Hotspots in Toronto, ON
If you’re looking for a quick place for your children to cool off in the water on sunny summer days, take them to a Splash Pad! The City of Toronto has dozens of Splash Pads conveniently located at dozens of parks and playgrounds. What is a Splash Pad? It’s an unsupervised water play area that keeps children laughing for hours. They can jump through shower heads and stand under spray jets and other engaging water features. Children should not be left unsupervised while visiting the Splash Pads. Splash and Spray Pads are open seasonally from May through September, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Every family deserves a little time at Canada’s Wonderland! Their 16 thrill coasters make up the most diverse collection in North America, including the Levithian, newly unleashed in 2012. Milder thrills await in KidZville, where everyone can meet the Peanuts gang and swoop through tamer rides. Summertime heralds the opening of Splash Works Waterpark, which has a quarter-mile long lazy river, Canada’s largest outdoor wave pool and water slides galore. Or, step back in time at Dinosaurs Alive!, an interactive exhibit featuring more than 40 life-sized dinosaurs, covering seven-acres. Season passes are easy to buy through the Canada’s Wonderland website and can even be paid for in installment plans!
Give your children one of childhood’s best known and least understood gifts: Play. Kids delight in all the imaginative adventures at none other than a museum created especially for them! Nowhere else can you see up to nine hundred Canadian toys, all over one hundred years old, or take exciting workshops on making and designing toys from recyclable materials. The Children’s Own Museum dedicates itself to fostering self-esteem, confidence, creativity, and imagination in children. Founded by researchers and educators in 1983, it has since grown in partnerships with other organizations. Join the Children’s Own Museum facebook page for updates and details.
Phone: 416-392-5929Inspire your family to love, respect, and protect wildlife and wild spaces at the Toronto Zoo. Canada’s largest zoo is set in the beautiful Rouge Valley, with over five thousand animals representing over five hundred different species. You must see the incredible Gorilla Rainforest with a complete troop of Western Lowland Gorillas, the Great Barrier Reef, the amazing five-acre Polar Bear habitat complete with underwater viewing area, located in the ten-acre Tundra Trek. The kid-friendly Zellers Discovery Zone features a dynamic, interactive, children’s wildlife experience. The little ones also love to play at Splash Island, a two-acre water play area that is also home to Waterside Theatre.
Make a day out of absorbing the over 200 City-owned pieces of outdoor public art in Toronto. Installed throughout parks, streets, squares, and subway stations, these art pieces can be woven seamlessly into Toronto’s fabric or stand out as an arresting detail or event. Not limited to visual art, the Public Artworks can be aural, functional, visual, and inspirational. The earliest piece in the collection, The Canadian Volunteers Memorial, has stood since 1870. New works are added every year. Visit the Public Art and Monuments Collection Website for an interactive map of the 200+ art locations.
All denizens of the modern world must visit CN Tower, an official one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World (classified by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1995). Take the family out to observe from the LookOut, test their nerve looking down through the Glass Floor, go way up in a SkyPod, or feel the rush in a high speed elevator. Adventure-seekers go wild for the Himalamazon Motion Theatre Ride and the Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D, or for the ultimate in adrenaline, take the world’s highest full-circle hands-free EdgeWalk 116 stories above ground. For tamer entertainment, the whole family can enjoy films screened at the Maple Leaf Cinema. Eat at one of three restaurants that grace the CN Tower, including the award-winning, rotating 360 Restaurant.
Not your everyday public park, the Toronto Islands offer more than just a picturesque waterfront picnic destination. Visitors can jump into attractions like the Centreville Amusement Park, which has over 600 acres of parkland, 30 rides, and 14 food outlets. The Frank Children’s Garden embarks children on the great adventure of reading through interactive installations and the wonders of the natural world. History aficionados will like the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Toronto Islands’ recreation facilities include volleyball nets, beaches, boat and bike rentals, restaurants, cafes, and snack bars. Get to the Toronto Islands via Ferry from Queen’s Quay W.
Giddily swathed in an aura of exploration, the Ontario Science Center gives ‘weekend discovery’ a new name. The OSC houses programs, activities, and exhibits that cater specifically to different groups: families with young children, teens, and adults. The whole family can Sleepover at OSC while learning to master the skills of discovery and innovation amongst the hundreds of exhibits. Become a Citizen Scientist and participate in Star Watch, or participate in a trained scientist’s real research experiment. High Schoolers can hangout at SCI FRI on Friday Nights, which features DJs, scoops on thinking globally and acting locally, and a “Battle of the Sexes” game show. An in-house IMAX theater and Scientifique Cafe mean you never even have to leave the OSC to chill out.
A day at the Hockey Hall of Fame is a day in paradise for the hockey fan family. At this, the home of The Stanley Cup, see exclusive videos, photos, and stories from inside The Stanley Cup championship teams. It’s interactive, too. Guests can take shots at real-time goalies, or try blocking the shots of Gretzky and Messier. After calling the play-by-play of some of hockey’s greatest goals, learn about NHL Legends’ follies, foes, and faux pas at the Legends Spotlight exhibit. Dedicated fans can follow the all-time record charts, and hockey’s most extensive list of records and rankings.