Halloween is such an awesome holiday, why not stretch out the fun and festivities to last for more than a single night? With young or sensitive kids, we’re always on the lookout for events that are more spectacular than spooky, and we’ve rounded up a bunch that will lead to giggles all around.
While the AGO’s newest exhibition, “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters” would undoubtedly scare the socks off most kids (del Toro is famous for his films Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, among others), Mom and Dad can check it out while the kids enjoy a fun Halloween party inspired by his current exhibition that is 100-percent family friendly. It includes a dance party to the tunes of kids’ rock band Space Chums, a slime-making activity, monster-themed short films, and a candy bar. Costumes encouraged!
AGO Weston Family Learning Centre, 215 Dundas St. W., Toronto
October 29, 1–4 pm
Included with AGO admission
There will be no scary surprises at this kid-friendly Halloween attraction, set in one of the kids’ favourite “haunts”: Riverdale Farm. Carve a pumpkin (tools provided) and go home with the goods (jack-o-lantern and pumpkin seeds). Kiddos are welcome to wear costumes but they’re not required, and face painting plus arts and crafts round out the bill. Don’t forget the non-perishable food item to “pay” for entry to the Boo Barn.
201 Winchester St., Toronto
October 21 and 22, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Suggested $5 donation
This unique event organized by the High Park Nature Centre combines two beloved kids’ activities: carving pumpkins and setting things afloat. This event culminates with all of the jack-o-lanterns lit up and floating on the High Park wading pool at dusk—certainly good for a photo or two.
High Park wading pool (northwest corner of the park), 1873 Bloor St. W., Toronto
October 29, 4 pm–6 pm
$2.50 per pumpkin
There’s always so much fun to be had in The Beach, and now it’s of the Halloween variety. There’s a costume contest (for the pets, too) as well as loads of entertainment including Halloween games, a juggler/magician, inflatables, a stilt-walker, and some live music to groove to.
Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens, 1971 Queen St. E., Toronto
October 28, noon–4 pm
The Bata Shoe Museum is putting on a fun event perfect for ages 3–12. Kids can decorate a Halloween-inspired cookie, play iSpy in the galleries, and do some arts and crafts. Bonus: kids in costume get in for free!
327 Bloor St. W., Toronto
October 28 and 29, 10 am–4 pm
Included in museum admission ($14 for adult)
Soli and Rob are back with fun and interactive songs all about pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and Halloween. The Bungalow Bugs puppets will also be there. Costumes are welcome. It all takes place at the Artscape Wychwood Barns, the new home of the Solar Stage children’s theater company.
601 Christie St., Toronto
October 21 and 28, 10:30 am–11:30 am
Get into costume (you, too, parents!) for an evening of face-painting, a pumpkin contest, a fun (rather than haunted) house, crafts, and loads of free play in the fabulous indoor playground facilities. The only screams you’ll hear at this Halloween party are the screams of laughter and pure fun. Note that prop weapons are prohibited, even as part of a costume.
24 Lebovic Ave., Scarborough
October 27, 5 pm–9 pm
$12 kids, $1 adults
Get crafty this Halloween at Todmorden Mills with kids ages 6 and up as you work to make a creative Halloween mask (October 21) or Halloween lantern (October 22). And if all that artisan work makes you hungry, no worries: treats are provided. Make sure to pre-register online to secure a spot.
67 Pottery Rd., Toronto
October 21 (masks) and 22 (lanterns), 1 pm–3 pm
$10 adults, $5 kids ages 6–12
Come to the Toronto Zoo in costume and bring your camera too. The Halloween photo backdrops are out and they make for wonderful memories. Plus, kids ages 12 and under in costume get in for free when accompanied by an adult paying regular admission. All the fun of the zoo, plus photos, plus free admission: that’s more treat than trick.
2000 Meadowvale Rd., Toronto
October 21, 22, 28, and 29; regular zoo hours apply
$23 adults, kids free (up to 2 children per paying adult)
All the fun with none of the fright! Check out the scare-free mazes, with two to choose from (enchanted garden and hay bale). Then it’s on to the foam pits, trick-or-treating, pumpkin patch and more. Plus, all of your favourite rides!
1 Canada’s Wonderland Dr., Toronto
October 21, 22, 28, and 29; regular park hours apply
Regular park admission applies (from $28/person)
It’s a train ride and a Halloween party all in one. The York-Durham Heritage Railway is all ready for Halloween and wants you to join them. Kids ages 12 and under in costume ride for only $1. There will be entertainment, the chance to see the cool train station in Uxbridge, and goodie bags for the kids.
19 Railway St., Uxbridge
October 21 and 28, departure times 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm
$20 per adult