You have probably already checked this week’s forecast. If you haven’t, don’t! I can save you some time. It is going to rain Toronto. So what are you going to do with your kids? Here is a list of my favourite rainy day activities in and around Toronto.
The Ontario Science Centre
Located in Toronto, the Ontario Science Centre, is a great place for kids of all ages. For kids 8 and under, the main attraction is KidSpark. Filled with water tables, musical instrument sessions and a play grocery store, your kids will be busy for hours in just this section of the science centre.
My kids love the Living Earth section which has a small biosphere and lots of bugs, snakes and frogs. We also love taking a break in the IMAX theatre.
Legoland Discovery Centre
Actually located in Vaughn, 40 minutes outside of Toronto, the Legoland Discovery Centre is another great indoor activity. Whether or not your kids are even into Lego, they will enjoy their day. The Legoland Discovery Centre is a mix of small indoor amusement park, a giant play center and a learning experience.
My kids loved looking at the Lego skyline of Toronto, riding the rides and attending Lego school. The staff at the Legoland Discover Centre is great and they will keep your kids entertained, playing and building all day.
The Royal Ontario Museum (the “ROM”)
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the ROM is one of Canada’s best museums. My kids are always drawn to the large dinosaur section at the ROM. There is also a section on Canadian wildlife with fun kids activities. The ROM has a space dedicated to young children where your kids can dig for fossils, dress up as knights and spend some time in a teepee. With a decent food court, you can easily spend a whole day inside this museum.
The Art Gallery of Ontario (the “AGO”)
Situated in one of Toronto’s coolest buildings, the AGO is the place to take kids who love crafts. Right now, kids at the AGO can check out their very own art exhibition with art hung at child height and kid-friendly information panels. The art work features painting of kids from different time periods and cultures. Kids can even dress up in costumes and pose for their own portraits. Parents can then post the photos to Instagram and the picture will appear on a screen as part of the exhibition in the gallery.
My favourite part of the AGO is the family lounge that lets kids cut loose and make their own art. The area also has places to rest and play. Before your day is over head to caféAGO where kids 5 years and younger eat free. The AGO is closed on Mondays.
The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is less than a one hour drive from Toronto and a great place to visit. Kids will love getting to see the butterflies, snakes and insects up close. You will love that the conservatory is run by Niagara Parks and is less commercialized than anything else in Niagara Falls. My kids love spending hours checking out the butterflies and walking around the conservatory. There is also a gorgeous park outside where you can picnic before you head to see the falls (in case of unplanned sunshine).
The CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium
Both centrally located in downtown Toronto, the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium are two of Toronto’s busiest attractions. Kids love taking the elevator to the top of the CN Tower and playing on the glass floor. There is also a motion theatre ride and a fun rotating restaurant with a great kids menu.
Recently opened in Toronto, Ripley’s Aquarium has been a hit with families and adults alike. I do have a few warnings for you before planning a full day there. First, the Aquarium is extremely busy. The cafe inside is tiny and unless you buy their food, you cannot eat in it. People literally just sit on the ground to feed their kids. The playground is overrun with children. If you go, take advantage of the latest night they are open and go right before bedtime.
The aquarium also looks huge. It is not. You could not spend a full day there. The aquarium is extremely expensive for the length of time you will actually spend in it. Combine that with the CN Tower and you will spend upwards of $300 for a family of four.
Located close to Pearson Airport, Fantasy Fair is an indoor amusement park in a small shopping centre. That being said, there is a lot for kids to do there. Besides the 10 or so rides, there is a large climbing gym that kids love. I have relaxed on a bench with other moms while my kids spent hours going up and down the climbing structure and huge slides. I have never had either kid make it home without falling asleep in the car on the way back.
Spring showers are on their way. Don’t fret. No matter what you choose to do, there are plenty of rainy day activities in Toronto that your kids will love.