What To Do with Kids in October: Family-Friendly Toronto Activities

Family Fun

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014 “Walk among Worlds” by Máximo González (photo: Ivan Buenader)

Wondering what’s on this month? Here are our top picks for festivals, activities, Halloween events and more for kids in Toronto this October.

1. Stay Up All Night

Bedtime is usually sacred, but occasionally it’s worth it to stay up late—especially when it’s a one-of-a-kind event like Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. Plenty of exhibits are fun for kids and on the Nuit Blanche website you can filter the projects and exhibitions by “family friendly” and use the My Night Planner scheduling tool to create your plan of attack. 

Take a tour through the creative, strange, and wonderful worlds of artists’ minds in exhibitions and installations like “Walk among Worlds” (pictured) made from 7,000 beach-ball “globes”, a large-scale rainbow light installation, and a Conga dance performance…in reverse. FREE

2. Have a Thanksgiving Feast

Do an old-school Thanksgiving dinner at Black Creek Pioneer Village, accompanied by traditional ale and followed by wagon rides.

Thanksgiving feasts are also taking place at Casa Loma and Westfield Heritage Village.

3. Go Pumpkin Crazy

Head to a pumpkin patch to choose your gourd for decorating, and get some great photo ops in the process. Or join the pumpkin frenzy at Whittamore Farm’s Pumpkinland, with a corn maze, bouncy inflatables, wagon rides, a tree fort with slide, a pumpkin cannon show and much more.

Follow the Pumpkin Trail at Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens or, for a pumkin-themed day, head to Pumpkin Sunday at Westfield Heritage Village.

>>11 Favourite Fall Activities with Kids in Toronto

4. Celebrate the Harvest

High Park is holding a Harvest Festival for the whole family, with food, crafts, music, horse and wagon rides, apple cider and more.

Every weekend in October is the Springridge Farm Harvest Festival, with a corn trail, spooky Boo Barn, wagon rides, and Fun Farm Yard.

5. Go to the Theatre

The theatre and concert season has officially begun, so get your culture on!

Shows on this month include The Princess and the Pea at Solar Stage, Pinkalicious the Musical at the Lower Ossington Theatre, and To Kill a Mockingbird at the Young People’s Theatre.

>>Toronto Kids’ Fall Culture Preview

6. Pick-Your Own Apples

Apple orchards are plentiful in the GTA, and are ripe for so much more than picking apples by the bushel. Corn mazes, hayrides, homemade apple fritters, warm apple cider, farm animals, and farmyard playgrounds are just some of the kid-centric diversions at Toronto-area apple farms.

7. Fall for Fun

On Thanksgiving Monday, head to the Harbourfront Centre for a HarbourKIDS Fall 4 U, a free, all-day family programme with live music, a pimp-your-stroller parade, music workshops, drumming, temporary tattoo parlour, LEGO zone, and other child-size diversions. FREE

8. Nuture Young Writers

Sophie’s Studio is a series of free, hands-on creative workshops for kids promoting creativity and writing, offered by the Toronto Public Library in October. At workshops throughout the month, kids can learn creative writing skills, make a book, and work with published authors. FREE

9. Be a Leaf-Peeper

See the fall colours on a guided walk at Rouge Park, attend a nature program at Evergreen Brick Works, or just explore High Park, the Don River Trail, or the Humber Trail.

To really see nature in all its fall splendour, get out of the city for the amazing Fall into Nature programs at seven Conservation Halton parks.

Or head to the Fall Colours Celebration at the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

10. Get Spooky

Halloween parties, craft sessions, haunted houses, safe trick-or-treating events, ghost stories and other ghoulish happenings are being held all over the city this month. We’ve singled out some top picks below.

For best bets in your neighbourhood (some of them free), check local calendars at:

  • community centres and drop-in centres
  • Toronto Public Library branches
  • indoor playgrounds
  • parks

Halloween events around the city:

See many more great events, updated daily on our website.

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