Fun Activities and Getaway Ideas for May Long Weekend in Toronto

Fun Activities and Getaway Ideas for May Long Weekend in Toronto - SavvyMom

We’re quickly coming up on the Victoria Day long weekend, which in 2024 runs from Saturday May 18 – Monday May 20. Considered the unofficial start of summer, it’s a great opportunity to get out of the city for the day, or maybe even for a night or two. Of course, your family can always stick around Toronto and enjoy some of what Canada’s largest metropolis has to offer. Below we round up over a bunch of places and events that we think could make for a fun and entertaining May 2-4, including a mix of inside and outside Toronto suggestions. Just make sure to check the forecast before you leave the house; the May long weekend in Toronto can vary from warm and gorgeous to grey and soggy to downright frosty!

May Long Weekend in Toronto: In the City

Kid-Focused Festivals
All Weekend Long

Harbourfront Centre’s Junior festival (235 Queens Quay W.) offers three days designed to inspire curiosity and imagination in kids aged five to 12. It features a little bit of everything, including indoor and outdoor options. Your family can provide the music for a circus show, watch all kinds of dance and other artistic performances, and even interact with human sheep. Some events are free while others have an admission fee, usually as low as $15.

Also taking place over the May long weekend in Toronto is Wee Festival. Spread across a variety of venues, this festival features engaging programming for kids as young as six months-old. Tickets can be purchased for individual shows, usually as low as $10, and a five-show and full festival passes are also available.

Toronto Islands & Centreville Amusement Park
All Weekend Long

The Toronto Islands in the summertime can be more than a little busy. So get ahead of the crowds and hop onto the ferry over the May long weekend. You can find the ferry schedule here. Once there, explore the many activities the islands have
to offer including trails, Far Enough Farm, and of course Centreville Amusement Park. Best for kids under eight, Centreville offers a nice variety of simpler rides, such as swan boats, a small roller coaster, and the always popular log ride. The ride-all-day pass for kids under four feet tall is just over $30 while everyone over four feet is just over $40.

Pirate Life
Saturday May 18 & Sunday May 19

Set sail this long weekend for a memorable adventure aboard a pirate ship! This interactive experience lets your family join a crew of scallywags while they hunt for loot on Lake Ontario. In addition to getting a new pirate name and a (temporary) tattoo, you’ll get to sing, dance and maybe even fire the water cannon. The boat departs from 585 Queen’s Quay West, and four different sailing times are available, with the first one at 9:45 am. Spaces are limited, with a suggested fee of $45 per person, and kids three and under are free.

Sunday May 19 & Monday May 20

Victoria Day isn’t exactly a holiday rich in traditions. However, it is associated with the noise and colour of fireworks. The City of Toronto is holding their annual Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park starting at 10 p.m. on Monday, May 20. The show will feature about 2,000 individual fireworks, with a spectacular finale.

You can also catch the fireworks at Canada’s Wonderland (1 Canada’s Wonderland Dr., Vaughan) on Sunday, May 19. Starting at around 10 pm, this 15-minute-long show stars 6,000 flashy explosions that reach heights of over 800 feet above the park’s skyline. Daily tickets start at $44.99 if purchased in advance.

If you’re interested in setting off your own fireworks, you can legally do so on Sunday May 19, at least until 11 pm. Check out the details here and be safe!

May Long Weekend in Toronto: Getaways outside the city

Blue Mountain

190 Gord Canning Dr., Blue Mountains, ON
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours

While the ski slopes are closed, and it’s a bit too cool for the lake, there are still plenty of things to do in Blue Mountain over the long weekend. Ride the gondola, ride the mountain coaster, play a round of miniature golf, or do all three activities and more with a Play All Day Victoria Day Long Weekend Fun pass, which starts at $16 for kids under five. The resort complex is also planning some special extra activities, including a street party and live music performances, just for the long weekend. It’s free to access the resort and if you want to spend the night, a variety of accommodations are available, including hotels and short-term rentals. Green season at Blue Mountain is always lots of fun.

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

2500 Kossuth Rd., Cambridge, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hours

Is Victoria Day weekend looking a little rainy? Then consider popping over to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, which is mostly inside and fully stroller accessible. Here you’ll find gorgeous gardens that are home to hundreds of beautiful butterflies, colourful birds, brilliant goldfish and even a few turtles. There are also a few other creepy crawlies on display, including the always popular giant African land snail. Ticket prices start at $10 for kids (those two and younger are free) and need to be purchased in advance.

Crawford Lake

3115 Conservation Rd., Milton, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hours

A true “scientifically significant body of water,” Crawford Lake makes for a fun and educational day trip. The park includes kid-friendly trails and an Indigenous long house village that your family can explore. While reservations aren’t required, they are suggested or busier times of the year, such as the May long weekend. You’ll also save some money by buying your gate entrance, which starts at $7.25 online, in advance. Kids under five are free.

Canada’s Dinosaur Park

2206 Country Rd., 38 Norwood-Asphodel, ON
Distance from Toronto: Just under two hours

Want to take the kids on a trip back in time? Then hop in the car and head out to Canada’s Dinosaur Park. Yes, it’s a bit of a drive but as a reward? Your family will explore the country’s only dinosaur park and reptile sanctuary. Choose to walk or drive through the dinosaur portion, where you’ll cross paths with life-sized animatronic creatures. Then head over to the sanctuary where you’ll make over 200 scaly new friends, including crocodiles, alligators, and caimans that you can literally walk over top of via the Croc Walk bridge. There’s also miniature golf and the boneyard, where your kids can dig for fossils. Tickets for the sanctuary and the walk-through experience start at $15 (kids under three are free), with miniature golf starting at $8 for a round.

Hamilton Conversation Lands

Around Hamilton, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hours to 2 hours, depending on where you go

Local hiking spots don’t get much better than the ones found in the Hamilton Conservation Lands, which consist of over a dozen distinct “natural areas” that feature peaceful and often family-friendly opportunities to get in touch with nature. There are also waterfalls! Find Dundas Peak and Tew Falls, and Webster Falls inside the Spencer Gorge area. While this part of the lands used to require reservations on long weekends, it appears that that requirement has been removed. A couple of other spots that are particularly great for kids include the Eramosa Karst Conversation Area, which has its own cave system, and the always scenic Christie Lake. While it might be too cold to swim, your family can always hike and play disc golf here.

Lakeview Park

55 Lakeview Park Ave., Oshawa, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour

Have your kids tired of all the playgrounds in and immediately around Toronto? Then head out on the 401 to Oshawa. Yes, really! It’s home to a gorgeous lakeside park that features a tower-style play structure that stands an impressive 30 meters tall and has two twisty slides. There’s also a net climber, zip lines, something called a “supernova,” and a smaller play structure for younger kids. It’s also right next to a lovely stretch of sand and a paved path that’s stroller friendly. And yes, there are real washrooms onsite.

Niagara Falls

Distance from Toronto: Around 90 minutes

Of course, we had to put Niagara Falls on this list! Come for the day or stay the whole long weekend, either way you’ll have plenty of options to keep your family entertained. Take a boat tour and visit the Falls up close, cruise the Niagara Speedway, or make some new feathered friends at Bird Kingdom. If you’re exploring the colourful and chaotic world Clifton Hill, be sure to look into whether a discount pass could help your family save some money.

There are also the Niagara Adventure Passes, which cover activities run by Niagara Parks. And let’s not forget the water parks. While you need to spend the night to access Great Wolf Lodge’s many attractions, which include slides, a wave pool, and an outdoor pool, Fallsview, North America’s largest indoor waterpark, and the smaller Americana water park offer day passes.


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