Toronto with kids By Holly Rosen Fink
Navigate and vacation in Toronto with the kids like a pro with this Toronto travel guide for families. (Courtesy The City of Toronto)
Toronto is an ideal family getaway for families. It’s a somewhat smaller and cleaner version of New York City, and has all the makings of a true city vacation. There are interesting museums and great eateries as well as colorful markets, artist’s hubs, and special neighborhoods. Best of all, there are exciting getaways not too far from the city.
It’s also an easy and affordable city to get to from most parts of the United States. In addition, the Canadian dollar is strong for Americans. There are so many places to visit that it will take several days to see and do everything. When there, hop on a City Sightseeing Toronto bus tour, which stops in over 20 places. Your bus ticket is valid for multiple days, allowing you to explore Toronto at your own pace.
This Toronto travel guide for families will help you vacation with the kids like a pro.
Where to Stay with Kids in Toronto
There is a great amount of choice when it comes to where to stay in Toronto. The Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville is a very kid-friendly choice and a must inclusion in any Toronto travel guide for families. It’s located in the heart of one of Toronto’s most culturally and exclusive neighborhoods. The hotel is also convenient and nearby several of the city’s best places to visit. Rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable. Amenities a family needs on offer include Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and modern, sleek decor. There’s onsite dining, as well as a slew of affordable, kid-friendly restaurants right outside. Best of all, the hotel’s concierge offers “scoop” suggestions on where to go and what to do. This feature makes your trip to Toronto a special one.
Nearby you’ll find Four Seasons Toronto, a luxurious, kid-friendly experience with incredible views of the city. Its 259 rooms and suites are sophisticated and modern. Each comes with the latest technology from in-room iPads for all the hotel’s services to TVs built into the bathroom mirrors. Hungry families will enjoy a French-inspired meal at Café Boulud. If time permits, spend time at the hotel’s health club where children over the age of 12 are allowed. There’s also a beautiful indoor pool with lush lounge chairs to while away the day. Like the Intercontinental, the Four Seasons is close to a slew of restaurants like a big plate of poutine. It’s also close to the Royal Ontario Museum, the Bata Shoe Museum, Casa Loma and other tourist activities.
What to Do with Kids in Toronto
There is a multitude of things to do with kids in Toronto, from the pickiest to the most adventurous. However, all kids will love a trip to CN Tower, Toronto’s tallest building. This attraction is a must inclusion in any Toronto travel guide for families. Older kids will have ample opportunities to snap Instagram and/or Snapchat pictures of themselves high in the sky. Younger kids will love walking across the building’s glass floor or having hot chocolate in the 360 Restaurant to power up.
From there, head to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada where your kids will revel in over 16,000 aquatic animals! This kid-friendly aquarium is interactive with touch exhibits featuring sharks and stingrays. There are Daily Dive Shows and educational experiences abound.
Fun museums in Toronto for kids include the Bata Shoe Museum, a museum that teaches the history of shoes, and the Royal Ontario Museum where kids will learn about natural history and world cultures. There’s also the Ontario Science Centre, which is home to Ontario’s only public aquarium.
Other things to do in Toronto with younger kids include the Toronto Zoo, home to over 5,000 animals, and Sky Zone Toronto, an indoor trampoline park. Head to an Escape Room at Casa Loma, a Gothic Revival style house where kids go back in times solving puzzles and mysteries. Older kids will enjoy shopping on Queen Street, where they’ll find chains and boutiques. Take a stroll through Kensington Market, an eclectic part of the city with coffee shops and various eateries. Have a look around the Distillery District to see its art installations and galleries. Then sample a variety of food from all over the world at St. Lawrence Market. After all, Toronto is a melting pot so it’s important to celebrate the city’s multi-culturalism during your visit.
If you have time, talk to your concierge about taking a one-day bus tour to Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls Luxury Day Tours will take you to the Falls, Niagara on the Lake and other memorable parts of the region. While there, take a ride on the Horn Blower for a full view of both the Canadian and American sides of the aqua spectacle. Make the day one for the memory books with pictures of the family. Perhaps one will work for the end of year holiday card.
Where to Eat with Kids in Toronto
A Toronto travel guide for families isn’t complete without restaurant suggestions. With people coming to live in Toronto from all over the world, there is so much culinary choice for people of all ages. Citizens are bringing their talents and love of food to the city, and there are restaurants abound. The best advice on where to go will come from natives who will happily rattle off their favorites.
For kid-friendly Mexican fare, head to La Carnita. Not far from Queen Street, this spot serves delicious tacos and homemade tortilla chips. Walk next door to Sweet Jesus after for soft-serve ice-cream smothered in cookie crumbs or the topping of your choice.
For inexpensive bowls of ramen or good sushi, head to Sushi Inn, right near the Four Seasons. Or go for dim sum at Rol San in Chinatown. Vegetarians can head to Fresh on Spadina for big portions of salad.
There are other kid-friendly culinary finds all over Toronto. Frosty Roll offers delicious rolled up ice-cream in Kensington Market. Adventurous families who are into poutine must head to Poutini’s House of Poutine. Kids will also love spending an afternoon in St. Lawrence Market munching on Canadian fare. Other local faves include PAI for Thai, Caplansky’s Delicatessen, Yamato for sushi, and Buca for Italian food.