Can you feel it? Spring is in the air and with it, warmer weather and more opportunities to get the kids outside and active. While April is a great time to re-familiarize yourself with Toronto’s many parks and playgrounds, it’s also packed with plenty of other ways to entertain your kids, including outdoor and indoor options. Here are 12 ways to have fun in April in the GTA.
And stay tuned for the many Easter-themed events happening later in April.
B The Underwater Bubble Show | sonycentre.ca
Don’t worry, despite its name this live-action stage show doesn’t require that audience members get wet. Instead, all water is kept on stage and used to create hundreds of cleverly used bubbles that are incorporated into an original story that also references such classics as The Little Mermaid and Alice in Wonderland. Amazing set pieces, costumes and lights are also used to bring to life a show that is sure to keep even the squirmiest child in her seat. Ticket prices start at $24.
When: Wednesday, April 10 at 6:30 pm
Where: Sony Centre, 1 Front St E
Ben & Jerry Free Cone Day | benandjerrys.ca
This annual event is back for another uh, scoop. Stop by the downtown location of Ben & Jerry’s to get a free cone for your kids and of course yourself.
When: Tuesday, April 9
Where: 160 Mutual St
Cherry Blossoms in High Park | sakurainhighpark.com
One of spring’s prettiest spectacles is set to take place in April: The return of the High Park cherry blossoms. Soon the park will fill with thousands of delicate flowers that create the ideal backdrop for a family photo. After you’ve had your fill of blossoms, visit the Park’s small zoo (where you can feed llamas) and have a play on the always impressive Jamie Bell Adventure Playground. Just note that High Park can get a little crazy during cherry blossom season, with parking being extremely hard to find. We highly recommend that you try to access the park via transit.
When: It’s estimated that the trees will start blooming in mid-April
Where: Hillside Gardens, High Park
Digifest Family Day | torontodigifest.ca
This annual design and technology festival is back with another day focused on introducing kids to the possibilities of tech. Older kids who are pondering their career paths might gain some inspiration from listening to a discussion about video games and graphic novels while everyone will enjoy the Interactive Zone, where they can see, touch and even play with emerging technologies. Other events include a hoop-dancing workshop, which is opened to kids aged six and up. That program runs $40 but your child will get to build their very own hoop.
When: Saturday, April 27
Where: Corus Quay, 25 Dockside Dr
Earth Day at Downsview Park | downsviewpark.ca
For years, Downsview Park has been the place to spend Earth Day, and for good reason. This free event is packed with green-themed activities for both kids and adults. This year, the event includes an outdoor market, a scavenger hunt and if you visit between 11:30 am and 3:30 pm, a bird of prey demonstration, face painting and a sing-along around a campfire, complete with marshmallows (there will also be healthier food available for purchase).
When: Sunday, April 28, 11 am-4 pm
Where: Downsview Park, 70 Canuck Ave
HideSeek | gohideseek.com
This one’s as much for the parents as the kids. Described as an “immersive pop-up experience inspired by childhood nostalgia,” Hideseek is a series of 12 perfect-for-Instagram installations built around such classic childhood items as Slinkies, a pillow fort and of course candy. Kids under four are free while tickets for everyone else cost $25. Watch for our write-up on HideSeek coming later in April.
When: March 30-June 2
Where: 1305 Dundas St W
Harlem Globetrotters | harlemglobetrotters.com
The world famous Harlem Globetrotters pay our city a visit with their one-of-kind spin on basketball. Seats start at around $48 and there is the option to take your Globetrotters experience to the next level with a Magic Pass. This separate ticket will give you access to a unique, 30-minute pre-show where you’ll get to not only meet the players but also try out shooting and ball tricks with them.
When: Saturday, April 7, 2 pm
Where: Coca-Cola Coliseum, 45 Manitoba Dr
ICFF Youth Film Festival | icff.ca/youth
Designed for kids age eight to 18, this film festival aims to expose young people to international cinema, including movies in foreign languages. This year the line-up includes animated and live actions films in Italian, French and Mandarin (don’t worry, all films have English subtitles). While the festival is aimed at school groups, you can purchase individual tickets, starting at $10.
When: April 8-13
Where: TIFF Lightbox, 350 King St W & Cineplex Theatres at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin St
The Little Prince Reimagined | tickets.crowstheatre.com
A masterpiece of children’s literature is brought to life in this re-imagining that, “transplants the classic tale into the 21st century, with a fresh, modern adaptation” that we’re told you have to see to believe. Recommended for kids age seven and up, this performance runs roughly an hour and 20 minutes does include an intermission. Seats for The Little Prince Reimagined are first-come, first-serve and start at around $28.
When: Now until Saturday, April 13
Where: Scotiabank Community Studio, Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw Ave
Mary Poppins | lowerossingtontheatre.com
The world’s most famous nanny is the star of this Tony-nominated musical, which is based on the classic Disney film. Staged at the cozy Randolph Theatre, this is a great way to introduce your kids to musicals (just be prepared to have to teach them how to say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious). Tickets start at around $60 though discounts are sometimes available. Please note that this show is recommended for children age four and up.
When: Friday, April – Sunday, May 12
Where: Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St
Mini Pop Kids | minipopkids.com
You and your kids will be dancing in your seats during this live show that features dozens of talented children singing hit songs and beloved classic pop tracks. Expect a high-energy show that will last roughly 90 minutes. Two different time slots are available and tickets for either show start at around $40. Oh, and fair warning, there is an extensive selection of merchandise.
When: Saturday, April 27, 2pm & 6pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes’ Blvd
Rainbow Songs Foundation Fundraiser | rainbowsongsfoundation.org
Support a great, kid-centric cause while also having a ton of fun (and maybe scoring some great prizes). Rainbow Songs provides interactive music programs to families with young children staying in emergency short and long-term shelters in the Greater Toronto Area. This kid-friendly event at an indoor playground will directly support this impactful program. In addition to an energy-burning sing-along, this day will also include a live and silent auction that is offering such impressive goodies as a TIFF membership, Mini Mioche gift basket and two tickets anywhere WestJet flies, with hotel package. Tickets start at only $10.
When: Saturday, April 13, 10 am-2 pm
Where: Playloft, 583 Danforth Ave