50 things to do with kids in and around Toronto this summer

Toronto is a hub for cultural diversity, music, theatre and all-around fun! Hit up these spots for an amazing summer with the kiddos.

Cute little boy shares ice cream with his sister

Photo: iStock

It’s summertime and the living is FUN! Celebrate all that the season has to offer by exploring the cultural hub of Toronto and its surrounding areas. With everything from live shows and thrilling rides to tasty bites and even snorkeling adventures, getting from point A to point B has never been easier. And now that children 12 and under ride for free on GO Transit, you can take a load off of your wallet and the planet by letting GO get you there. (Plan your trip to any of these exciting destinations with GO here!)

gaming room

Photo: Courtesy of The Rec Room

The Rec Room

Prepare for sensory overload! Located steps from the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Ripley’s Aquarium (and easy to access from the GO Terminal at Union Station), The Rec Room is a rare play space that caters to both adults and kids. The big draw for little ones is the 80-plus arcade games—everything from racing games to roller coaster simulators, and everything in between. (Note: Like at all arcades, your kids are likely to walk by shooter games, too.) When you’re all gamed out—or you’ve run out of credits on your pre-loaded card—sit down for a bite to eat at The Rec Room’s restaurant, THREE10, where you’ll find delicious Canadian-inspired cuisine, 20 beers on tap for mom and dad, and a surprisingly tasty, but still accessible, menu for little ones. (Hello, mac and cheese with bacon strips and a side of roasted broccoli with Parmesan!) Afterwards, older kids will can enjoy a game of foosball while their parents play pool. If your kids are 10 and up, wrap up the visit with The Rec Room’s virtual reality experience.

When: Year round
More info:

Toronto Zoo

There’s tons to do during the summer at the Toronto Zoo, from the Gorilla Climb Ropes Course to Splash Island (open seasonally). Kids can pick up an Xplorers Booklet, which includes fun activities that help kids discover the Canadian creatures at the zoo, at the Parks Canada Front Courtyard Kiosk. A complete booklet earns you a special Parks Canada souvenir. The whole family can also check out special animal keeper talks and feedings. Free with admission.

When: All summer
More info:

Photo: Courtesy of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Snorkel with the stingrays

Animal lovers can get up close and personal with some of the stars of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Kids ages six and up can swim and snorkel with the stingrays in Ray Bay while accompanied by a Ripley’s diver. (Kids under 13 must also be accompanied by an adult.) Little divers can make a few fishy friends and maybe even get a kiss from a southern stingray. The cost is $110 per child from June 30 to September 3, which includes admission to the aquarium, a behind-the-scenes tour, a souvenir backpack and towel and photos on a USB. Swimmers must bring their own swimsuits and register in advance. Don’t forget to show your PRESTO card for a 20% discount off general admission!

When: All summer
More info:

Dinosaur Gallery

If your little ones love dinosaurs, let them hang out with some prehistoric playmates at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Dinosaur Gallery. With hundreds of specimens to discover, kids can peruse everything from unusual dinosaur specimens to fossilized plants. Little paleontologists can also check out the recently discovered dino Wendiceratops pinhornensis, which lived 79 million years ago and is part of the horned dinosaur family Ceratopsidae. Included with admission (and get a 20% discount when you show your PRESTO card).

When: All summer
More info:

Photo: Courtesy of Evergreen

Evergreen Brick Works Scavenger Hunt

A truly historic site, the Evergreen Brick Works—previously the Don Valley Brick Works—was once a quarry that provided bricks for several Toronto landmarks, including Casa Loma. It has since been converted into a city park and an environmentally focused community centre. Families can explore the sustainable site and learn about the history of the Don Valley while participating in a fun scavenger hunt. There are two versions: one for ages three to six, and another for ages seven to 10. The hunt is free, but a donation of $2 to $5 is encouraged. Families can also check out the art galleries, yummy food trucks and farmers’ market that populate the park throughout the season.

When: All summer
More info:

kid in construction vehicle

PHOTO: Bingemans

Excavation Station at FunworX

If your kids love playing with toy construction vehicles, imagine how they’d feel controlling one! That’s the appeal of the Excavation Station at Bingemans, an amusement centre located in Kitchener, Ont., about a 90-minute drive from Toronto or a 2.5-hour trek on the GO. Once they’ve lived out their construction worker dreams, kids can head over to Bingemans Funworx Indoor Playland, where they can choose from activities such as mini-golf, a ropes course, an arcade and a three-level play structure. Then, they’ll want to hang out at Bingemans Big Splash, a huge waterpark which boasts a wave pool, slides of all intensities and a toddler area for the small set.

When: All summer
More info:

LookOut Level

The CN Tower’s recently updated main observation level offers an eye-opening, mind-blowing new perspective on the most spectacular views in Toronto with the CN Tower’s two floor-to-ceiling panoramic Window Walls. And that’s not all: a new glass floor has been installed over the old one (which was installed in 1994!), giving visitors a vertical, two-tier view. Are you brave enough to look straight down?

When: All summer
More info:

The bluffs at Bluffer's Park

Photo: Bluffer’s Park

Explore the Scarborough Bluffs

Spanning 15 kilometres and reaching a whopping 300-feet above Lake Ontario at its highest point, the sprawling Scarborough escarpment almost feels like an exotic locale. There are 11 great parks to explore and plenty of hiking trails (pack a bag to collect garbage along the way), but our favourite is Bluffers Park. It’s the only beachfront spot and a perfect place to have a picnic, veg out or fly kites. Get there by taking the Lakeshore East GO Train to Scarborough, and then transfer to the TTC.

When: All summer
More info:

Centre Island Amusement Park

A trip to the island is a rite of passage for any Toronto kid. If the ferry over wasn’t exciting enough (plane buffs, look up! There’s lots to take in from nearby Billy Bishop City Airport), Centre Island has over 30 rides and attractions like spinning tea cups, a log ride, bumper cars and a classic carousel. Don’t fret about food; there’s plenty of tasty options. After all, what’s an amusement park without some deliciously unhealthy snacks?

When: All summer
More info:

Toronto Outdoor Picture show playing a black and white movie on the grass beyond the Toronto skyline

Photo: Nicola Betts

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

BYOB and C (blanket and chair) because this year’s free outdoor movies are celebrating dynamic duos. Showcasing at different parks across the city, take in some family-friendly flicks like E.T. (July 4), The Odd Couple (July 21) and Ratatouille (August 8). Pack some snacks and warm clothes because the movies start once the sun sets. And don’t forget your change, because these events run on donations.

When: All summer
More info:

This is Eye Candy

Kids and adults will have a ball at this pop-up exhibit on Queen Street. Made up of mini “rooms” it’s the place to take the perfect Instagram snap. You and your crew can swing on a huge disco ball, strike a pose beside a giant slice of pizza, cruise the skies in a private jet, stand under the cherry blossoms and dream of the high life in a vault filled with gold bricks. Kids will especially love the candy room, a black-and-white-striped tunnel with a sweet core of larger-than-life Double Bubble gum and lollis. There’s even a throwback to video rentals with a Blockbuster-themed aisle. Have fun explaining to the kids what “be kind, rewind” means!

When: All summer
More info:

Plan your trip

Figure out how to make your way to any of these exciting destinations with GO using the “Plan Your Trip” option on their website!

GO Transit logo

The miniature train at Toronto Railway Museum

Choo-choo, all aboard the fun train! At the Toronto Railway Museum, kids can discover the history of rail transportation in Toronto (featuring restored locomotives including an original 50+ year old GO Train), and experience what it’s like to be an engineer in the train simulator, which lets kids use the brakes and blow the horn. The main attraction during the summer is taking a ride on the miniature railway that loops around the park in front of the museum. Tickets for the museum are $5 for ages 14 and older, and $3 for kids. The train ride is an additional $3.50 for older guests and $2.50 for little riders.

When: Museum is open all summer; train rides operate from mid-June to Labour Day
More info:

Little girl dressed as a pirate looking out a telescope

Photo: Courtesy of Pirate Life

Pirate Life

Shiver me timbers! Book a ride on a pirate ship with the Pirate Life experience, where children’s theatre and a boat cruise come together to form something truly wonderful for kids aged 3 to 11 (though pirates of all ages are welcome aboard). You’ll start getting into character by dressing up in provided costumes and pirate tattoos. Then, hop aboard the ship for an hour-long interactive show that’ll have kids deciphering maps, blasting bad pirates with water cannons and hauling up loot. (They’ll even get something to bring home as a souvenir!)

When: Daily, July to August; weekends, May to June and September to October.
More info:

Family in a paddle boat on the lake

Photo: Courtesy of Ontario Place

Boat rentals at Ontario Place

What’s summer without a boat ride? OK, these are paddle boats and kayaks, but still. Located beside the Cinesphere (where you can take in an iMax movie after your paddling), choose from four-person or two-person paddle boats—or, if you’ve got older kids, go in your own boats by renting kayaks to explore the waterfront at Ontario Place. The easiest way to get there is by taking the Lakeshore West GO Train to Exhibition GO Station; Ontario Place is just a short walk from the station. Lifejackets are provided.

When: Weekends in June, every day from July to September 2
More info:

Murder at the ROM

If you and your family love escape rooms, you have to try this scavenger hunt at the Royal Ontario Museum. A curator has been murdered and there are several suspects. It’s up to you and your team of two to six sleuths to follow the trail of clues throughout the museum and crack the cryptic code to solve the mystery. This murder mystery lets younger detectives participate but is best suited to older kids (11+). Tickets are $45 per person and must be purchased in advance. The cost includes general admission to the ROM (and make sure you remember to show your PRESTO card for that 20% off discount).

When: All summer (mainly weekends)
More info:

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

A tale as old as time is coming to the stage in Niagara Falls this summer. Linus Hand Productions brings the reluctant love story between a conceited-prince-turned-beast and a headstrong village girl to life in a fun, musical way. Featuring the classic songs Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, this show is a must for all Disney princess fans. Make a weekend of it by taking advantage of GO Transit’s Niagara Falls travel packs using the special summer GO train service, and take in all the hot-ticket sites this natural wonder of the world has to offer.

When: Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday all summer
More info:

Blue blocks in the park

Photo: Courtesy of Imagination Playground

Imagination Playground

A life-sized chess board and uniquely shaped foam cubes create a world of outdoor fun for kids and parents. Bonus: It’s free! Located in Trillium Park next to the Pavilion, this outdoor play area will be open on Saturdays and Sundays all summer long.

When: All summer (Saturdays and Sundays)
More info:

Family Sundays at the Gardiner Museum

Sundays are fun days at the Gardiner Museum. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., parents and young artists can enjoy an array of family-friendly activities, such as making sculptures out of clay, painting on ceramic tiles and participating in scavenger hunts. The activities are included with admission; kids under 18 visit for free. (Get your tickets for 20% off when you show your PRESTO card!)

When: Sundays, all summer
More info:

kids running the bases


Jr. Jays Sundays

Take me out to the ballgame! The Jr. Jays program makes catching a Blue Jays game extra-special for little fans. During Sunday home games (with the exception of Opening Day, Mother’s Day, and Canada Day), kids 14 and under can participate in fun activities on the 100, 200 and 500 levels while parents enjoy the action. After the game, fans (accompanied by a parent) can also run the bases like their favourite players. Your Jr. Jay could be randomly selected to participate in some awesome stadium activities, like being the Jr. Jays Announcer for the bottom half of an inning. Lucky fans can also win prizes and be seen on the video board, so be sure to dress up. All activities included with the price of a ticket.

When: Sundays, all summer
More info:

Drag Brunch at Glad Day Bookshop

There’s regular brunch and then there’s Drag Brunch. Happening every Sunday at the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore (which also happens to be a restaurant serving up kid-approved brunch classics like grilled cheese, scrambled eggs and French toast), enjoy delicious food and boisterous performances by Erin Brockobic and her crew of drag guest stars. This is a welcoming and accessible space for all ages, so don’t shy away from bringing the whole family. Grandma, too!

When: Every Sunday
More info:

apple farm festival

PHOTO: Chudleigh’s Farm

Summer Nights

Treat the kids to a wild night of live music, delicious food, wagon rides and apple cider with a night at Chudleigh’s Farm. Beginning June 1, this fun weekend adventure will take you right into the fall!

When: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Mid-August, then open daily through to October 31.
More info:

Celebration Canada

This bustling birthday celebration features a spectacular fireworks display on July 1 for Canada Day, but Canada’s Wonderland has weeks of special events planned to celebrate our amazing country. While you’re at the park, you’ll be sure to run into street performers on stilts and jugglers. There’s live music (performances vary by day) and a beautiful light show at the fountain each night. Authentic Canadian grub is close at hand with poutine, peameal bacon, deep-fried butter tarts and prairie favourite sour cabbage rolls ready to be gobbled. Avoid worrying about parking by taking the GO train along the Barrie line to Maple GO Station, and connecting to the YRT from there.

When: June 24 to July 14
More info:

Plan your trip

Figure out how to make your way to any of these exciting destinations with GO using the “Plan Your Trip” option on their website!

GO Transit logo

Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto

Celebrate Canada Day weekend by the water at the Redpath Waterfront Festival. There’s something for everyone! Little sailors can check out the fleet of tall ships and their crews. There’s plenty to do on-land, too, whether you’re surveying an oyster shucking competition, taking in live music and a hula-hooping mermaid, or testing your crew member skills with a rope course (complete with a wall to climb and a web to crawl through). Make a day of it; there will be tons of artisanal goods like handmade jewelry, and yummy East Coast eats. Admission is free; save 15% off tall ship deck tour tickets when you enter the first 6 digits of your PRESTO card online.

When: June 29 to July 1
More info:

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market

It’s no cars allowed one Sunday a month throughout one of Toronto’s most eclectic neighbourhoods. Full of delicious eats and intriguing shops, Kensington Market is always a fun stop, but pedestrian Sundays offer a particularly unique cultural experience of streets filled with the sights and sounds of a bustling marketplace, artists, buskers and entertainers. Hot tip: Stop for coco bread wrapped around a Jamaican beef patty to enjoy while you take a stroll.

When: June 30, July 28 and August 25, noon to 7 p.m.
More info:

salsa on st. clair


Salsa in Toronto

Salsa in Toronto started out as a local two-day event called Salsa on St. Clair and quickly grew into one of the largest Latino-themed cultural celebrations in Canada. Today, Salsa on St. Clair (July 6 and 7) remains one of the main events: bring your appetite and enjoy some pupusas, tacos and empanadas packed with fiery flavor, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes to get your groove on with dance lessons and live music. This year’s entertainment includes salsa dancers, a costume parade and a tropical themed art exhibition. Free.

When: July
More info:

Summer Wednesdays

Relax under the Pavilions or bask in the setting sun in the Children’s Garden at Evergreen Brick Works. Sit back with an ice-cold drink, grab a bite of delicious summer fare and make the most of those warm summer evenings. For dinner, enjoy gourmet selections from street food trucks or platters of seasonal food. Different entertainment will be on tap each week, ranging from dancing and jazzy tunes to art performances.

When: July to August
More info: 

Kidsfest at the Toronto Fringe Festival

Calling all theatre geeks! This year, take the whole family to Toronto’s Fringe Festival and catch a show. Kidsfest is a special place for kids to play and watch kid-friendly performances. Located at the George Ignatieff Theatre, the club also offers free activities and bouncy castle for young thespians (July 6 to 7 and 13 to 14). Kidsfest shows are only $5, and this year’s offerings include Boy Vs Fly and the hilarious comedy Dungee the Dragon and the Just-Okay Juggler.

When: July 3 to 14
More info:

Thread Journeys at the Textile Museum of Canada

A sensory wonderland with art from over 200 regions worldwide, the Textile Museum of Canada offers free (with admission) drop-in textile classes where kids as young as five (accompanied by an adult) can try their hand at cross stitching, card-weaving and applique. This is your chance to get a headstart on those DIY holiday gifts.

When: Every Wednesday from July 3 to August 28, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
More info:

Man pulling fresh buns out of the oven

Photo: Courtesy of Taste of Regent Park

Taste of Regent Park

Wednesday nights are where it’s at this summer. The downtown greenspace known as the Big Park celebrates food and culture with their weekly farmers’ market that features pay-what-you-can meals made by local caterers. Volunteers cook up woodfire-baked treats that you can munch while perusing the vendors. There’s a theme each week, plus kid-friendly activities like games and face-painting, as well as a rotating roster of performances. Pack a blanket because—weather permitting—they’ll also play a family-friendly outdoor movie. Check their Facebook page for full details and movie listings.

When: Every Wednesday evening from July 3 to August 28
More info:

Beaches Jazz Festival

So, your kids like to get down to Baby Shark more than jazzy standards. No sweat: this free, month-long festival is all about community-building, and promises fun for the whole family. With different stages set up across a slew of venues and parks along Queen Street East, there are internationally acclaimed acts and local performers all covering different styles of jazz, including the classics, acapella, big band, ska and swing. Visit local shops and enjoy dinner on a patio while you take it all in.

When: July 5 to 28
More info:


Get your kids moving to the rhythm of over 35 live performances by bands from across the globe. The two-day festival takes place in Woodbine Park, promoting African music in Toronto. Head over to The Children’s Creative Village where they can enjoy games, story-telling and art-based activities throughout the day.

When: July 6 and 7
More info:

Plan your trip

Figure out how to make your way to any of these exciting destinations with GO using the “Plan Your Trip” option on their website!

GO Transit logo

Weird Al Strings Attached Tour at Budweiser Stage

It’s time for a laugh-fest with iconic parody singer Weird Al Yankovic, who will be performing with a full orchestra at Budweiser Stage (just a 12-minute walk from Exhibition GO station, we checked). There’s no better way to get those sillies out on a warm summer night than to sing along to Like a Surgeon and Amish Paradise. The show starts at 8 p.m.

When: July 8
More info:

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

In its 58th year, Nathan Phillip Square fills with white tents and plays host to over 360 contemporary artists selling jewelry, paintings, photography and sculptures. If you’ve got a burgeoning Monet on your hands, you won’t want to miss the family-themed activities like kid-focused artist talks, drawing sessions and a special program for young art buyers (with donated pieces range from $10 to $20) hosted by the one and only Tiffany Pratt. The musical performances and art exhibits are also great to take in.

When: July 12 to 14
Get more info:

Kids in the street at a block party

Photo: Courtesy of Bloor West Street Fest

Bloor West Street Fest

Hop on the subway and take your kids to this charming street festival between Runnymede and Jane stations in Bloor West Village. From face painting and super dogs to carnival rides and a rock-climbing wall, there’s no shortage of activities to keep them entertained. Don’t feel like making dinner? Grab something from one of the tasty food vendors to-go before you head home.

When: July 13
More info:

CFL players in a game of football

Photo: Jason Franson

Family Day with Hamilton Tiger-Cats

“Oski wee, wee, Oski wah, wah! Holy Mackinaw, Tigers, eat ‘em raw!” That’s what you chant at a Ticat’s game. Visiting Tim Hortons Field is never a bad idea, but it’s going to be extra kid-friendly on July 13 when special guests from Paw Patrol, Spider-Man and Iron Man will be in attendance. Take the GO Train along Lakeshore West to get to Hamilton and connect to the HSR from there. While you’re in the city, pop into the original Tim Hortons (65 Ottawa St N) for a cold drink, a donut and a taste of history.

When: July 13
More info:

Throwback Cinema at the Revue

Hey parents, it’s time to introduce your kids to the classics. Happening once a month at the city’s oldest theatre, nostalgics and newbies alike can take in showings of time-honoured ‘80s flicks on the big screen. This summer, buy your bottomless bag of popcorn and watch your kids squeal with laughter at John Candy’s outrageous antics in Uncle Buck (July 13) and teeter on the edge of their seats during the daring Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (August 24).

When: July 13 and August 24
More info:

A sign that says "TACOS"

Photo: Courtesy of Taco Fest

Taco Fest

What kid doesn’t love delicious food folded into a tortilla? With over a hundred varieties of fillings, you’re sure to find something to excite your tastebuds at this three-day festival. Looking for something sweet? You won’t want to miss the waffle taco from Booyah, which features huge scoops of ice-cream stuffed into a folded waffle. Yum!

When: July 14 to 16
More info:

Pizza Fest

Maybe ‘za is more your thing? From Italy to Detroit to Chicago, this festival has got you covered on all things cheesy and crusty. The local festival highlights Toronto’s best pizza and Italian joints; expect to be treated to a side of live music with your hearty feast.

When: July 19 to 21
More info:

A diverse group drumming

Photo: Courtesy of Muhtadi International Drumming Festival

Muhtadi International Drumming Festival

North America’s only annual drum festival is sure to entertain the kids and might just inspire a little drummer in your family. This year’s theme Caribbean Drum and Dance, featuring percussionist Njacko Backo, who will be leading ‘Let The Children Play’ where kids of all ages can try their hand at drumming. There’s also a beer garden, so parents can have their own fun, too. The event takes place at Regent Park and includes delicious cultural food (including a new vegan marketplace) and crafts for sale.

When: July 20 and 21
More info:

KidZfest at Canada’s Wonderland

Visiting Wonderland with the fam is a no-brainer, but from July 22 to August 5 the theme park goes from awesome to extra-awesome thanks to a special, kid-themed celebration. Tiny thrill-seekers can take in live entertainment, foam pits (!) and dance parties along with special guests from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bob the Builder, Paw Patrol, Marvel Superheroes, Thomas and Friends, Dora the Explorer and more.

When: July 22 to August 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More info:

Taste of the Middle East

Teach your kid what a jalab is or treat them to some grilled halloumi at this drool-inducing festival of food. Handmade jewelry and art will be available for purchase, and if you’re curious, traditional fortune telling is also on tap. Happening at Yonge Dundas Square, proceeds from this festival go towards Second Harvest.

When: July 27
More info:

Eva's Chimney food truck

Photo: Courtesy of Canadian Food Truck Festival

Canadian Food Truck Festival

With over 30 food trucks showcasing their best and most diverse dishes in Woodbine Park, there’s no need to feel bad about indulging here, because this foodie festival is in cahoots with SickKids Foundation. On top of eating delicious food, attendees can enjoy free music, take in some pretty intense eating competitions and party hard at the kiddie-sized midway.

When: Aug 2 to 5
More info:

Jerk Fest

While you savour Jamaican patties and jerk chicken, your little ones can hang out in the Kid Zone with face painting, balloon characters, inflatable rides, rock climbing, midway rides and more. Past musical guests at this festival have included R&B performers, Brian McKnight and Maxi Priest, so get ready to have the whole family jamming to the beats of the islands. We recommend taking a GO bus along Mississauga Transitway to Renforth Station and walking to the festival from there.

When: August 9 to 11
More info:

Girl smiling in the sun wearing a Taste of the Danforth t-shirt

Photo: Courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Taste of the Danforth

Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street festival. Located in the heart of Toronto’s Greektown on the Danforth, the event is a celebration of the fun flavours of Greece and summer in the city. Visitors can snack on souvlaki and spanakopita, enter contests and enjoy live music and traditional Greek dancing. There will also be tons of kid-friendly activities like face painting, games, sports and the return of EverBlocks Clubhouse, where your Lego fanatic can build with over 18,000 pieces.

When: August 9 to 11
More info:

Vegandale Food Drink Festival

Hey vegans (and anyone who’s vegan-curious)! We’ve got you. Being plant-based is getting easier and easier, and this veggie-loving festival is a great way to show your little ones that Meatless Monday doesn’t have to be a bore. In fact, it can be darn delicious. With a multitude of vendors, including well-known vegan restaurants from all over, serving up hot food, drinks and desserts, no one is walking away from here hungry. Yum!

When: August 10
More info:

Plan your trip

Figure out how to make your way to any of these exciting destinations with GO using the “Plan Your Trip” option on their website!

GO Transit logo

Bikes on Bond

Attention young motorheads, the city of Oshawa is revving up for an epic day of all things choppers. Quickly becoming one of the largest motorcycle events in Ontario, riders from all over flock east of Toronto to chat with spectators and show off their bikes. Come for the hogs, stay for the live music and local shops along the way.

When: August 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More info:

Sweetery Toronto Food Festival

Get ready to indulge your sweet tooth at Toronto’s sweets-only food festival. The annual Sweetery Toronto Food Festival aims to bring sweet treats and sweeter people together at David Pecaut Square, with macaroons, doughnuts and pastries galore, plus tons of family-geared activities like a taste-bud challenge and a gumball shake. Sounds like a sweet deal! Free.

When: August 10 to 11
More info:


Canadian National Exhibition

Visiting the CNE is a classic end-of-summer activity, and this year’s Ex features all of the kid-friendly favourites you’d expect. Visit Kids’ World and participate in Pizza Nova pizza-making; go through the corn maze, and catch talented dogs doing tricks at the President’s Choice SuperDogs. If you take the GO Train to Exhibition GO Station, you won’t have to worry about parking. A family pass is $60 (for two adults and two kids up to age 13). See you on the midway!

When: August 16 to September 2
More info:

Pan American Food Festival

Feed your kids’ bellies and minds at this annual festival that highlights food from the 41 countries that make up the Americas (North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean). Aside from the delicious fare, there will also be musical performances and a parade that features costumes from 20 Pan-American countries. Plus, there’s plenty of fun designed specifically for kids—in past years, kids had fun crafting and playing in a “World Cup” soccer game, representing different national teams.

When: August 17 to 18
More info:

woman in a big wheel

PHOTO: Courtesy of Toronto BuskerFest

Scotiabank Buskerfest

Come see Toronto’s best buskers at North America’s largest street performer festival. There’s tons of entertainment for the whole family! Laugh at the comedians’ jokes, gaze in wonder at the contortionists, believe in the impossible as magicians perform their tricks and dance like nobody’s watching when the musicians play their tunes. The festival also includes face painting, balloon twisting and special workshops for kids. This year, the festival is taking place at Woodbine Park, so kids can enjoy the sand and water, too. Admission is by donation at the entrance, as well as at each performer’s act.

When: August 30 to September 2
More info:


Kids 12 and under can ride free on all GO trains and GO buses. That means more adventures for you and your family!

Plan your trip at

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.