As I've mentioned before I used to be a nanny. While Toronto is a big place, it can be challenging to find fun things for young children. I thought I'd pass onto your some fun things to do with your children in the "Big City." Whether you live here or are just visiting, there are a lot of fun things to do. Here are my top 7 things to do.
1. Casa Loma $$$
Beware that this castle is not very accessible and strollers are not welcome here. They do have a place where you can park them once you get inside. I have brought a 2 year old here and it worked well. We walked all around and she even managed to climb all the way up the stairs. It was a great place for her to get out her energy while I still enjoyed myself with the beautiful scenery.
Price: Children under 4 are free! Children 4-13 will cost $11.32, while children 14-17 and seniors are $14.63. Adults are $20.55. Parking is very reasonable at $3.00/hour or $9.00/day.
2. Ontario Science Centre $$$
This is an educational, fun place for both you and your children. They have a discovery area for younger children that is hands-on called Kidspark. This area is open to children 8 and under. There is a special place to park your stroller. The Science Centre offers different events throughout the year. My favourite was when they had a Harry Potter Exhibit. For an additional price you can watch an IMAX movie in the OMNIMAX theatre. This month they are showing "Rocky Mountain Express," "To the Artic," and "Under the Sea."
Price: Children under 4 are free! Adults are $20, Children are $13, and Youth and Seniors are $16.
3. A Splash Pad
If you haven't heard of a splash pad, it's a city park with water play equipment. The splash pad I like to visit is Oriole Park, a 5 minute walk from Davisville Subway Station. There they have a small wading pool as well as fountains and sprinklers to run through. These are great for those hot summer days. Make sure your park has a lot of benches or grassy areas for you to sit down and relax while your children have fun. Pack a picnic and stay for a while.
Toronto offers this great program for children and their caregivers. They offer many different activities on different days. I love their summer program in the park. They have all sorts of toys and books that they bring and they engage the children in songs and rhymes. Caregivers are requested to turn off cell phones so that they can fully focus on a fun time with their little ones. Not only is this a great program, but it is also a great place to meet new families for future play dates. This organization also has other programs to offer families who want to learn more about their child's development and some parenting techniques.
5. Toronto Public Libraries
6. Yorkdale Mall $
If you ever had a rainy day and just need to get out of the house the Yorkdale Mall is the perfect place to spend an hour or two. You can get in some shopping and then reward your little one by stopping by the Rainforest Cafe to throw some pennies at the crocodile. Children will love seeing the animals outside of the restaurant and it will be such a special treat.
Price: A few handfuls of pennies for the pond.
7. The Royal Ontario Museum $$
You might not think of the ROM right away when you are thinking about places to go with your children. Fortunately. the second floor of this museum is perfect for your children! They have a large exhibit full of dinosaur bones and other ancient creatures. Children love to wonder around and stare at these life size dinos. They also have many other animals to look at and learn about. There is a discovery gallery for hands-on exploration. Little ones will love the miniature castle with little dolls and the dinosaur dig. Strollers fit wonderfully around the wide halls and there are many elevators for your convenience. There is stroller parking for the discovery area where strollers don't fit. Beware of the little store right at the end of the bat cave. It is so easy to wonder in there and not notice that it's a store. Children will want to buy some cool toys and souvenirs.
Price: Children under 4 are free! Adults are $15, Children are $12, and Youth and Seniors are $13.50. Go on a Friday from 3pm-5:30pm for cheaper pricing.
There you have it; 7 great things to do in Toronto with your little ones. I haven't been to Centre Island, but I'm sure it's great too. One of the reasons I have stayed away is that it is hard to get to with public transportation. You have to take a street car or bus to the harbour front and then grab a ferry. Have you been there? What are you favourite things to do in the city?
PS: I linked up here.