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.

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.

While 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 25 suggestions to help you plan your trip and enjoy your time in the capital city of Ontario.

About Toronto

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.

Where to Stay in Toronto with Kids
Chelsea Hotel ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Westin Harbourfront ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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!

view of CN Tower from below
Photo credit: © Destination Toronto

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. 

shark swimming at Ripley’s aquarium in Toronto
Photo credit: © Destination Toronto

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!

Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time with free cancellation.

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.

royal ontario museum in Toronto on a sunny day. the building is made of squares on an angle with lines across at different angles for contrast

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.  

**The ROM is included in the CityPass or you can purchase general admission tickets here.

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 - Toronto's historical castle
Casa Loma

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.

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.

👉 Purchase Skip the Line Tickets ahead of time

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.

the hockey hall of fame building with long rectangular windows depicting some famous hockey players.

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.

a beige rectangular building on the corner of Bloor st in Toronto is slightly larger at the top with a black roof and a blue sign on the front proclaiming the Bata shoe museum.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

With more than 13,000 artifacts on display, ranging from ancient Egyptian sandals to contemporary sneakers, there’s something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind museum.

👉 Purchase Skip the Line Tickets ahead of time.

10. Visit St. Lawrence Market

One of Toronto’s most popular markets, St. Lawrence Market is a great place to explore with kids.

inside of st. Lawrence market building in Toronto. plenty walk around and shop in front of di liso’s fine meats while another sign opposite is the seafront fish market

With fresh produce, meats and cheeses, as well as prepared foods, there’s plenty to see and taste! Be sure to try a peameal bacon sandwich – it’s a Toronto specialty!

The market can get pretty crowded on weekends so if you can, go during the week.

11. Explore the Museum of Illusions

Situated in the heart of Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, this unique museum offers an interactive adventure for the whole family.

From mind-bending exhibits that challenge your sense of reality to fascinating visual illusions and engaging puzzles, the Museum of Illusions is a fun and educational experience for everyone in the family.

Take a walk in the upside-down world, experience the tilted room or try the popular cloning table. 

Tickets can be purchased online. Prices are $19.50 for kids aged 5-15 and $25.50 for those 16 and over.

12. Catch a Sports Game

Toronto is home to several sports teams, including the Toronto FC, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors, Marlies and Argonauts. Watching a sports game is a fun activity to do with the whole family, and depending on when you are visiting Toronto, there’s bound to be a sports team playing.

Scotiabank Arena, home to the Maple Leafs, Raptors and Marlies, and the Rogers Centre, home to the Blue Jays and Argos, are both conveniently located in downtown Toronto and within walking distance from most of the main Toronto family attractions.

Things to Do in Toronto with Kids: Neighbourhoods to Explore

13. Wander the Distillery District

The Distillery District is a great place to explore with kids, especially if you’re looking for something different to do.

If you pick up a copy of Exploring Toronto, there’s a fun scavenger hunt for kids to do as you wander through the different alleys in the area.

small cafe tables and chairs sit along the edge of a sidewalk with lampposts, a cobblestone road lies between the cafe tables and an old brick building with rectangular windows and a green roof

The pedestrian-only neighbourhood has plenty of artists and artisans, as well as cafes and shops to explore.

If you’re visiting Toronto in December, this entire village transforms into a winter wonderland. It’s home to Toronto’s Christmas Market, called the Distillery Winter Village, which is one of the best Christmas Markets in Canada, and a must-see during the holiday season.

14. Head Over to Kensington Market

Kensington Market is a diverse neighbourhood in downtown Toronto where you’ll find unique and colourful shops, vibrant street art and plenty of cafes and restaurants.

Designated a National Historic Site for being an example of Canada’s ethnic mosaic, you’ll find food and spices from around the world.

The last Sunday of every month in the summer, Kensington Market is a pedestrian only zone, which is great a time for exploring with kids!

Things to Do in Toronto with Kids Outdoors

15. Visit Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square is a large, open square in the heart of downtown. Home to the iconic “Toronto” sign, it’s a good spot for photos or to take a break and people-watch.

people are skating on an ice rink at Nathan Phillips Square in front of the Toronto sign which is lit up in blue letters and the building behind has red spotlights shining on it

In the summer, there are often free events and concerts happening and in the winter, enjoy skating on the outdoor rink.

16. Get Outdoors at High Park

High Park is one of the largest parks in Toronto and a great place to spend a day with kids.

There’s hiking trails, picnic areas, gardens and even a small zoo (free!), plus a fantastic wooden playground. High Park should definitely be on your list of things to do with kids in Toronto!  

It’s also a popular spot in the spring to see the beautiful cherry blossoms.

17. Visit the Waterfront

The Toronto Waterfront is a great place to explore with kids.

Walk, bike or scooter along the waterfront trail or relax on a Muskoka chair and soak up the sun.

Relax in a Muskoka chair on the beach at the Toronto Waterfront

Catch the ferry to Toronto Island or take a harbour cruise for a fantastic view of the Toronto skyline.

There’s also play areas, splash pads and even a giant sand box so your kids can play in the sand without the risk of the water. 

18. Hang Out at Harbourfront Centre

The Harbourfront Centre is a great place to spend a day, especially if you’re looking for free things to do in Toronto with kids!

With plenty of green space to explore, a playground and wading pools in the summer, it’s the perfect place to let kids run around and explore. In the winter, there’s also an outdoor skating rink.

There are also often events and festivals happening at Harbourfront so it’s worth checking their website before you go.

19. Spend a Day at one of Toronto’s Beaches

With eleven public beaches in Toronto, there’s plenty of sand and sun to go around!

Woodbine Beach is the largest and most popular beach in Toronto, and features a boardwalk, plenty of green space and a children’s playground.

Cherry Beach is smaller but has a great dog park and is less crowded than Woodbine. While it’s not as sandy as other beaches in Toronto, it does have a great path to bike or scooter along.

And if you head over to Toronto Islands, Ward’s Island Beach and Centre Island Beach are great spots to relax and spend the day. Both are sandy beaches and blue flag certified, so no worries about getting in for a swim!

20. Riverdale Farm

Located in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood, Riverdale Farm is a working farm where you’ll get a taste of farm life.

With farm animals, herb and vegetable gardens, as well as wooded areas and ponds, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon with kids.

The farm is free to enter and open year-round.

21. Ride the Streetcar

One of the best activities in Toronto for families is riding the streetcars!

Streetcar in Toronto, Ontario
Kids will love riding the streetcars in Toronto

While kids are probably used to riding in cars, buses and maybe even the subway, streetcars aren’t too popular in North America.

You’ll find streetcars in the downtown area of Toronto and taking a ride on them is a great way for some inexpensive sightseeing.

The 501 Queen Streetcar route has been ranked #1 Trolley Ride by National Geographic, and takes you past several of our suggested Toronto attractions for kids, including High Park and Nathan Phillips Square.  

Things to Do in Toronto for Families Outside of the City  

22. Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is one of the most popular family activities in Toronto. It’s one of the largest zoos in the world and is home to over 5000 animals.

The zoo features seven different zones, each with its own unique theme and animals.

camels in the Toronto zoo
a boy sits on a rock and looks toward the zebra which is looking at him

It’s easy to spend an entire day here, as there is so much to see and do. Some people can visit in 3-4 hours, but with little kids, or even slightly older kids who want to stop at look at everything, it will take a bit longer.

The Toronto Zoo is a bit of a drive from downtown area, but it’s also accessible on the TTC bus.

23. Canada’s Wonderland

Just north of the city, Canada’s Wonderland has over 200 rides and attractions and is guaranteed fun for the whole family.

Ride the coasters or cool off at Splashworks – there are rides for kids of all ages. It can get busy in the summer, so arrive early and plan to stay the day!

Open daily from May to September, although there are different events throughout the year, like Halloween Haunt, which ranks on our list of best places to celebrate Halloween around the world.

Canada’s Wonderland is off Hwy 400 at the Rutherford Road exit and is also accessible by public transit.

24. Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto

If you have kids who are into Lego, Legoland Discovery Center is a great place to spend a day with kids.

With 3 million bricks, 2 Lego-themed rides, Lego build zones and a Duplo play area for younger children, there’s plenty to keep kids entertained. My kids easily spent a few hours there, and probably could have stayed longer if Grandma and Grandpa had let them.

Legoland is located north of Toronto in Vaughn Mills, near Canada’s Wonderland.

25. Day Trip to Niagara Falls

The world-famous Niagara Falls is about a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto and a must-see if you have the time! Day tours are available from Toronto if you don’t have a car. Check out the tour options available.

There are plenty of ways to see the falls, from taking a boat tour to walking along the boardwalk or exploring the other things to do in Niagara Falls with kids.

The falls are also illuminated at night, making for a beautiful sight.  

niagara falls illuminated at night
Niagara Falls illuminated at night

Where to Stay in Toronto with Kids

Chelsea Hotel

If you’re looking for somewhere close to many of the popular things to do in Toronto, the Chelsea Hotel is a great option.

It’s a family-friendly hotel in downtown Toronto, only a short walk to Yonge-Dundas Square and a perfect spot for exploring the city.

Offering kid-friendly accommodations, including suites or studios with kitchenettes, the Chelsea Hotel also features two indoor pools, plus a waterslide and a fitness centre, and some rooms have balconies with views of the CN Tower. It’s a great family-friendly hotel in downtown Toronto.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia

Westin Harbour Castle

Located on the Toronto Waterfront, the Westin Harbour Castle is another great family-friendly hotel.

It’s within walking distance from the ferry terminal, the CN Tower and other great Toronto activities for kids.

The hotel offers the Westin Kids Club and the kids club room is full of board games and toys, as well as table tennis. There’s also a pool and an outdoor deck with a skyline view. Kids under 5 eat for free at one of two restaurants in the hotel.

While it’s not a budget hotel, the great location makes it convenient for many of the popular kid-friendly things to do in Toronto.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia

How to Get to Toronto

Toronto is located in Southern Ontario and is easily accessed by car, train or plane.

From the United States, it’s about a 1.5 hour drive from the Niagara Falls border or 4 hours from the Windsor border.

Within Canada, it’s a 5.5 hour drive from Montreal or 4.5 hours from Ottawa.

International flights land at Toronto Pearson Airport, just outside of the city. Car rentals can be picked up there or take the Union-Pearson Express, which connects the airport to downtown in just 25 minutes.

Domestic flights may also arrive at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which is on Toronto Island and a short ferry ride to the downtown area.

VIA Rail, Amtrack and the GO Train arrive at Union Station in downtown Toronto. The GO Bus is also available from nearby cities in Southern Ontario.


When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Toronto?

Toronto is a great place to visit anytime of the year!

In the summer, the weather is nicer and many Toronto activities for kids, including Canada’s Wonderland and Toronto Island, are open. Temperatures can reach above 30°C in July and August though.

In the winter, the temperatures can dip below 0°C, but there are plenty of indoor things to do in Toronto for families. Or try some fun winter activities, such as skating outdoors at Nathan Phillips Square or at the Harbourfront Centre.

There are so many great things to do in Toronto with kids but there are also so many great places to visit in Ontario that you shouldn’t just experience the Toronto area!

If you have more than a few days, be sure to check out Niagara Falls, one of Ontario’s Natural Wonders, or head north to cottage country and visit Huntsville and the Muskoka area. 

We may be a bit biased, but Hamilton is also worth a visit, and has some great waterfalls to explore.

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Have you been to Toronto? What are your favourite things to do in Toronto with kids? Let us know in the comments below.

For more ideas on family travel in Ontario, be sure to check out these posts: