Time flies! We’ve hit the midway point of summer, and (if you’re anything like us) you’re probably thinking about how to make the most of what’s left of the season. The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and the kids still have plenty of time before they head back to school. While many families will be getting out of town on vacation, you don’t have to leave the city to take advantage of the sunshine. You’ll find plenty of fun things to do outdoors with your little ones right here in Toronto—you just have to know where to look!
Here are five family-friendly ways to enjoy the rest of your summer in the city…
1) Head to Centre Island
One of the most popular family destinations in our neck of the woods is just a short ferry ride away from downtown. We’re talking about the Toronto Islands. When it comes to fun in the sun, we’re especially fond of Centre Island. Here you’ll find sandy beaches, pretty bike paths, and convenient picnic areas, not to mention Centreville—an amusement park with little-kid-friendly rides.
While you’re at Centreville, be sure to check out its most recent addition. A newly-renovated splash pad features beautiful tree-shaped structures that spray a refreshing mist on kids as they play! Use of this mini water park is free, and the ferry tickets to get to Centre Island are very affordable at $8.19 for adults and $5.37 for kids.
2) Visit High Park
Who doesn’t love High Park? Toronto’s largest green space has a lot to offer families in the summer—so much, in fact, that one day at the park just isn’t enough. Walk the beautiful nature trails, have lunch in one of the designated picnic areas, or take your four-legged friend to run around in the spacious off-leash area. To see all of the park’s highlights, take a leisurely ride on its trackless train.
Don’t forget to take the little ones to Jamie Bell Adventure Playground. Located near the duck pond, this castle-shaped play structure is a child’s dream. As a bonus, its many swings, ropes, and slides are perfect for tiring out even the most energetic kids.
3) Go fishing
Every family has their favourite summertime activities—and for many, fishing is near the top of the list. Luckily, you don’t have to own a cottage to enjoy this relaxing pastime. There are some great places to cast a line within Toronto’s city limits.
We’ve already mentioned that High Park is great for families, and Grenadier Pond—where you can catch everything from bigmouth bass to yellow perch—is part of what makes it so special. Humber Bay Park in Mimico is another one of our favourite spots for fishing. If you want to teach your kids how to reel in a bluegill or northern pike, this is the place to do it!
4) Check out a kid-friendly festival
Some of the best festivals are those that offer a little bit of something for everyone—including the littlest members of your family. If you live in Toronto, you’ll find plenty of these family-friendly celebrations near you.
On August 10th, head over to Trinity Bellwoods Park for the Family Fun Festival. Enjoy fantastic all-ages entertainment, delicious snacks, and “The Big Toddle”—an event where little ones will crawl, walk, or be strolled around one of Toronto’s most beautiful green spaces. If you don’t mind a short drive out of town, visit the Oakville Children’s Festival on August 17th. From music to storytime to face painting, this is one of the best fests out there for kids.
5) Grab an ice cream
On a hot day in the city, there’s nothing better than a nice scoop of vanilla, rainbow, or rocky road. Most of us have memories of family outings to the local ice cream parlour, and your kids should too! With so many places to grab a cone in this city, you’re bound to find one within walking distance.
Our favourite ice cream spots in Toronto include Ed’s Real Scoop (the Mimico location offers a great selection of flavours) and Ice Cream Junction. The latter is a cute little 50s-style shop with kid-sized stools out front. If you’re looking for something a little bit lighter in the west end, try Yogurty’s in Bloor West Village.
Looking for the perfect home in one of Toronto’s family-friendly neighbourhoods? Get in touch—we’d love to help!