photo: National Ballet of Canada’s The Nutcracker (Aleksandar Antonijevic/National Ballet of Canada)
As the weather grows colder and the days grow darker, the Toronto cultural calendar brightens, with some of the best children’s plays, musicals, concerts, dance performances and more in all of North America taking the stages across the city.
Access to world-class performing arts venues and companies is without a doubt one of the best things about raising kids in Toronto. Don’t miss out on these fabulous shows and events this season!
Be sure to check our online events listings, updated daily, to find out what’s coming up.
Theatre and Musicals
At Solar Stage Children’s Theatre you’ll find plays, musicals, music concerts, puppet shows, and more for kids ages 3 through 10. Highlights this winter season include musicals like The Stone Princess, the ever-popular Peter Pan, a mash-up of Robert Munsch classic stories on stage, plus holiday performances.
Young People’s Theatre has though-provoking performances for kids and youth, ages 3 to 18. The winter season features an action-packed musical, a play based on Aboriginal stories, and Goodnight Moon.
At the historic Elgin Theatre, Ross Petty Productions mounts a splashy family music each year. This year it’s the magical story of Peter Pan.
In December, Soulpepper Theatre presents its Soulpepper Family Festival, with concerts, magicians, and the classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol.
Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre will bring Jack & the Beanstalk to Mississauga (November) and Toronto (January).
Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Show
Beauty and the Beast
Music and Concerts
See Holiday Events for Kids for Christmas-themed concerts.
Our top picks for kids from November through February are:
Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra
Each holiday season brings the most famous ballet ever performed to the stage: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Every child should see it at least once—and for many, it’s an annual family tradition.
Several companies perform the classic ballet in Toronto and the GTA from mid-November through early January. See Holiday Events for Kids for more information on The Nutcracker performances.
The Nutcracker aside, you can find plenty of other dance events to delight children interested in dance:
The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet from the National Ballet of Canada
WinterSong from the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre
Ballet Creole’s Soulful Messiah
Ice Shows and More
Museums and Exhibits
Family Sundays at the Art Gallery of Ontario take place every Sunday from November through April. Each month brings a different theme, with interactive, innovative family activities. Always on at the AGO is the Kids’ Gallery, a special space with exhibitions for little eyes and hands.
There’s always something on for kids at the Ontario Science Centre, like IMAX films and planetarium shows, but coming up for winter 2015/16 is the “Red Bull Stratos Exhibit” where you can see a space capsule and spacesuit up close.
The new Children’s Discovery Centre is a play-based learning centre and museum for kids ages 6 and under. Encourage imaginative play and art through hands-on exhibits. The pilot project is open through December 2015.
Moscow Classical Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker will take the stage in Brampton. (Dec. 10)
Victoria Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker in its full classical form according to the tradition of the Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg, Russia, in Richmond Hill. (Dec. 18–20)
A Christmas Carol
The classic Dickens’ tale of Ebenezer Scrooge takes to the stage across the GTA; find productions at the Soulpepper Family Festival, at various venues from the Humber River Shakespeare company, and more.
Christmas Concerts for Kids
Christmas Plays and Musicals for Kids
Sign up for the Help! weekend events newsletter for a round-up of the best of what’s on for kids and families each weekend.
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Looking for more indoor things to do with kids in Toronto or the GTA? Check out Fun Things To Do With Kids in Toronto in our online directory.