Family fun in Ontario comes in a wide variety of flavours. What places do local families love best during Family Day or March Break or summer vacation? Find out here!
Ever wished you were a kid again? Me too! This feeling came over me again while I was researching places that will thrill kids in Ontario.
“Research” sounds so official! By that I mainly mean pestering my friends and relations with children to give me their best family-tested recommendations for the top spots for fun in Ontario (thanks everyone!).
(Above: Wild Waterworks, courtesy of
Hamilton Conservation Authority on flickr)
Amusement parks + Theme Parks = Family Fun!
You'll find many large amusement parks across Ontario but Canada's Wonderland is the biggest. Check out my page for more details about it and others as well.
Water Parks in Ontario
Discover Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Niagara Falls and Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and more.
Do your kids love seeing exotic animals up close? Then you’ve got to go to the Toronto Zoo. It’s a bit of a trek out to the east end of Toronto, but it’s well worth it. I didn’t have to ask anyone about this place because it’s one of my all-time favourites too, with or without the kids. This zoo is quite simply spectacular … and huge. Warning: DO NOT ATTEMPT to see the whole place in one day. Pick and chose your priorities or you’ll collapse.
Some other animal-themed favourites in Ontario are:
For more ideas, see: Zoos in Ontario & Animal Sanctuaries
Above: Kite-flying at Sandbanks Provincial Park
When I was a kid my parents took us camping every summer and one of our favourite things to do was to go hiking in the woods with my dad. If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, then definitely check out Ontario parks, where you can find everything from a sedate stroll along a boardwalk around Crawford Lake to a Wolf Howl in Algonquin Park.
Love swimming? Explore our beaches (Sauble Beach and Wasaga Beach are two of the biggies).
Or try that great Canadian sport, canoeing. How about kayaking? Or riding a seadoo? You can rent equipment in many Ontario Parks or at adventure outfitters across the province… no need to buy your own.
Do your kids love professional sports? Take in a game of hockey, baseball, football, basketball or soccer. Fans MUST visit the hockey shrine, the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
For more ideas, see Outdoor Adventures
Is your son or daughter a budding Michelangelo? Take them to the Art Gallery of Ontario for inspiration. If they’re in the dinosaur phase or the Egyptian phase of childhood, a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum will make a huge impression. And for your Little Einstein, how about visiting the Ontario Science Museum, one of the most popular family fun destinations in Toronto? All of these museums have special interactive programs geared to kids.
For live entertainment your kids may enjoy a powwow (where they can even join in the dance!), a show at the Lorraine Kisma Theatre for Children, or a black-light theatre production of the wonderfully amusing family theatre Famous People Players.
For more ideas, see Ontario Culture
Instead of TELLING your kids about life in the past, let them EXPERIENCE it. And you don’t need a time-machine to do this … unless that’s what you call Ontario history museums.
I’m not talking dry boring display cases full of carefully-labelled artifacts. I’m talking INTER-ACTIVE LIVING HISTORY MUSEUMS.
Here are a few that will catch and keep your kids’ interest:
Casa Loma Toronto (How the Rich Lived)
Poorhouse Exhibit at Wellington County Museum (How the Poor Lived)
Halton County Radial Railway – Ride the Rails Down Memory Rail
Visit Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in Dresden, Ontario, and learn about the abolition of slavery and the famous Underground Railway.
The Aboriginal village at Crawford Lake is a great place to explore Aboriginal history and enjoy a beautiful natural lake-side setting.
Do your kids like Forts? Try Fort York Toronto, Fort Henry in Kingston, or Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
For more ideas, see Ontario History Sites
Ontario Travel Secrets > Family Fun