If your kid has a summer (or late spring or early fall) birthday, this list is for you because you can take advantage of something that we parents of winter babies can’t enjoy: The outdoor birthday party. While parties at play centres or in your home are perfectly fine options, there’s a lot that is appealing about outdoor birthday parties in Toronto. For one thing, an outside location makes clean up so much easier!
Below we round up multiple ideas and locations that can host outdoor birthday parties in Toronto and the GTA. So grab the sunscreen, cross your fingers for good weather, and read on to find the perfect idea for your little one’s alfresco celebrations.
Ideas for Outdoor Birthday Parties in Toronto & the GTA
City of Toronto Parks
Across the city
Hosting your kid’s party at a city park is a classic option that can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it. Hire outside entertainment (grab some ideas from here, play games such as tag or a scavenger hunt, or opt to have the kids entertain themselves with the help of a playground or splash pad.
But whatever activities you decide on, make sure to officially book your party spot. Yes, it is possible to send someone down early to “claim” your desired picnic tables but why go through that hassle when you can easily secure the party spot in advance? To do that, head over to the City of Toronto’s website and use its online booking form.
For picnic spaces, you’ll need to pay a fee of just over $100 (that will cover you up to 200 guests). Some of the better parks for kids’ birthday parties include Corktown Common (it has a fantastic splash pad and playground), Withrow Park (its amenities include rentable indoor space, including a real kitchen) and the June Rowlands Park (home to the Sharon, Lois and Bram playground that features musical playground equipment). All of these locations have picnic tables and real washrooms.
Fire Pit Party
Various City Parks
If the birthday child wants a party that includes smores (or another treat) made over an open fire, book one of the City of Toronto’s fire pits. While there are a few city parks that offer fire pits, including Taylor Creek Park and Christie Pits Park, one spot that is particularly ideal for outdoor birthday parties in Toronto is Dufferin Grove Park. There you’ll find a top-notch playground, a wading pool and lots of shade and seating. It’s also conveniently located across from Dufferin Mall. There are washroom facilities on site, but you may prefer to run across the street to the mall. Other amenities include outdoor ovens and a clubhouse however, construction in 2023 may mean those features aren’t always available for rent. All fire pits must be booked in advance through the City of Toronto’s booking system. The cost to secure a fire pit permit for an event featuring 25 or fewer guests is around $70 including the insurance fee, while bigger parties will cost just over $180.
Kidstown Water Park
3159 Birchmount Rd., Toronto
This City of Toronto-run facility is an amazing and cost-effective location for a summer birthday party. Open from mid-June until the Sunday before Labour Day, this site has a wading pool, a splash pad, all kinds of spray features and even one of those big tipping buckets. There’s also a lovely grassy area nearby that’s a perfect spot to have some cake, especially if you book one of the picnic areas (and it’s highly recommended that you book your spot as Kidstown is a popular birthday party
location). Access to Kidstown is free but booking a picnic spot costs just over $100.
Outdoor Movie Nights
Across the City (or Maybe Your Home)
School-age kids will love the “grown up” feel of an outdoor movie night-themed party. And if you have a good size backyard and access to all the needed equipment (projector, screen, more than a couple flashlights) this is something you can organize at home (and if you’re really crafty, you can take this idea up a notch or two.
But if you don’t have access to suitable outdoor space at home, you can always take advantage of one of the many outdoor movie nights that take place around Toronto. Locations that often offer family-friendly films including Sorauren Park, Regent Park, and Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Outdoor films are usually free to attend (though some ask for donations) and while some venues sell snacks, it’s best to bring all the sustenance your party will need.
Outdoor Pool Party at City of Toronto Pools
Across the city
The City of Toronto has a whopping 58 outdoor pools spread across its lands. Many of these pools are adjacent to birthday party-friendly spaces that include playgrounds, picnic tables and shady trees. One of the more scenic spots is the Sunnyside Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool, which offers great views of the lake as well as quick access to a dinosaur-themed playground. Another great spot? The Monarch Park Outdoor Pool, where you’ll find a tall, twisting slide, a shallower/stepped area that’s great for less confident swimmers and a separate wading pool, ideal for toddlers and babies. And of course we have to mention the High Park Outdoor Pool, home to a slide, a kiddie area and immediate access to one of Toronto’s best parks. While you’ll want to book your picnic space, there’s no need to reserve access to the pool, just show up with your party and enjoy the water. And don’t forget, leisure swim at City-run pools is completely free.
Outdoor Pool Parties at Swimply
Across the city
Here’s a fun, and more private, spin on an outdoor pool party: Book someone’s backyard pool through the Swimply website. Think of Swimply as like Airbnb but for private pools. Just pop in a few search terms, as well as your desired date, and you’ll see a list of available spaces. Some of the options come with such amenities as a BBQ, a hot tub and/or private restroom, and most pools feature fun floaties or other pool toys as well as tables and chairs. Rates are charged hourly and vary by location and date.
585 Queen’s Quay, Toronto
If your kid is celebrating their birthday between May and October, they can take to the seas (well, Lake Ontario) for a pirate-themed birthday. Each adventure starts off with face paint tattoos and the doling out of new pirate names. Then your party will set sail on a journey to find hidden treasure while engaging in some singing and dancing. In between been pirating, your party can enjoy whatever food (including cake) that you’ve brought on board. Packages start as low as $370 for 10 guests (two of which must be adults). While the lowest priced package will have your party sharing the boat with others, you can rent the whole ship out if you want. You can also pay extra for pirate-themed loot bags.
2000 Meadowvale Rd., Toronto
This isn’t a cheap option but it’s definitely a memorable one. The zoo is home to over 5,000 animals and one great splash pad. While it doesn’t host birthday parties in the same way that say, Ripley’s Aquarium does, you can certainly bring in a pack of kids and organize your own fun. Non-peak time pricing for kids is $15.50 a ticket but the zoo offers a 15% off discount when you’re buying 20 or more tickets. You can also book out one of the zoo’s venues if you really want to throw an impressive event. Alternatively, the zoo has plenty of outdoor seating areas that your party can grab once it’s ready to sit down and take a break. You are allowed to bring your own drinks and food (including cake) into the zoo, but leave the party decorations at home.
3291 Stouffville Road, Whitchurch-Stouffville
Climb, balance, and zip your way to birthday fun with a party at the Stouffville location of Treetop Trekking. Several packages are available, with the cheapest one offering the birthday kid free admission, so long as they are accompanied by at least five other paying children (admission to the Treewalk Village starts at $22 for kids). The next level up includes admission for 12 guests (extra guests can be added on), access to a reserved outdoor eating area (you supply the food and drinks) and a t-shirt for the birthday kid. This package costs $300.
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