5 Top Picks this Summer for Toronto Kids

Summer FunFamily Fun
Carnival rides and 30 gourmet food trucks are coming to the new Fun Food Fest this summer.

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After that first flush of excitement that comes with the start of summer vacation, parents will probably hear that familiar, ear-piercing siren call: “I’m bored!” Luckily, summer in Toronto is filled with fun things to do with kids, including family-friendly festivals, summer attractions like water parks and amusement parks, and lots of opportunities for outdoor play, so there’s never a reason to be bored in the city.

Summer is fleeting, so be sure to carve out some time with activities that everyone can enjoy. Here are five of our favourite things to do with kids during summer 2018 in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.

Kelso Conservation Area

Open daily all summer

Just a hop, skip, and short drive from Toronto is Kelso Conservation Area in Milton—a great summer outdoor destination. It has trails for hiking, beaches for swimming, and lakes for canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding. If you’re into two wheels, the Kelso Mountain Bike School might be just the ticket. Whether for a day of picnicking and fun in the sun or overnight at a booked campsite for the weekend, there’s always something going on at Kelso, including family outdoor movie nights.

Fun Food Fest

July 13–15

The GTA’s newest food festival, Fun Food Fest will transform the Woodbridge Fairgrounds into a foodie and kiddie playground with games, music, and more. More than 30 food trucks are converging on the property, with a wide range of culinary delights to impress even the most discerning gourmets. Add to that circus-style entertainment, including live music, midway rides, carnival games, magic shows, a petting zoo, and more—including guest appearances by Splash ‘N Boots and Max & Ruby—and you have a weekend filled with boredom-crushing fun. A huge part of our global culture in the Toronto area is food, and this is a great opportunity to dig in! Bonus: A portion of the proceeds supports the SickKids Foundation. Get your tickets for Fun Food Fest here.

African Safari Overnight

Bookings in July and August

Go on an African safari, right in Toronto! In July or August, book a night at the Toronto Zoo’s Serengeti Bush Camp and sleep over in authentic bush tent accommodations. Included in this amazing experience: a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Savannah and Rainforest pavilions, meals and snacks, zoo admission, and more. It’s a chance to really live an adventure, right in the heart of the city! Regular nights are open to kids ages 6 and up (with an adult), with special dates for families with kids ages 5 and under.

Pirate Life

Bookings May–October

Avast, ye mateys! Have your kids always wanted to do away with their landlubber lives and embrace swabbing decks and sailing the open seas as pirates? Their wish can come true with Pirate Life! With daily sailings aboard the Island Rogue, a 45-foot pirate ship, your whole family can get dressed up, with faces painted, and sail around the Toronto Harbour. Enjoy the ritual firing of the water cannons, hauling out pirate treasure, and letting imaginations run wild during this outdoor adventure on the “high seas: of Lake Ontario. Book your seafaring adventure online and be prepared to give it your best “Arrr!”

Petticoat Creek Pool and Splash

Open daily all summer

Sure, there are pools and splash pads all over the city but nothing quite like the setup at Petticoat Creek Conservation Area! Its 1,600-square-metre accessible pool, with beach-style entry, splash pool with cool interactive water features, as well as a splash pad, are all in the middle of a beautiful park setting. This easy to reach location in Pickering makes the perfect day trip. A waterfront trail, for when everyone’s tired of the water, has some beautiful views of Lake Ontario from the bluffs. Pack a picnic and get ready for a day of splashing good fun!

There is so much more to see and do throughout the summer in the GTA, from National Aboriginal Day festivities at Fort York to Shakespeare in the Park to outdoor movies, festivals, and waterparks galore. Get out there and enjoy the warm weather and beautiful sunshine with friends and family!

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