When the sun is shining, warm-weather activities are easy to come by. But what to do when it’s raining? Of course, you find lots of indoor activities at home: get kids to help cook something delicious, tend their own patch of garden, make crafts, or just play with their ever-expanding horde of toys.
But if you want to get out of the house, here are 13 places to go in Toronto with the kids on a rainy day.
Indoor Playgrounds and Arcades
Indoor playgrounds were made for rainy days! If your kids need a place to stretch their legs and get the wiggles out, try an indoor playground. Or turn up the gas at an arcade or entertainment centre with laser tag, indoor mini-golf, and arcade games.
For fun under the sea, head to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. It’s simply awesome to see sharks and sawfish swimming overhead. Small tykes go crazy for the indoor playground. Everyone loves the jellyfish wall and the touch tanks where you can “pet” a sting ray or shark.
Hockey Hall of Fame
At the Hockey Hall of Fame, learn about NHL history, play interactive games (for young kids), and have your photo taken with the legendary Stanley Cup.
Board Game Cafés
Toronto has several board game cafés, which are a great option for the whole family on a rainy day. Try a new game—staff is on hand to settle family disputes, er, explain the rules and strategy! Two great options are Castle Board Game Café and the original that started the trend in Toronto, Snakes and Lattes, which now has three locations.
Indoor Sports Centres
Do your kids need to let off some steam? If an indoor trampoline park isn’t high-energy enough for a rainy day, we can’t help you. Other options: drop-in climbing and bouldering (basic orientation and equipment rentals are included), indoor pools, bowling alleys, and indoor skate parks.
Find places near you:
If you have a bookworm on your hands, a trip to the library probably isn’t a hard sell. But the library also has programs for kids age 0 to 5 that encourages less studious types to read, like Ready for Reading program and the TD Summer Reading Club. And every branch has free kids’ events planned on various days; find your local branch and check the schedule to see what’s coming up.
The ROM or the AGO
The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) has frequent family activities and always has kid-friendly exhibits. The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) is worth visiting for the Hands-On Centre alone, or you can check out special events for families.
Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre makes science seriously fun, with hands-on exhibits for kids of all ages, including a build-your-own roller coaster station, a driving reaction test, a cave spelunking experience, giant magnets, steel drums, a pint-sized shopping market for little ones, a planetarium and Omnimax theatre, and more.
For discounts of up to 40% on the Ontario Science Centre, Sky Zone, Cinesphere, and more attractions in Toronto & the GTA, sign up for the Help! We’ve Got Kids Family Pass. Try it free for 30 days!
Early Learning Centres and Community Centres
With little kids (babies, toddler, pre-schoolers), early learning and community centres are an amazing resource for parents looking to get out of the house and entertain their young ones…or just be among other adult humans for a while!
At Toronto EarlyOn centres, let young kids get busy with craft projects, toys they don’t have at home and join in on circle time. Or just drop in on open gym play time at a City of Toronto recreation centre location: either a Children’s Play Program, or search for girls-only games, youth clubs, and other options among the drop-in programs for kids.
Toy Stores or Dollar Stores
Depending on your child, this could be a fun outing or a nightmare. But for kids who are cool with a $5 limit or “just stickers today”, a new activity or new craft supplies can perk up a dreary indoor day and doubles as an excuse to get out of the house. Pick up some pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glitter glue, and markers for an art/design/building day. For ideas, check out our Crafty Kids Pinterest board, or take a look at this entire website devoted to dollar-store crafts.
Drop-in Craft and Art Studios
Crafting at home is fine, but sometimes a change of scenery is in order. Create something special at drop-in art or pottery-painting places like Crock-a-Doodle, which has more than a dozen GTA locations for pottery making. The Clay Room on the Danforth and All Fired Up in Etobicoke. At Paintlounge (three Toronto locations), you can drop in and paint on canvas any time as long as there’s space available. And the best part of taking the art outside the home: no mess for you to clean up!
Rainy days are the perfect excuse to spend some time indoors, so why not see a movie? In addition to your local theatre, check out $2.50 Cineplex Family Favourites on Saturday mornings and IMAX films at the Ontario Science Centre or the Cinesphere at Ontario Place.
You’ve got the rain gear, so why not put it to good use? Get suited up in rain pants, rain jackets, and boots and get ready to splash, slip, and slide in the muck, either in the backyard or a local park. You may be amazed at how much fun it can be to go with the flow and brave the elements!