Toronto With Kids

I have to admit I was a bit nervous about doing a city break with the kids, having never done anything like this with them before. But since we were flying into Toronto from Edinburgh we couldn’t very well pass up a chance to see at least a little of this beautiful city on the first stop of our break in Ontario.

Thankfully Toronto is an incredibly child-friendly city with so much going on for the whole family that there was really nothing to worry about (apart from the searing heat, which really affected all our energy levels).

I’ve detailed below some of the things we got up to that will hopefully provide a lil inspiration if you’re thinking about visiting with your kids.

CN Tower Restaurant

The CN Tower used to be the highest free-standing structure in the world (at 1815 feet) until the Burj Khalifa overtook it in 2008. The prospect of going to the top of a ridiculously tall building is pretty exciting for kids (our eldest at least) so we didn’t want to leave without doing this.

We opted to make a reservation at the restaurant for lunch as it means skipping the queues (which can apparently be up to 2 hours long) and, although a bit pricey for food, removing the stress of trying to entertain two children in a huge queue…well that’s priceless isn’t it!

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To access the Tower itself costs 38 CAD (ages 13-64) and 28 CAD (ages 4-12) so for 65 CAD per adult and 12 CAD per child to eat AND access the glass floor afterwards doesn’t make the cost seem so eye-watering. The restaurant itself sits on a revolving floor so no matter where you’re seated, you’re guaranteed to see every view! All in the comfort of your own space with no crowds surrounding you and, if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy it all with a large glass of wine in your hand. The restaurant itself is really child-friendly. They get their own menu, special cups to drink from and some colouring in to do if, like our youngest, they’re not interested in watching planes land at Billy Bishop airport just across the lake or attempting to spot ant-like people walking in the streets below.

After our lunch we were escorted down to the next level to check out the view again and then the next floor down for the glass floor. To be honest, after experiencing the view from the restaurant, we didn’t feel like this had the same level of excitement for us. However T enjoyed chilling out on the glass floor for a bit.

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To plan your experience check out their website here.

Toronto Railway Museum

Conveniently located just across the road from the CN Tower and with a really low entrance fee (5 CAD for over 14s and 3 CAD for under 14s), this was a perfect way to while away an afternoon. There’s a fab train simulator so you can have a go yourself at being a train driver, plus you can explore some of the real carriages.

Note that if the kids want to go on the miniature train ride outside this is an extra cost (3.50 CAD for over 14s and 2.50 CAD for under 14s).

The museum is also conveniently located just beside the Steam Whistle Brewery, so you can grab one of Canada’s premium Pilsners and enjoy the views before heading on your way.

You can find out more about the Railway Museum here.

Centre Island

A perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s only a 10 minute ferry journey (which in itself is an adventure for kids, well ours at least), you can easily visit Centre Island over a couple of days as there is just so much to see and do.

And why rush it? Take a picnic and check out the beautiful fountains, gardens, maze, Franklin Children’s Garden, beach, park and splash pad.

If that’s not enough for you, go along to Centreville Amusement Park for that carnival fun of times gone-by. Great for younger children, no scary rollercoasters, just great fun rides, including a Ferris Wheel with amazing views of the Toronto skyline, log flume, twirling teacups and pony rides. You can also pop along to the Far Away Farm petting zoo which is completely free.

For opening hours of both and prices for Centreville check out their website here.

If you have the time, and the funds allow, I would take a day to explore the Island and then pop back for another day just for Centreville and Far Away Farm.

You can get the Centre Island Ferry schedule and up to date pricing here.

Ontario Science Centre

We had THE best day out here. There is an entire floor of the Ontario Science Centre dedicated to children’s exploration and fun. There is genuinely too many activities to note. Our two didn’t even do everything there was on offer but they did have a chance to find out a little more about space, play with bubbles, water, torches and balls, help build some walls, play in the supermarket, play in the ‘vegetable patch’ and read books. And this is just some of the fun we had.

It’s a bit of a drive out of the city centre, but well worth a visit. There’s even an IMAX cinema!

For prices and opening hours and up to date info about what’s on, check out their website.

Chinatown

Head to Chinatown for dinner and let the kids explore the market stalls and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the restaurants. We chose a fabulous low-key restaurant and were surprised at how child-friendly it was. We got great advice on the right kinds of dishes for the kids in terms of spice and portion size and they barely blinked at the mess and noise we created, and not just by the kids. I managed to drop a scalding bowl of soup and wontons were flying ALL over the place! Needless to stay, we didn’t stay too long after this. Also, after some of the expenses of the previous days we couldn’t believe our entire meal came to less than 50 CAD.

Harbour

We happened upon the harbour a little by chance as we had some time to kill before our lunch at the CN Tower and we could have easily made an afternoon of our visit. There’s a man-man beach with Muskoka chairs to chill in while watching the planes landing at Billy Bishop Airport just across the lake, or to take in the amazing view of the CN Tower.

Streetcars

The Toronto Streetcars are not only a fabulous way to get around the city, for children they are pretty darn exciting to hop on and off. The routes and pricing are really easy to get the hang of so don’t be afraid of trying them out. We loved this guide to the Streetcars when we were doing our research ‘How to Take a Streetcar in Toronto’ so do check it out.

There’s obviously soo many other things to do in Toronto with kids…Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium, Hockey Hall of Fame and Riverdale Farm but we didn’t want to feel as thought we’d rushed around simply to tick things off a list. We had so much fun doing the things we did that we left the city feeling like we would happily visit again and again and always find something new to do.

Have you visited Toronto with your children? What are your recommendations?

Cx

Cuddle Fairy
Wanderlust Kids
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29 thoughts on “Toronto With Kids

  1. withlovemamablog

    This is so helpful! We head to Toronto next spring because we are taking a flight out of there. I was wondering what there would be for kids to do on a brief stay and it seems that we will hve more than enough!! Thanks for sharing

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  2. Noo

    Oooh! This really made me want to visit! My transport mad eldest and science mad youngest would find so much to interest them. Toronto goes straight on our travel list!

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  3. Vicky

    Never been to Toronto but you had me at train simulators! Toddler had his first “real” train ride a couple of weeks ago and he won’t stop playing with his trains now.

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  4. babyfoote

    Oh we loved Toronto pre children. We visited during a very, very cold winter and there were icicles on the CN Tower! One day we’ll make it back with our kids! It looks amazing for little ones.

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  5. Rochelle @ Rhubarb and Wren

    Ah, I visited Toronto when I was at Uni, so a very long time before kids came along. It’s funny how you see a completely different side to a city when you visit as a family! Sounds like you had a great time – would love to take my guys there too one day.

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  6. BattleMum

    We’d never really considered Toronto, mainly because we want to explore the National Parks in the west of Canada. But I’d be well tempted to visit the city, maybe as part of a two-city break with New York or Chicago. It sounds amazing and very family-friendly. And the science centre sounds very much like OMSI in Portland, so I know my son would love it. Great post about visiting Toronto with kids!

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    1. amummoreordinary

      Oh I’d love to do the National Parks too. I think we need another couple of years before we can face that kind of flight with the kids, but one day! We had thought the same thing, we might return in a couple of years and do the 2 city thing too. Cx

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  7. Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee

    This looks amazing, I’m a long way off ever daring to take my three year old and one year old twins anywhere like this (or basically ANYWHERE at all somedays!) but this looks so good. The CN Tower with a glass of wine definitely clinched it for me!

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    1. amummoreordinary

      Oh I know the feeling. Thankfully our eldest is 6 now so it was really just the littlest that may have proved tricky but actually she wasn’t too bad (but she’s about to hit 3 so she’s slowly moving out of the toddler phase too). Cx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. threekidsandacar

    We’ve been aiming to get to Canada in general (it seems weather is always against us), and now it seems we’ve got to make sure we do a stop in Toronto! It looks absolutely beautiful (and I can’t wait to check out the harbor and Centre Island)! Thanks for all the info.

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  9. Peachy

    Being Torontonians ourselves, we couldn’t pass up this post. Looks like you got most of the good stuff within the city itself. Except maybe the Ripley’s aquarium and Rogers Centre right next door to the CN tower. We also have an amazing zoo and a decent museum. I guess you’ll have to come back and visit us again. #BloggerClubUK

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  10. Jules ( shadesofcourage.com)

    Last time I visited Toronto I was a kid myself, nice to see that some of the sights I admired as a kid are still around. We will for sure visit Ontario in the next years and it’s good to know that Toronto ought to be included in our itinerary. #wanderlustkid

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  11. Amanda Bowers

    So glad to have found your post! I am heading here with my three kids in just a few weeks and this is so helpful!! Great tips on the CN tower and I am already now looking forward to those Pilsners. Looks like the perfect city break for families.

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  12. Amanda

    Pretty excited to find this article. Headed here with my kids in just a few weeks. Great tips for the CN Tower and I am now looking forward to that Pilsner!! YUM!!

    Like

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