This post was updated in April 2018
Don’t let the fun go down the drain with the rain. Here are a slew of fun activities to do with kids in Toronto and the GTA on gloomy, rainy days.
1. Jump, jump.
Why do kids love to jump? Why not? Indoor trampoline parks are a fun way to blow off steam and get the wiggles out when the weather’s got you down.
2. Go for a swim (or catch a wave).
Check out evening and weekend family leisure swim times at a local city community centre with an indoor pool. The Regent Park Aquatic Centre, with a mushroom waterfall for tots and a two-story slide, is a great option for kids. The indoor Richmond Hill Wave Pool has man-made waves, a “swirlpool”, a waterslide, and a mushroom waterfall for the littlest ones.
3. Go to a museum.
Save on admission at Toronto art galleries and musuems with free evenings and free museum passes available at some Toronto Public Library branches.
4. Create cool crafts.
Too sloppy to venture outside? Try one of these 25 kids’ crafts and creative, hands-on projects for all ages toddler through tween.
5. Browse a bookstore.
Invest in a new book or two for your young reader, or just window-shop the children’s sections or stop by for storytime and other activities at Toronto’s excellent children’s bookstores and all-ages bookstores with great kids’ sections.
6. Climb a rock wall.
Climb indoors at one of Toronto’s climbing gyms with equipment and programs for kids, like Boulderz Climbing Centre, Joe Rockheads, and the Toronto Climbing Academy. See our favourite places to do indoor rock climbing with kids.
7. Play at an indoor playground.
Indoor playgrounds all over the city are set up for just this sort of day. They range from one-room play areas for little kids to huge play centres with laser tag, climbing walls, and two-story play structures.
8. Bring nature indoors.
9. Commune with sea creatures or reptiles.
Ripley’s Aquarium is always a great destination for kids, with all types of sea creatures, from jellyfish to sharks who swim overhead. Or head to Reptilia in Vaughan to see king cobras, pythons, snapping turtles, alligators and more creepy crawlers. (Be sure to check feeding schedules in advance.)
10. Drop In for Free Play
You don’t have to plan in advance to play at a number of free (or pay-what-you-can) family centres in the city. Some City of Toronto rec centres have drop-in open-gym play times for kids ages 5 and under. Community centres like the College Montrose Children’s Place have drop-in programs with crafts, free play, and circle time for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
11. Go to the Movies
Do a movie day or evening with the kiddos or take advantage of some of the kid-priced movie tickets at Cineplex Family Favourites.
12. Cook with the kids.
Cook or bake something together using a recipe you all decide on. Have your fun and eat it too!
13. Head to the library.
The library isn’t just a quiet place to read; many Toronto Public Library branches offer frequent workshops, storytelling, and other free, family-friendly programs and events.
Plus, several libraries have super-cool KidsStop Interactive Early Literacy Centres, with giant letters to crawl through, puppet theatres, and enchanted forest reading nooks.
14. Play sports indoors.
15. See a play or show.
Head to one of Toronto’s children’s theatre and concert venues to be entertained; check schedules to see what’s on at venues like the venerable Young People’s Theatre or The Second City (yes, they have kids’ shows!) or other children’s theatre and concert venues and companies.
16. Plan your escape
Escape rooms are popping up in every corner of the city, and while some are only suitable for older kids, others have games geared specifically toward families. Check out our round-up of family-friendly escape rooms in Toronto and the GTA.
17. Splash in the puddles.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! One day your kids will be too old to see the joy in wallowing in the mud—take advantage of all your kids’ rain gear and get out in the rain!
For a ton of great indoor family fun ideas, check out our Toronto Amusement Centres directory.