science Centre as kids discover how to think like a scientist through interactive exhibits, demonstrations and live shows.
Check out the whale skeleton, the Rain Forest and the Innovation Centre where there’s plenty of activities and interactive exhibits for everyone in the family.
There’s a restaurant on site or plenty of areas to eat your own lunch or snacks.
While the Ontario Science Center isn’t in downtown Toronto, it’s worth the drive!
4. Explore the ROM
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a great place to spend the day, whether you’re interested in art, dinosaurs or world culture.
Check out the Bat Cave, Egyptian Exhibit and Gallery of Chinese Architecture or all the different dinosaurs on display.
With activities for everyone from kids to teens and even adults, the ROM is one of the best family friendly things to do in Toronto.
5. Take the Ferry to Toronto Island
While the ferry is a fun experience for many kids, once across the water, Centreville Amusement Park is sure to be the hit attraction with plenty of rides, a Ferris wheel, carousel and bumper cars.
There’s plenty of paths and a few beaches to enjoy or you can also rent bikes on the island to explore even more.
The ferry runs year round, but the theme park is only open May to October.
Check out this great Kid’s City Guide & Journal to Exploring Toronto, written by a local author. It includes info on the top places to visit in Toronto with family, as well as some games and activities, and journal pages for kids to fill in on the trip.
Things to Do in Toronto with Kids: Museums and Attractions
6. Visit Casa Loma
Did you know that Toronto has its own castle?
Casa Loma is over 100 years old and was once the home of one of Toronto’s wealthiest residents. Now this stunning castle is one of the city’s most popular historic sites and you can tour the grounds on a self-guided tour.
Explore the fancy rooms and hallways inside and then wander the gardens outside. Head underground and explore the tunnels or climb to the top of the tower for a view over the city.
Casa Loma also offers a virtual tour of the castle, so you can check it out before you visit.
7. Explore the AGO
The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of North America’s largest art museums and a great place to spend the day with kids.
Kids can make their own art using different techniques and mediums, and activities are based on the current exhibitions.
Admission is free every Wednesday from 6-9 and anytime for anyone under 25.
8. Hockey Hall of Fame
Even if you’re not a hockey fan, the Hockey Hall of Fame is worth a visit. It features interactive exhibits, a replica dressing room and trophy rooms, and you can even broadcast parts of famous hockey games. Book your ticket ahead of time here.
9. Check out the Bata Shoe Museum
The Bata Shoe Museum is a great place to visit, especially if your kids are interested in fashion or shoes!
Housed in a building that’s shaped like a shoebox, the Bata Shoe Museum features one of the world’s largest and most impressive footwear collections.