Family New Year’s Eve Fun + Things to Do Around Toronto in January

Winter Fun in Toronto January - SavvyMom

Good-bye 2023 and hello 2024! Toronto in January continues its tradition of being one of the quieter months events-wise (and let’s be honest, we could probably all do with a bit of at-home downtime), there are more than a couple fun, family-friendly things happening this month.

Below we round up a few ways to keep your kids entertained in January and a few spots where you can celebrate a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. And don’t forget that there are multiple events from our December round-up that are running into January, thanks to the kids not heading back to school until the second week of the month. These attractions include a panto-style take on Rapunzel that’s running until Sunday January 7th at the Wychwood Theatre and a theatrical production of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, on until Sunday January 14th at the Randolph Theatre.

Or, if you’d prefer something outdoors, Night of Lights will be lighting up the skies until Sunday January 7th at the Scarborough Town Centre.

We hope that you and your family have a great winter break that includes at least some time to relax and recharge.

Family Celebrations for New Year’s Eve in Toronto

New Year’s Storytime and Dance Party

36 Brentwood Rd. N., Toronto
Saturday December 30th

Etobicoke and area families can ring in the New Year at the more kid-friendly time of 11:30 am over at the Brentwood branch of the Toronto Public Library. It’s scheduled a special NYE-themed story time that will feature books, songs, and rhymes that are perfect for children ages zero through five. The drop-in event is free to attend and note that it takes place on Saturday, December 30, freeing up your actual New Year’s Eve day.

NYE Balloon Drop at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Vaughan Mills, 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan
Sunday December 31st

Celebrate the last day of the year at one of your kid’s favourite spots: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre! Just make sure that you’re there at noon when there will be “an epic balloon drop” that will be way more fun than staying up until midnight. Before (or after) the balloons, enjoy LEGOLAND’s many attractions, including the Kingdom Quest Ride, the 4D cinema, and the Ninjago City Adventure climbing gym.

Tickets start at $24.

City of Toronto Fireworks

Lake Ontario Waterfront
Sunday December 31st

The City of Toronto is once again ringing the new year with a 10-minute-long fireworks display viewable from anywhere along the inner harbour. The celebrations start at 10pm with special musical performances that will be broadcasted at several lakeside locations (click the link to see the full list). There will also be “pop-up participatory dance performances led by the Dance Together Festival” taking place at the following viewing sites: Sherbourne Common (61 Dockside Dr.), Exhibition Common at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W.), and the Toronto Music Garden (476 Queens Quay W.). Don’t want to head out into the cold? Then your family can livestream the show from the comfort of your home.

New Year’s Eve 2024

Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr., Mississauga
Sunday December 31st

Welcome in the New Year and say, “Happy 50th Birthday!” to Mississauga at one of the region’s biggest, family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties. There will be live music, including from the city’s own Shawn Desman, a snowmobile stunt show, food trucks, and more. The whole night will be kicked off with the NYE Jr. Yeti Confetti Party at 8:00 pm, for those little ones who can’t make it to midnight. The event is free to attend and since it’s sponsored by Tim Hortons, we suspect there might also be some free hot beverages.

Family Fun Things to Do Around Toronto in January

Arcadia Earth

The Well, 486 Front St. E., Toronto
Now Open

Immerse your family in a unique multimedia experience that will take you on a multi-sensory trip around the world while learning about different ecosystems and the impacts humans on having on them. Spread over 17,000 square-feet and 10 rooms, Arcadia features floor-to-ceiling projections, recycled and upcycled creations and even augmented reality to create something quite unlike any other experience in the city. The entire trip takes about an hour and is stroller friendly. Tickets start at $24 and kids under four are free.

Bentway Skate Trail

250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto
Trail Now Open

Grab your skates (or rent a pair) and check out one of the city’s coolest outdoor skating trails. Featuring 220 metres of ice shaped into a figure-eight, this trail takes things up a notch with free hot chocolate on Monday evenings, free skate rentals on Fridays evenings, and (with advance registration) free skating lessons on Tuesdays. While you’re there, check out the Bentway’s winter art installation, including The Gateway, which is inspired by the northern lights.

Access to the trail is free.

Bad Hats’ Alice in Wonderland

Soul Pepper Theatre, 50 Tank House Ln., Toronto
Now until Sunday January 7th

Watch the beloved story of Alice in Wonderland come to life in this award-winning production. And while your family can expect to see all the usual characters, you can also expect musical numbers and a few fun twists. The show runs for 90 minutes straight (no intermission) and is suitable for kids as young as five. Tickets start at $25.

Dinos in Motion

Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd., Toronto
Now until Sunday January 7th

Be sure to catch the OSC’s latest special exhibit before it stomps off to another venue! Combining art, science and innovation, Dinos in Motion features metal dinosaur sculptures made from recycled materials and various pulleys, levers and other mechanical pieces that let your kids move the creations. It’s a hands-on way to teach your kids about dinosaurs and physics. The OSC is also airing Dinosaurs of Antarctica over in its IMAX theatre, just in case your family can’t get enough of our planet’s prehistoric past. General admission tickets, which don’t include the IMAX theatre, start at $13, and kids two and under are free.

Love and Peace Lantern Festival

Woodside Square South Parking Lot, 1571 Sandhurst Cir., Toronto
Now until Monday February 19th

Light up your January with the Love and Peace Lantern Festival. This outdoor, walk-through event features dozens of lanterns handcrafted by over 50 Chinese artisans. Your family will be amazed at the beautiful, colourful creations and with a bit of luck, you’ll get some amazing photos. The lanterns are lit around 3:00 pm each festival day and access to the festival is $5 per person.

Power Kids: Swirls on Water

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 231 Queen Quay W., Toronto
Sunday January 7th

This two-experiences-in-one event starts with a tour of the gallery’s latest exhibition, which is presented in a family-friendly way. Then it’s time for you to get creative with a hands-on activity that, “… explores how to use simple yet fascinating techniques and materials to create their very own marbled paper, capturing the beauty of natural patterns.” Swirls on Water takes place from 3:00pm to 5:00pm and is designed for kids ages seven to 12. It’s also free to attend.

Monster Trucks All-Out Northern Lights Party

The International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga
Saturday January 20th

Getting ready for “high-flying, ground-pounding action as iconic Canadian Monster Trucks battle it out in nonstop competition!” And if that’s not enough, there will also be a state-of-the-art light show and a kids’ dance party. Three shows, in the morning, afternoon and evening, are scheduled. Regular tickets start at $20 but VIP packages are available as paid options to party in the pit and ($10 per person) and even ride a monster truck ($35 per person).


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