23 Things To Do During Winter Break with Kids in Toronto

Family Fun

Your winter-break survival guide in the city! Here are 23 fun things to do around town while school’s out.

Dream Machines at the Ontario Science Centre

Enter a world of engineered fantasies from the mind of a cartoonist who decided to bring his imagined world to life. Marvel at the spinning, blinking and tinkling unlikely creations like the hot-air rocking chair, lullaby machine, and humbug major sweet machine. Enjoy the timeless childhood wonder of our annual favourite, Dream Machines, the world’s largest display of Rowland Emett’s whimsical mechanical inventions.

Dec. 21 through Jan. 5
Included with museum admission

ROM for the Holidays

Head to the Royal Ontario Museum for family-friendly programs. Discover over 30,000 species that feed on blood at the Legends to Leeches exhibit, explore an extraordinary collection of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters, and catch a glimpse into the world’s most stunning wildlife photography. There’s a lot for families and friends of all ages to explore at the Museum.

Dec. 26–Jan. 5
Included with museum admission

Ross Petty’s Lil’ Red Robin Hood

This year’s show features the classic characters of Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood—Lil’ Red, Maid Marion, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and Sheriff of Naughtyham—but with a twist on the story, and a lot of fun involved. Happening for the first time at the Winter Garden Theatre. Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

Now through Jan. 4
Tickets from $27

You, Me, Us: Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

Little book lovers should not miss the Toronto Reference Library’s free exhibit featuring “the best of the best” from The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Collection for Young People with Disabilities. This exhibit features books published around the world that are recognized for their exceptional content and design.

Now through Jan. 26
Free

Anastasia

The holiday season is the perfect time to take the family to a stunning musical performance. Inspired by the beloved films, Anastasia brings the romantic and adventure-filled story to the Ed Mirvish Theatre’s stage.

Through Jan. 12
Tickets from $39

Winter Break at the Bata Shoe Museum

Bring the kids to Toronto’s favourite shoebox this winter break for some shoe-inspired fun! Get the kids excited at the Bata Shoe Museum with crafts, try-on shoes, ISpy and more!  Perfect for kids 3–12 years old.

Dec. 21–Jan. 5
Included with museum admission

Soulpepper Theatre’s Peter Pan

Follow the boy who won’t grow up to Neverland, along with Tinkerbell, Wendy, and Captain Hook, in this musical performance of Peter PanFor ages 3 and up.

Through Jan. 5
Tickets from $25

The Illusionists—Magic of the Holidays

Be amazed by an ensemble of spectacular performers including mind-readers, magicians, escape artists, and daredevils in this thrilling, jam-packed show for ages 5 and up. On stage at Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre)

Jan. 1–Jan. 5
Tickets from $69

The Second City Presents Improv Showdown

Get ready Toronto, this holiday season The Second City is taking family entertainment to a mind-blowing new level! Two hilarious teams of top-notch improvisers will face off in a winner takes all comedy showdownand they’re going to need your help! Audience participation is a must!

Dec. 13–Jan. 5
Tickets from $15

The Adventures of Pinocchio

Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre presents this rollicking new musical. Come along and follow the much-loved marionette, Pinocchio, on his mischievous quest to become a real human being.  For ages 5 and up.

Through Jan. 5
Tickets from $10

Aurora Winter Festival at Ontario Place

Just in time for the festive season, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is transforming the Ontario Place West Island into a spectacular celebration of light and adventure. Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the northern lights, the Aurora Winter Festival features entertainment and interactive experiences that will delight people of all ages and backgrounds.

Through March 18
Tickets from $13

Evergreen’s Winter Village

Skate on the picturesque outdoor skating rink, shop local craft goods at the Holiday Market, listen to live music and end your stay with tasty and toasty eats and drinks.

Through Dec. 22
Free

Toronto Public Library workshops

Many library branches have free workshops, movies, plays, and other events during winter break.

Find your local branch for details
Free

Winter Break camps

Some winter-break camps fill up early, but others still have last-minute spots. And with some, like Evergreen Brick Works’ Winter Camps, you can register for just a single day if you’re looking for a single-day diversion for the kids. Find nature camps, art camps, and more.

Ice Skating

Outdoor ice-skating rinks are open around the city. Many of them are free and also provide skate rentals. Find the best family-friendly skating rinks in Toronto. Or try one of two new skating trails open this year: The Bentway under the Gardiner and at Riverdale Park East, which also has a rink and winter lounge.

Swimming

Indoors, of course! Try the Richmond Hill Wave Pool for a fun outing; the Regent Park Aquatic Centre, which has a “Tarzan rope” and waterslide; the Agincourt Rec Centre pool in Scarborough, with palm tress and a tube slide; or the River Grove Community Centre pool in Mississauga, with a two-storey waterslide, children’s pool, and whirlpool. See a full list of free City of Toronto indoor pools with family swim times. Or you could get a day pass at YMCAs, JCCs, and university athletic centres.

Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms

Most rock-climbing gyms have workshops or special instruction days for kids and families. It’s a fun way to get moving in winter and to do something new as a family. Find the best rock-climbing gyms for kids in Toronto.

Trampoline Gyms

When kids have been cooped up indoors and are bouncing off the walls, indoor trampoline gyms are the solution. Wall-to-wall bouncing, ball pits, and games like trampoline basketball—a great way to burn all that energy! Find the best trampoline gyms for kids in Toronto.

Indoor Playgrounds

These just-for-kids establishments are genius for those days when it’s too glum or cold outdoors, but kids really need to blow off some steam. Find an age-appropriate indoor playground and let them go wild while you take a breather from entertaining! Find the best indoor playgrounds in Toronto.

Movies

Cineplex Family Favourites films are always $2.99 on Saturday mornings. The Ontario Science Centre is showing family-friendly documentaries in its IMAX Dome theatre every day except December 25.

Ripley’s Aquarium

Explore the sea during the holiday season! Visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada to see hammerhead sharks, pet stingrays, and take in the multi-storey jellyfish tank.

Open daily 9 am–11 pm (early closure at 6 pm on Dec. 31)
Tickets from $7 kids, $30 adults

Toronto Marlies

Forget Maple Leafs tickets. Get your hockey fix at a Toronto Marlies game instead!

Victorian Christmas Villages

Victorian Christmas at Mackenzie House takes place through January 7. Live west of the city? Try the Victorian Christmas at Dundurn Castle instead, also through December 31.

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