With Toronto elementary school kids having as many as three days off this week (two strike-related and one a PD day) ahead of the Family Day long weekend, you might be scrambling to find ways to keep your kids busy and yourself sane.
Thankfully, there are tons of activities happening this upcoming weekend—including free ones—that will appeal to kids of all ages and interests. Below we round up 15 of those events that have caught our eyes. And just a reminder that Kidapalooza has been cancelled so don’t head up to the Markham Fairgrounds this weekend.
Art Gallery of Ontario’s Family Day Weekend
February 14-17, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas W.
“Togetherness” is the theme of this year’s AGO Family Day weekend celebrations. The gallery’s artist-in-residence takes over Walker Court with interactive experiences that will have your family creating art together. You’ll also have the opportunity to take a family-friendly tour of the museum, build an “invention of goodness” and plant a seed. Access to all Family Day programming is included with your ticket to the AGO, which is free for everyone 25 and under.
Frozen 2 Screening
February 14-16, Hotel X, 111 Princes’ Blvd.
Have your kids yet to see Frozen 2? Or maybe they can’t get enough of this blockbuster sequel? Take them to this special screening happening inside Hotel X’s private, 250-seat theatre room. This is also a great excuse to pay a visit to one of Toronto’s newest, high-end hotels. Tickets are $5 each for kids and $10 each for adults, and four different screenings are available to choose from.
February 15, Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave.
While it was a bit of a flop when it was first released, Labyrinth is now considered a classic ‘80 movie. Introduce your kids to this dark adventure film, which stars David Bowie as the Goblin King and a slew of Jim Henson puppets, during a special Family Day weekend screening at the historic Revue Cinema. Labyrinth does have a few scary moments (it’s about a kidnapped baby after all!) and is rated PG so this outing is better suited to school-age kids. Tickets, which can be purchased in advance or at the theatre, start are $11 for kids and Revue members, and $14 for adults.
Nick Jr. Live: Move To The Music
February 15-16, Meridian Hall, 1 Front St E.
The Bubble Guppies, Shimmer and Shine and even the members of the Paw Patrol are just a few of the cartoon characters who star in this live-action stage show. Packed with action and music, this event will have your kids dancing in their seats and you might even find yourself humming along. Five shows are scheduled over the weekend, with performances set for the morning, afternoon and Saturday evening. Tickets start at $25 and VIP packages, which include premium seating and an after-show meet and greet, are also available.
February 15-17, Second City, 51 Mercer St.
Two top-notch improve teams face off against each other in this family-friendly comedy showdown. Each team will pull out all the stops to win, including pulling in audience members to help out (so be warned!). Note that while all of the humour is PG in nature, the show is 60 minutes in length, with no intermission, making it a better fit for school-aged kids. Ticket prices start at $18.
February 15-17, Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E.
A fresh spin is put on Rudyard Kipling’s classic story about a young boy who grows up in the Indian jungle. Aimed at kids aged five and up, this play, “challenges the conventions of the original story, exploring the consequences of colonialism and the continuing human domination of the animal world.” Five performances are scheduled over the long weekend and each show is approximately 70 minutes in length. While most tickets are in the $20-$30 range, the Sunday morning production offers a special, pay-what-you-can option.
Kids Fest Toronto
February 15-17, Hall 6, International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd. Mississauga
Despite the name, this event actually takes place in Mississauga but we’ll let that slide since it features over 30 inflatable rides and attractions. Spread across 80,000 square feet, this completely indoor festival also features magic and science shows, circus performances and an arcade zone. There’s also a special area for the toddler set. Including all taxes and fees, general admission is $10.08 while a Kids Unlimited Ride Pass is $30.26.
You and I
February 15-17, Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E.
Have a “walking baby” in your life? Then visit this special experience designed just for kids ages 12-30 months. Described as a “multi-sensory, playfully interactive adventure,” this show uses colour, movement and sensation to engage your little one. Five performances are scheduled for the Family Day long weekend, with showtimes at 11 am and 2:30 pm. To keep things toddler-friendly, the total runtime for this event is 45 minutes. Tickets for toddlers are just over $5 while adult tickets cost just over $26.
City of Toronto Recreation and Community Centres
February 17, across Toronto
Looking for close-to-home fun on February 17? Then check what your local, city-run recreation/community centre has planned for Monday. Scheduled activities include crafts, board games, cookie and cupcake decorating and a variety of different sports, including indoor soccer, yoga and table tennis. Programming varies by location and not all centres are participating so be sure to check this list before you head out. Then for more specific details, including any costs, contact the recreation or community centre that your family wants to check out.
Fam Day Waffle Fam Jam at Henderson Brewery
February 17, Henderson Brewery, 128A Sterling Rd.
Nothing says Family Day brunch quite like tasty, freshly made waffles. On Monday, Grandmama’s Waffles takes over popular indie brewery Henderson for a scrumptious afternoon aimed at families. In addition to waffles, there will be board games and a relaxed atmosphere. And yes, there will also be a wide selection of beer available on tap.
Family Day at the Aga Khan Museum
February 17, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr.
This gorgeous museum is offering family-oriented tours that include storytelling and hands-on activities to engage kids age five through 12. Its current visiting exhibit, “Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, And Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa,” will especially appeal to children who have a love of exploration and adventure. Your kids will also have the opportunity to build a take-home treasure of their own over in the Aga Khan’s Education Centre. All Family Day activities are free with your museum admission, which starts at $10 for children.
Family Day at the Farm
February 17, Black Creek Community Farm, 4929 Jane St.
Need to get the kids outside over the Family Day long weekend? Then consider taking a visit to the Black Creek Community Farm for an afternoon of fresh air fun. Scheduled activities include a forest walk, games for all ages and a preservation workshop. This event is scheduled to run regardless of the weather conditions and since it might be a bit chilly, there will also be a fire pit and hot apple cider to keep your family warm. It’s also completely free to attend and there’s no need to RSVP in advance.
Family Day at Fort York and The Bentway
Two great Toronto sites—Fort York and The Bentway—have teamed up to offer a day packed with free fun. Over at one of Toronto’s oldest landmarks, your family can enjoy hot chocolate, baked goods and a history lesson that we promise will also be entertaining. The Fort York Visitor Centre will also be hosting crafts, an interactive “blanket fort” that your kids can help to build and drag storytime with the legendary Fluffy and Faye. Then head over to the adjacent Bentway, which will be screening Paw Patrol and is also throwing “an all-day Pyjama-Rama skate party.” Yes, you can skate in your PJs! Note that this will also be the last day to skate The Bentway’s figure-eight trail so if you’ve been meaning to cross this item off your family’s winter bucket list, be sure to head down to this unique urban park.
Free Family Day Sports Fun
February 17, Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, 875 Morningside Ave.
Back for its sixth year, this year is the perfect way to get your kids to burn off any pent-up energy. Both regular and special Family Day programming will be offered including Zumba classes, floor hockey and a family gym, complete with bouncy castles. The gorgeous pool will also be available for leisure swim. This event is completely free but does require that you RSVP in advance.
February 17, Rouge National Urban Park, 1749 Meadowvale Ave.
“Inspired by all things winter in Ontario,” this one-day festival is packed with cool activities including horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice carving demonstrations and a snowman selfie station. There will also be the opportunity to meet real, live birds of prey and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count guided walk. Attendees are advised to come hungry as there will be samplings of hot chocolate and hot apple treats as well as a build-your-own s’more station. All the fun is free and takes place at the Zoo Road Welcome Area.