The approach of fall in Toronto also means that Toronto’s vibrant arts season will soon be in full swing. Toronto is arguably Canada’s best destination for performing arts and museums, and is the place to be if you love theatre, music, art, and museums.
With so many kid-oriented plays, music series, and museum exhibits across the city, there’s no excuse not to raise a cultured kid in Toronto.
Here’s an overview of the fall/winter arts season for families.
Young People’s Theatre
YPT produces quality, professional theatre for kids and youth (ages 3 to 18). Performances tend to have a message, but talk to children and adolescents, not down to them. YPT also has kids’ camps, workshops and drama classes.
What’s on this season (October – May): To Kill a Mockingbird, a musical version of James and the Giant Peach, a play for teens about social media and accountability, and more. Get the full schedule.
At Solar Stage you’ll find plays, musicals, interactive shows, music concerts, puppet shows,and more for kids ages 3 through 10.
What’s on this season (October – June): Alice in Wonderland, age-appropriate adaptations of the operas Carmen and The Magic Flute, a blacklight puppet show, the always-popular winter production of A Christmas Carol, and more.
Some performances are one night only, so be sure to book ahead. Get the full schedule.
Ross Petty Productions
Every year at the lovely, historic Elgin Theatre, a Toronto holiday family tradition takes place: the annual family musical produced by Ross Petty Productions. It’s a great way to introduce your child to the magic of musical theatre.
What’s on this season (November – January): Cinderella, starring Danielle Wade winner of CBC-TV’s Over the Rainbow reality show and Patty Sullivan, host of KIds’ CBC-TV.
Soulpepper Family Festival
This annual festival by the Soulpepper Theatre Company spans two months in winter. Shows are performed at the Young Theatre Centre.
What’s on this season (December – January): This year it’s a magic show set in 1909, Kim’s Convenience (a play about a Toronto Korean convenience store), and a Christmastime production of A Christmas Carol.
TSO Young People’s Concerts
Five one-hour concerts developed just for children and youth, featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, take place on Saturday afternoons.
What’s on this season (October – May): spooky works just in time for Halloween, Pianorama, a rousing percussion ensemble, and a Pan-Am Games themed concert.
Introduce your child to opera through colourful and kid-friendly performances like The Schoolyard Carmen. Shoestring Opera performances take place in schools and performance venues throughout Ontario. See two shows this season at Solar Stage.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Kid-oriented exhibits take place on an ongoing basis in the Kids Gallery at the the AGO. There are also frequent art classes, workshops, and camps for kids. Fall at the AGO is the beginning of Family Sundays (November–May), with arts and crafts and creative play for kids.
What’s On: “Just Like Me: Explore, Imagine, Create” (through Dec. 8, 2014), an exhibit of paintings and sculpture for children, plus costumes and props.
Ontario Science Centre
This fab museum for kids ages toddler through teen has a planetarium, an IMAX theatre, and cool science- and technology themed displays, many of them interactive. There are also sleepovers, Friday-night teen events, and camps and classes year-round.
What’s On: “The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (through Oct. 26, 2014).
In Kitchener, THEMUSEUM is a children’s museum with fun and educational permanent and changing exhibits. Always here are the walk-on piano, water table, construction area, fish tanks, and a toddler play and explore area.
What’s On: Unwrapping Egypt (through Feb. 2015) with a 3,000-year-old mummy and papyrus workshops; also a virtual graffiti wall and animation station.
Royal Ontario Museum
The ROM has tons of events, classes, camps, and activities for kids throughout the year, plus the everyday dinosaur specimens, world culture exhibits, and hands-on biodiversity gallery.
What’s On: “Dinosaur Eggs and Babies” (ongoing)