School is officially out today, so the first thing on most parent’s minds are “how do I entertain my kids for 2 whole months!!” We can’t just send them away to camp the entire time and for me I wouldn’t want to. I love spending time with my little girl but 5 year olds are insanely active and don’t stop moving. I have to admit some days it drives me crazy and we desperately need activity and mental stimulation – places for her to burn off energy (I wish we had some of that energy right?). Since we live just outside of Toronto we often go in weekly to tour around and enjoy the events and restaurants the city has to offer. Here is a list of our favorites places in Toronto and surrounding areas that we visit each summer.
Toronto Island and Centreville
- This is a given for us. We love being by the water so taking the ferry over to the island is a guaranteed good time. The ferry is affordable and runs every 15 mins in the summer. On the island there are restaurants, the beach, pier, bike rentals and a splash pad/playground. Those are just a few of many things to do. The main attraction if you have young children is Centreville. It’s a super cute amusement park with small rides for the littles, a fun farm and small train that tours the park. You can buy a day pass or individual tickets for the rides like a carnival. The kids have a blast and even us parents can enjoy the rides with them! Let’s not forget the incredible view of the Toronto Skyline and you can watch the planes fly in and out from Billy Bishop airport.
- Living in Ontario this is our big amusement park and we all love it! From small children to adults we all crave the thrill of rides/roller coasters and for me the delicious funnel cakes (this was the first place I ever had one and wow that was enough to bring me back lol). I’m a lover of crazy roller coasters and spinning rides so you will find me here. Planet Snoopy is the kiddie area with plenty of rides and fun. They also have a Dinosaur park with life size dinos to check out! Non-stop shows and concerts and a huge waterpark are a must see. Something for everyone! You will catch me there this summer! More info here
- Doesn’t everyone love the zoo?? Ok maybe not ALL people but I know the kids do! No matter what, it’s our go to place to see some amazing animals and to get some exercise – this zoo is huge! They do have a zoomobile to help out with the trek if you get tired. We live quite close to this zoo so it’s not only convenient for us, but also educational for my daughter. They have new baby animals this year!! Pandas, lions, a polar bear and rhino!! That in itself is worth seeing, they are beyond adorable. They offer camps, birthday parties and activities all year around. Oh and to beat the heat a waterpark!! Check out this awesome zoo here.
- I was so excited when Toronto opened up this aquarium! We didn’t have anything like it and it was worth the wait. It’s located right beside the CN Tower so easy to locate right?! Seeing the sharks is pretty cool. You get to walk through a tunnel surrounded head to toe with water and ocean life. It’s beautiful and has the “wow” factor. They offer day camps, birthdays and activities to keep you interested and maybe learn a thing or two! I highly recommend this place. I’m taking my parents there in a couple weeks, they’ve never been and I know they will love it as much as I do! Plan your visit now!
Toronto Blue Jays game
- My family and I are Blue Jays fans. I watched them win the world series as a child in the 90’s and now they are back being their amazing selves! We already have our tickets for a game in July at the Rogers Centre and I cannot wait! Think of all the snacks and beer you ingest while there, always tastes better at a ball game! They have special Jr. Jays days on select Saturdays for the mini fans that includes fun activities and they even get to run the bases! Find your tickets this summer <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/ticketing/singlegame.jsp?c_id=tor&year=2016&mlbkw=ds-g-p10914134293″>here!
- Small town relaxation at this sandy beach! It’s a well maintained beach with shallow sandy water perfect for little ones to splash and play in. A splash pad and park beachside, offers endless fun. Hungry for snacks or an ice cream? There’s a beach canteen in the middle of all the action. Tons of shade on the lawns behind the beach when you need a little time out from the sun. I have been going here all my life and it gets better each year. It does get busy on the weekends as expected, but if you arrive early enough in the morning you can grab a spot right at the waters edge. This is high on my summer to do list! Can’t wait to build some sand castles and catch some rays. Info and directions here.
- This is fun waterpark in Bowmanville, ON – about an hour East of Toronto. It’s inexpensive and offers a pool, splash pad, waterpark, mini golf, playground, picnic areas and also camping!!! It’s a stay and play kind of place. There is something for all ages!! It’s nice to spend the day with endless water fun without spending a ton of money. We usually pack our cooler, chairs and blanket and we are set for the day. It’s a smaller park which is nice and less hectic.
Local waterfronts on Lake Ontario
- If you are looking for a day to spend with your family that is FREE, yes that’s right it’s possible to spend $0 if you bring your own food/drinks to your local lake front park. They have big playgrounds, picnic areas, splash pads and of course the lake!! Best of all there is a lot of shade trees for us parents to relax under while the kids go wild! There are also paved waterfront trails to bike, rollerblade and walk along with beautiful scenery.
Hope you have some exciting things planned this summer!! Please share any other fun places I should check out!