We’re so happy Family Day exists. It’s a great opportunity to take a day or the whole long weekend to connect with the kids and extended family members. And that extra day off means that there’s finally a bit of wiggle room to travel to a different part of the city and check out somewhere new—or maybe return to an old favourite. So pick your favourite activity—theatre, indoor, outdoor, tech or creative, and plan an experiential outing.
In Downtown Toronto:
Ratatouille with the TSO: Feb. 18. Roy Thompson Hall
We adore the movie Ratatouille, and now we can see it projected on the big screen while the Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays the movie score for a truly immersive experience. Bonus: there is a 20-minute intermission to make it more achievable to attend with youngsters.
Cost: From $26
Kids’ Gallery of Ontario: Feb. 20: AGO, Toronto
We love that the AGO is transforming itself into the Kids’ Gallery of Ontario for the day. We’re sure our little ones will have a blast building paper boats in the Galleria Italia, or perhaps taping a room and busting some bubble wrap in the Weston Family Learning Centre. There are huge foam block installations to be created, family yoga and tons of other fun.
Cost: From $11, family day pass is $39
Big Bad Wolf vs. Lord Underwearface von Schtinker: Feb. 18-20: Second City
Well, this Second City performance’s title makes us laugh all on its own. So we’re certain that this play, featuring the Big Bad Wolf as the hero for a change, will delight even the ‘too cool’ tweens.
Cost: From $12
Miles Nadal JCC: Feb. 20: Spadina and Bloor
The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre has a great line-up planned for Family Day. Not only are there physical activity opportunities, such as volleyball and a family swim, there will be Disney Princesses visiting as well. We also like the opportunity to play with clay and check out the jungle gym.
Mary Poppins Play: Feb. 10 – April 2: Lower Ossington Theatre
We just love Marry Poppins and are so happy that the classic play has arrived at the LOS. Good to know: no strollers allowed in the theatre.
Cost: From $55
digiPlaySpace: Feb. 18-April 23: TIFF Bell Lightbox
Yay—it’s one of our favourite outings of the year! We adore going to the digiPlaySpace at TIFF to explore alongside our kids. We can practically see their creativity sparking as they interact with cool movie technology, robotics and nifty apps.
Cost: From $11
Beauty and the Beast Exhibit: Feb. 17-20: Casa Loma
Casa Loma will be hosting some of the elegantly gorgeous costumes from the upcoming live action Beauty and the Beast film—could there be a more perfect setting? The weekend will also include themed activities and performances—a must for any fan of Belle or the Beast himself.
Cost: From $15
Board Game Making: Feb. 20: STEAMLabs, 192 Spadina Avenue (Queen and Spadina)
During this maker-space Family Day event, not only does the crew get to play board games—we make them, too! We get to design our own inventive games or try our hand at using the laser cutter and 3D printer to make favourites like Connect 4.
Cost: From $35
Game making with Scratch: Feb. 20: Hacker You on Queen West
This fantastic workshop, led by Kids Learning Code, is for kids ages 8-13 and their parents, using computer-coding program Scratch to build original games. It’s held at super cool Queen West Hacker You. At the end of the workshop there’s an opportunity to play and share the original creations, which are pretty fun. We might just have designed the next Angry Birds….
Cost: Suggested donation $30
Family Day at the Hall: Feb. 20: Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto
It’s time to get those hockey fans downtown, where they can participate in goaltending, sports broadcasting, and play-by-play simulations. Take in a 3D movie all about—you guessed it, hockey—and snap a pic with the family in front of the Stanley Cup.
Cost: From $12
The Monkey Bunch: Feb. 19-20, 26: The Drake Hotel
The Monkey Bunch is that rare kids’ musical group that achieves the near impossible—making music that adults actually love, too! What better way to spend Family Day than to take in the Drake’s delicious brunch and then hang out for the 3 pm concert?
Family Funday Weekend: Feb. 18-20: Royal Ontario Museum
The theme for the weekend is One World, and there are so many cool activities to take in we may just have to spend the whole weekend there. Tea tasting, fortune telling, an Asafo flag workshop, and meeting the aquarium keeper are some standouts that caught our eye.
Cost: From $14
In the West End:
RBC Skate Day: Feb. 20, Celebration Square (Mississauga) and Mattamy Centre (Toronto)
RBC is sponsoring free skate days across the province, and we’ve got one in Mississauga’s Celebration Square and one at the Mattamy Centre. In Celebration Square there will be skating, buskers, nature-themed storytelling, Birds of Prey demos and delicious Beavertails. Meet Olympian Jayna Hefford at the Mattamy Centre (Maple Leaf Gardens), get an autograph, and enjoy the skate.
Kids Fest Toronto: Feb.18-20: International Centre, Mississauga
New bouncy rides have been added to the line-up this year, and, as in years past, there are some for toddlers and loads for big kids. There are also cool animals to meet from Hands on Exotics, carnival games, and wacky experiments from Mad Science. Our kids are going to be grinning from ear to ear!
Cost: $25, or $60 for a family pass
In the East End:
Riverdale Farm: Feb. 18-20: Riverdale
Our beloved Riverdale Farm is a great place to visit on Family Day. Little animal lovers get their fill of visiting the cows, horses, goats, pigs and chickens, chatting with the farmers and taking a walk through the woods.
Family Day at Evergreen Brickworks: Feb. 20: Toronto
What to do at the Brickworks this Family Day? Let’s see…go for a skate…visit the kids’ photo booth… go on a nature walk…try out the fat bikes in the snow…eat some delicious food. There’s always lots to do, making this one of our favourite green corners of the city.
Free; $35 for fat bikes
In the North End:
Munsch Pyjama Party: Feb. 18-20: Solar Stage, Toronto
PJ parties are fun…add in the antics and giggles of some of Munsch’s most hilarious books and you have a winner! Special daytime shows on Feb. 20 make this suitable for those kids who aren’t at their best in the witching hours. Show continues into March if you can’t squeeze it in this weekend.
Family Fun Fest: Feb. 18-20: Downsview Park
Here’s another option for a weekend for the bouncy crowd, especially if Downsview Park is a closer option. There are the inflatable rides, of course, but also a stage featuring interactive and zany performers as well as some fun food and interactive games.
Cost: $25, and $60 for a family pass
Family Fun Day: Feb. 18-20: Kortright Centre for Conservation, Vaughan
There’s a lot of fun happening at Kortright, from kick sledding to snowshoeing and nature-themed crafts. Of course in between all those activities we make time to sip some hot chocolate in front of a roaring campfire. It’s all about balance…
Cost: Kids under 15 free, adult admission $6.50
Family Day: Feb. 20: Teen Ranch, Caledon
Less than an hour’s drive north of Toronto is a completely different outdoor playground to explore. We adore the snow tubing at Teen Ranch, have a great time indoor skating, and get creative with the ice sculpting. Hot chocolate and treats are available for purchase.
Kidapalooza: Feb. 18-20: Markham Fairgrounds
We are so stoked that Kidapalooza has returned to Markham. One glance at the different named play zones will give you an idea of how much there is to do there: Build It, Pet It, Taste It, Dance It, Sport It, Imagine It, Craft It, Bounce It. Plus, just in case there was a tantrum brewing over being excluded… Toddler It! We say… Own It! All activities included in the price of admission except for pony rides and face painting.
Cost: From $25, $60 for a family pass