Summer in Toronto is getting Hot! Hot! Hot! in more ways than one. There’s just so much to do in and around the city with festivals and celebrations galore. We thought you might need a little help choosing, so here are our top ten family-friendly events to take in this weekend, July 7-8, 2018. For even more ideas, including a ton of air-conditioned theatre and exhibit options, be sure to visit our full events listing.
Part of Toronto Fringe, KidsFest is a theatre festival for the youngest thespians and thespians-to-be, running from July 4-15. KidsFest features 8 kid-friendly shows over the course of 12 days. Visit the website for show descriptions, performance dates and times, and age suitability. Most shows are for ages 5-12, but some are suitable for kids as young as 2. Tickets can also be purchased online.
Programming begins early in the day, and tickets are just $5 per child. Babes-in-arms enter for free. Adult tickets $13.
This weekend is your last chance to catch this fabulous family circus show in Mississauga (next stop Markham). The Royal Canadian Family Circus has been entertaining kids for 50 years with acrobats, aerialists, high-wire artists, clowns, and equestrian shows under the traditional big top. This circus employs no exotic animals and no endangered species. The Spectac! 2018 show features horses only.
Tickets from $25. Special deal: 2 for 1 tickets with promo code: Helpwevegotkids. Buy tickets online.
Enjoy a historic train ride on the York-Durham Heritage Railway, travelling through the beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine from Uxbridge to Stouffville and back. This Sunday is a special Teddy Bear train ride, and Dr. Bear will be riding the train to give your child’s favourite stuffie a check-up and a clean bill of health. Enjoy on-board entertainment while waiting for the doctor.
Adults: $27; Senior & Student: $25; Child: $19; Kids 12 and under with a Teddy: $2 (maximum of 2 children per adult)
The train departs Uxbridge Station at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm and from Stouffville at noon. Book your tickets online at: www.ydhr.ca
The 5th annual Oakville Children’s Festival is happening Sunday, July 8, transforming the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Park into an arts and culture playground for kids of all ages. Enjoy live performances by Juno Award winner Fred Penner, Franklin the Turtle and Friends, Hoop Dancer Ryan Runearth, Kaeja d’Dance Company, and Enviro Drum. Take part in interactive building and art activities, story times, scavenger hunt, sports zone, face painting, and more. Take the free shuttle from Bronte GO or ride your bike (no parking on-site). Food trucks will be on site for all your refreshment needs.
Festival admission is free and the event will take place rain or shine.
The Islamic Foundation of Toronto brings you their 8th annual Community Carnival, happening in north Scarborough. The event will feature fireworks, a Ferris wheel, inflatables, BBQ, lots of food, bouncy castles, exotic cars, a grand bazaar, and much more!
All-Day Ride Passes available online for $15 advance purchase.
Visit downtown Markham and enjoy famous BBQ ribs, pulled pork, and chicken entrees by award-winning Ribbers from all across North America. A variety of food trucks will also be on hand to tempt your taste buds. Check out the action-packed Kids Zone, live music from local bands in the Entertainment Zone, or hang out in the Beer and Wine Tent. There’s something for everyone! July 6-8.
Admission: $2 per person; children under 12 are free; 100% of the proceeds go to the Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Dr. Bear Program and the Markham Rotary Club Foundation.
The Reptile Expos have been promoting responsible reptile ownership for over 20 years in Canada. With vendors offering not only their captive bred reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids, they offer a support network for those that wish to enjoy the privilege of sharing their daily lives with these magnificent creatures. This is a fun day of reptile vendors, education, displays, and more! Food trucks on site, free parking, and loads to see!
Adults: $10; Youth/Senior: $5.
Ontario Family Fishing Events is a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card. The summer event runs June 30-July 8, culminating this weekend with urban fishing festival events in Toronto, Newmarket, Pickering, and Bowmanville. Bring the family to experience fishing in some of Ontario’s urban parks. A limited number of rods and reels can be borrowed on a first come, first serve basis. Bait is supplied at no cost. Kids can get a free hot dog and drink.
Afrofest is the largest free African Music Festival in North America, and celebrates 30 years in 2018. Each year, Afrofest features a mix of international and local African musicians performing a range of drumming, music, and dance, including both traditional and contemporary styles, sharing the rich and diverse expressions of African music and culture in an inclusive, vibrant, and positive community festival setting. There is also a Children’s Creative Village, an interactive area where the audience enjoys games, story-telling, and art-based activities throughout the day. The event takes place in Woodbine Park, July 7 & 8.
Salsa on St. Clair is a free, family street party celebrating Toronto’s Latin cultures, transforming St. Clair Ave. W. between Winona Drive and Christie Street into a showcase of Latin life. The event features pulsating music, passionate dancing, fiery foods, a Latin market, a children’s area, and much more. Experience the vitality of Hispanic culture with vibrant folkloric performances and a colourful festival parade. July 7 & 8.