Call me crazy but I do love summers in the city. Whether you’re playing tourist or touring around tourists, there are so many Toronto destinations, activities and festivals to fill nine weeks of summer vacation. We’ve pulled together some of our favourites and added in some new adventures that we have been eyeing to check off our list. Here are 51 ways to fill your summer days in Toronto with kids:
2. Go skating (yes outdoor summer skating) at Ontario Place. There is also beach volleyball, kayak rentals, life-size chess and IMAX movies at the Cinesphere. Free entry!
3. ROAD TRIP: Visit Petticoat Creek Conservation area – nature trails plus pool and splash pad.
4. Sail on a pirate ship with Pirate Life Toronto.
5. DAY TRIP: Spend a sunny day Wet ‘n Wild Toronto waterpark (near Highways 407 and 427.)
6. Check out the Art of Banksy exhibition (extended until August 19, 2018) then go explore the Junction neighbourhood.
8. Go on a bike ride! Destination: photo opp at the rainbow tunnel along the East Don Trail; BMX-ing at the Pump Track in Crothers Woods; lake views along Sunnyside Beach, weekend ride to the lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park or live music (Thursday eve or Sunday aft) at Trillium Park.
9. Bike or walk along Queen’s Quay and paddleboat on the Natrel Pond at Harbourfront Centre.
10. Visit Scarborough Bluffs and check out Rosetta Gardens en route.
11. Check out the POPnology exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre then head out to the tree slide.
Trip tip: Nathan Phillips Square hosts a Farmers Market on Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.and food trucks on Thursdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
13. Get creative at The Maker Festival at Toronto Reference Library July 7-8, 2018.
15. Head to the CBC Building for Kids’ CBC Days – July 18-19, 2018.
16. Get a dose of nature in the city – play and eat at Summer Wednesdays at Evergreen Brick Works, starts July 4, 2018.
17. DAY TRIP: Visit the Butterfly Habitat in Humber Park and walk or bike across the Humber Bay Arch Bridge. Head farther west to explore Colonel Samuel Smith Park.
18. Go see a Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball game at Christie Pits.
20. The Toronto Fringe Festival’s KidsFest takes place July 4-15, 2018 with eight family-friendly shows.
22. Have a campfire in the city! Reserve a fire pit through City of Toronto.
23. Go play in the streets with Open Streets Toronto on August 19, 2018.
24. Spend the day at the City of Toronto operated Kids Town Water Park in Scarborough – it’s free!
25. ROAD TRIP: Daredevils in TOw? Indoor skydiving in Oakville or Whitby with iFly.
26. Do some SUP! Stand up paddle boarding on Toronto Island.
27. Canoe on the Humber. Rentals here.
28. Defend the Den. Cheer on Toronto’s rugby team the Toronto Wolfpack at Lamport Stadium.
Trip tip: If it’s a hot day, stop in at the Splash Island.
30. DAY TRIP: Spend a sunny day at the 20-acre water park Splash Works at Canada’s Wonderland
32. Destination ice cream: La Diperie on the Danforth. Ed’s Real Scoop (multiple locations), I Halo on Queen St. East or the Poop Cafe on Bloor St. W.
33. Cheer on the Toronto RUSH at Monarch Park Stadium – Toronto’s only pro ultimate team.
Trip tip: There is a weekly organic Farmers Market on Thursdays from 2-7pm.
36. ROAD TRIP: Explore the Scenic Caves near Blue Mountain.
37. Head west to take in Movies in the Park at Sorauren Park: June 23 (Babe), July 28 (Charade), August 25 (Ghostbusters) and September 22 (Moana)— plus they have new Pizza Dinners.
38. More movies under ths stars: Movies at Regent Park on Wednesdays: July 11 – Cinderella; July 18 – The Tale of Princess Kaguya; July 25 – Birth of a Family; August 1: Coco; August 8: Bollywood/Hollywood and August 15: Sister Act.
Trip tip: The Taste of Regent Park market and meal take place pre-movie.
39. In theatres: Check out the summer movie line-up of new releases or keep it simple and cheap with these family favourites for $2.99 on Saturdays with Cineplex at participating theatres.
40. ROAD TRIP: Drive-in Movie in Oakville at 5 Drive-In.
42. ROAD TRIP: Treetop trekking for families at Treewalk Village in Stoufville.
43. FREE music concerts in the Toronto Music Garden on Thursdays at 7pm and Sundays at 4pm (check schedule.)
44. Run the bases at the Toronto Blue Jays Game.
45. Or skip the Rogers Centre and check out the Toronto Railway Museum.
46. Go to The Beach. Play some beach volleyball, scooter on the trail, skip stones and on Wednesdays, enjoy Movie Night in the Beaches Village at Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park starting with July 4 (Bend it Like Beckham).
47. Watch a movie from Sugar Beach or Lake Ontario at Sail-In Cinema on August 10-11, 2018. Films are screened on a two-sided screen set atop a barge in Toronto Harbour. Movies announced mid-July. You can vote for your movie until then.
48. ROAD TRIP: Check out of these five beaches along Fort Erie. (Palm trees at Port Dover!)
49. Spend the day picnicking, playing and swimming in High Park.
51. Go Argooooos! Take in a Toronto Argonauts game at BMO Stadium.
What did we miss? If you got to the end of this list, leave us a comment with an activity and a destination that is on YOUR summer list.