Toronto is known internationally for the CN Tower and for rapper Drake. Yet the city has more going for it than being the birthplace of everyone’s favorite actor turned rapper. Toronto recently landed at the top of The Economist’s Safe Cities Index for North American cities, beating New York and San Francisco—according to the report, it’s the “best place to live” in the world.
It’s also a great family destination, thanks to its plethora of activities for children that are fun for parents, too. While no trip to the city is complete without a visit to the aforementioned CN Tower, taking advantage of these five things to do in Toronto with kids is a must.
Explore High Park
High Park is a magical place for children and adults alike. It spans some 400 acres of land and includes a zoo, which is home to emus, bisons, cattle, and peacocks. The park also has two playgrounds, one of which is the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground, which swings, a castle, slides, and a separate play area for younger kids. The swimming and wading pools are both free to the public. The park boasts of acres of trails, and you can see the most spectacular display of cherry blossoms in the spring.
1873 Bloor St W, Toronto
Watch planes take off at the Harbourfront
Celebrate Toronto’s diverse cultures by visiting the Harbourfront Centre, a nonprofit organization located on the city’s waterfront. Various festivals are held at the Centre throughout the year, attracting 12 million visitors each year. The Harbourfront is also a great place to watch planes take off and land at the nearby Billy Bishop Airport. While you are at the Harbourfront, you can take the kids on a ferry to Centre Island, another Toronto landmark. Centreville Amusement Park is a popular destination, and you can also visit and pet farm animals and see exotic birds at the Far Enough Farm there.
235 Queens Quay West
Sleepovers with the Sharks at the Ripley’s Aquarium
Open 365 days a year, the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, exhibits more than 16,000 marine animals. It’s Canada’s largest indoor aquarium and features stingrays, bamboo sharks, and 65-year-old giant lobsters. Kids can also sleepover in the Aquarium under the “Dangerous Lagoon” shark tunnel.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
288 Bremner Boulevard
(647) 351-FISH (3474)
Get Up-Close and Personal with the Dinosaurs at The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
Looking for family things to do in Toronto on your vacation? Look no further than the Royal Ontario Museum or ROM—it’s a go-to-destination for kids who love to explore and love dinosaurs (which kid doesn’t love that?). Kids get to see the skeletons of some of their favorite dinosaurs, and the museum has a designated floor for little ones to play paleontologist and dig for bones.
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park
Make Cookies at The Sweet Flour Bake Shop
After a day of exploring Toronto, one of the best places for little ones to unwind and for parents to re-caffeinate is the Sweet Flour Bake Shop. What makes The Sweet Flour unique is that your cookies are made to order in front of you.
Sweet Flour Bake Shop
2352 Bloor Street West