And just like that, it’s September. Thankfully the weather is still mild, there are no new COVID-19 restrictions in place (yet!) and Toronto in September 2021 is filled with exciting ways to kick off fall. Below we round up 10 of those options, including two brand new Toronto attractions that we think families will adore.
Not included are any agritourism suggestions; you’ll have to come back next week for a round-up devoted to apple picking and farm fun.
As always, we highly encourage you to read up on each destination’s COVID-19 protocols as different places have different rules.
Bloor St. W. & Jane St
North America’s largest celebration of Ukrainian heritage is returning to its roots for its big 25th anniversary. In lieu of its usual street party format, this year’s festival will be a ticketed parking lot party set in the same lot that hosted the inaugural edition of the event. Each day will feature live music, assorted food vendors and, of course, Ukrainian dance displays. Entry tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. The festivities will also be broadcast live via the festival website.
65A Orfus Rd, Toronto, ON
Tired of your kids bouncing off the walls of your home? Then pack them up and take them out to The Bubble, the country’s first, indoor, inflatable entertainment complex. Once inside this brand-new, all-ages space, your family can literally bounce their way through 10,000 square feet of obstacle courses, slides, climbing walls, and more. Also onsite is an arcade with over 50 games, laser tag for those who are at least six years old and three feet, six inches tall, and a bar and restaurant. “Jump tickets,” which are valid for a one-hour bounce session, are $22 per person while parking is free.
Thanks to a late Labour Day, Toronto gets to squeeze a few more days out its wonderful collection of wading pools. The official last day of operation for City wading pools is Sunday, September 5. Splash pads and outdoor pools will be with us for a little longer, as they don’t shut down for the session until later in the month. If your family is wanting to wrap up their summer by checking out a new destination or two, check out our list of some of the city’s best splash pads and wading pools.
Now until March 2022
True, it’s not quite as fun as the real thing but this virtual take on the CNE still has lots of ways to entertain your family. CNE Connected offers a variety of free and paid online content, the latter of which is only available through CNE Connected’s membership program. For $22, your family will have access to a virtual escape room, exclusive concerts, cooking demos and more. And best of all, each membership also includes one ticket for the 2022 CNE.
Dundas St E, Toronto, ON
Now open, seven days a week
Take the kids on a trip across Canada without ever leaving downtown Toronto. Newly opened, Little Canada is home to an elaborate miniaturized version of our country, complete with mini people and even tiny autonomous cars. The self-guided tour, which lasts roughly 90 minutes (or more, depending on how much detail you and your kids want to take it), will let your family see all kinds of famous Canadian landmarks in miniature format. Timed tickets can be booked in advance and start at $19, with kids three and under being free.
Lower Spadina Ave to Lower Sherbourne St, Toronto, ON
September 17–October 3
Charge up your phones and bring the kids down to the waterfront for a unique walking tour that combines technology and art. Along the trail you’ll find augmented reality stops that use your phone’s QR reading capabilities to, “show the past, present and future of Toronto’s waterfront.” We don’t want to spoil any surprises, but we hear that a certain giant rubber ducky might make a virtual appearance. There will also be several old-fashion (non-AR) art pieces on display along the trail. This event is completely free, and several waterfront businesses will be offering special sales and offers to further encourage your family to come\ down to the lake.
Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON
Open seven days a week
Did you know that Toronto is home to its very own national park? Rouge National Urban Park is a great place to spend a crisp fall day with your family. Packed with wildlife, tons of hiking trails and even a beach, the park will let your kids take in nature without ever leaving the city. The park is also home to some of Canada’s oldest known indigenous sites, making it an ideal place to teach your children a history lesson. Entry into the park is free as is parking. However, on beautiful days some of the park’s lots do fill up so be sure to check its parking status page before heading out.
Location of your choice
September 19, 2021
Have your family celebrate the life and achievements of one of the greatest Canadians ever with a virtual fundraising run in his name. This year, participants are encouraged to run wherever works best for them. Says the run organizers, “We will unite in spirit, not in person.” All fundraising will also take place virtually, via the Terry Fox Foundation’s easy-to-use website.
September’s not-too-hot, not-too-cold weather makes it the ideal month to check out any of Treetop Trekking’s three Greater Toronto and Hamilton area outdoor adventure parks. While exact activities vary by park, all locations offer zip lines and rope courses that are perfect for adventure-loving kids age nine and up, with some sites offering courses suitable for kids five and up. Have even littler ones? Then head over to Treetop Trekking’s Stouffville or Hamilton locations, where you’ll also find the Treewalk Village, an obstacle course designed for children age three to seven. Rates vary by activity but accessing the Treewalk Village starts at $28 for one adult and one child.
28 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON
Open seven days a week
Looking for some outdoor fun that’s not so nature-oriented? Then consider an outing to the Stackt Market, a pedestrian-friendly space built primarily out of shipping containers. It’s home to shopping, live music, and over 500 patio seats. The Market also often hosts special events, such as its monthly Backyard party, which features kid-friendly special events. This month it takes place on September 18. Then on Saturday, September 25, it hosts the Leslieville Flea Market, which often features kid appropriate vendors. Entry to Stackt Market, as well as the Backyard party and the flea market, is free.