Things to do in Toronto with kids
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Day trip to Toronto
Taking a day trip to Toronto isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds. Load up on Timmies, pack a picnic bag, and you are ready to go.
The first thing you need to do is grab the train really early in the morning, but not “Commuter Traffic” early. We arrived at the Allandale Go Station around 7 am, found plenty of parking, and waited patiently for the train. The bonus of being at the start of the line – no fighting for space to hold the strollers. Between the 5 kids, we had 3 strollers so we needed the room. The centre car has a ramp and plenty of space for wheelchairs and strollers – as is the intended purpose.
The Go Train has a number of ticket options available; single ride, day pass, Via Rail Go Transit, and Group Tickets up to 5 people.
Also see; Taking the train with kids
2 hours later, we arrived at Union Station in Downtown Toronto. The possibilities here are endless. A quick walk over to the TC section of the station and we were on our way to Casa Loma.
Once all the commuters are at work, and students are in school, there doesn’t seem to be many people riding out of Union Station at 930 am. Good for us.
What to do in Toronto with kids
There are so many things to do in Toronto with kids. Today was a quick day trip so I will highlight our 3 activities, then list a few more suggestions for Toronto with kids.
Starting from the furthest point and working our way back down to the station, I took the kids to visit Casa Loma. It is one of Canada’s few castles, as we have never had a monarch reside on Canadian soil, only important and rich families building important and expensive homes.
Stroller parking is available on the ground floor and free audio guides are located on the lower level. After strapping the baby into my trusty carrier, we took off throughout the castle for a self-guided tour.
Munchkin loved being able to show his mémère and cousin around a castle, considering he is a pro at it by now. You can read more about our adventure at Casa Loma here at Casa Loma with kids
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
The Royal Ontario Museum was a great way to spend 2 hours with the kids. We had a quick lunch before heading upstairs. Because it was only a day trip, we didn’t have time to visit the entire museum. Instead, we decided to stick to the major point for kids – Dinosaurs! Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur exhibit? While it hasn’t changed much since I last visited in college (I won’t tell you how long that has been but let’s just say… it’s been a while)
Staying on Level 2, our group was able to visit the two dinosaur halls, as well as Biodiversity, the Bat Cave, Birds, and Discovery Gallery. This took us about 2 hours.
If we didn’t have reservations elsewhere, we would have tried visiting the Level 3; Ancient civilizations, and Level 1; Canadian First Peoples and Asian Special Exhibitions.
Just outside of the ROM is an ice cream truck. They offer soft-serve vanilla ice cream with various hot dips. We grabbed one each and soon after the kids fell asleep on the walk towards our next stop.
On the way to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, we walked along the SkyWalk and passed the CN Tower. Tickets start at $38 for kids and $48 for adults, although children under 3 are free. This includes the Skypod. There is also a restaurant and Skywalk for the adventurous adults in the group. We didn’t have the time, or budget, to attempt the climb and to be honest … my fear of heights doesn’t do well with an audience. Climbing the Arc du Triomph alone with the kids was one thing but the CN Tower, no thank you. I will be leaving that one to hubby on another trip.
Also see; Toddler Travel Bag
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
La Piece de Resistance! The last leg of our day trip was Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
By this time it was roughly 3 pm. We camped out for a snack on the various benches within the Aquarium and stopped for a group photo near the end when all the babies were awake and happy. The half way point of the tour had a great mini-cafeteria with snacks, pizza and drinks; a little over priced for my taste so I was happy with the snacks that we had packed – others would say two full lunch bags for 5 kids and 3 adults is overkill but no one ever complained about having too much food. There is also a String Ray petting station and amazing play structure for the kids to burn any energy. There are two large slides and a submarine that leads underneath the shark tank.
The kids had a great time in the shark tank tunnel. The moving carpet was great for keeping the kids all together and focused on the task; can’t speed through if you aren’t allowed to leave the carpet.
Happy Birthday Canada
After the aquarium, we were all finished. It was time to say goodbye to Toronto and make our back home. We grabbed bagels at Union Station – because their lack of fast food surprised and disappointed us all – and enjoyed our souvenirs from all 3 locations on the train ride home… well, the few of that were still standing, anyways. It was a long day.
Also see; ABC’s of Canada
Even more things to do in Toronto with kids
I mean, you made it all this way, why not drive a little more
Santa Claus Parade
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