Mini Getaways & Day Trips Near Toronto

Webster Falls Park Day Trips Near Toronto - SavvyMom

If there’s one thing families across Toronto can agree on, it’s this: We need to get out of this city, even if it’s just for the day. Thankfully, we have lots of options for day trips near Toronto that are sure to thrill your kids and still have them home in time for bed.

Below we round up a bunch of destinations we think make great family day trips near Toronto. All of the places below are roughly two hours or less from Toronto (assuming traffic cooperates) and offer child-friendly activities like sandy beaches, gentle hikes, and flush toilets (okay, that amenity is for all family members).

Have a great time exploring our province!

Mini Getaways & Day Trips Near Toronto

Centennial Park and Beach & Johnson’s Beach

65 Lakeshore Dr. Barrie, ON & Johnson’s St, Barrie, ON
Distance from Toronto: Just over 1 hour

Located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, the town of Barrie offers several clean, sandy beaches that are perfect for daytripping. If you’re travelling with babies and toddlers, Centennial Park and Beach is your best bet, thanks to its washrooms, playground, and stroller-friendly beach. A (slightly) less busy option is Johnson’s Beach, which also has lifeguards on duty, and is connected to Barrie’s popular North Shore Trail.

Have kids ages five and up who are looking to burn off some energy? Then book a two-hour slot at Splash ON’s Centennial Beach location. As Canada’s largest inflatable water park, this place is packed with, “climbing walls, monkey bars, swings, slides, trampolines, balance beams and much MUCH more.” Access starts at $25 for kids and note that children ages five-eight need an adult chaperone on the inflatables (the chaperone pass starts at $12.50).


425 Bingemans Centre Dr, Kitchener, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hours

We just lived through the hottest July in recorded history. Will August somehow be even warmer? If yes, pack up the car and cool off in one of southern Ontario’s biggest water parks. Bingeman’s Big Splash offers multiple slides, a spray park for the little ones and a wave pool. Pre-purchased tickets are around $10 for kids under 42 inches tall and $37.95 for those taller than that, with a few different discounts available. If the kids get tired of swimming, Bingeman’s also features a variety of other activities including a giant indoor playground, mini golf, and even bowling. There are also a variety of food options on site.

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory & Crawford Lake

2500 Kossuth Rd, Cambridge, ON & 3115 Conservation Road, Milton, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hours

Here’s a perfect getaway for a cool or rainy day: The entirely inside (and stroller accessible) Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. Its lush gardens 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.

And if the weather improves, your family can stop by nearby Crawford Lake. This scientifically significant body of water features kid-friendly trails and a long house village that your family can explore. Reservations are no longer required to visit this site however, they are recommended. Admission starts at $7.25 for kids, with kids under five being free.

Canada’s Dinosaur Park

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

If you have a budding paleontologist in your house, a trip out to Canada’s Dinosaur Park is a must do! Choose to drive or walk through this experience that features life-size dinosaur replicas (some even move and roar) hiding throughout a woodsy setting. Dinos to spot include Scotty, Canada’s largest tyrannosaurus rex replica. And while this place doesn’t have real dinosaurs, it does house Canada’s largest reptile non-for-profit sanctuary. Meet over 400 scaly creatures, including alligators, crocodiles, and caimans that you can walk over while taking in the attraction’s Croc Walk. There’s also a shiny, new 18-hole mini-golf course and soon there will be a dinosaur-themed museum. The walk-through experience starts at $15 for kids while the drive-through is $20 per vehicle.

Cedar Park Resort

6296 Cedar Park Rd, Bowmanville, ON
Distance from Toronto: An hour

Looking for an easy and affordable daytrip that includes swimming, picnicking and even a water slide or two? Then hop on the 401 and head out to Bowmanville’s Cedar Park Resort. It’s on the smaller and simpler side but sometimes that’s exactly what your family needs. In addition to the pool and splash pad, there is also mini-golf and multiple play structures. General admission tickets start at $18.58 for kids and while parking is included, access to the big water slides and mini-golf is extra. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the gate.

Elmvale Jungle Zoo & Rounds Ranch

14191 Simcoe County Rd 27, Phelpston, ON & 1922 County Rd 92, Elmvale, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hours

The town of Elmvale might be tiny but it is home to a couple of big tourist attractions — perfect for day trips near Toronto. First up is the Elmvale Jungle Zoo. Dozens of animals, including tigers, kangaroos and giraffes, call this zoo and its 30 acres home.

Then there’s Rounds Ranch. Its Sunflower Experience and Ranchland Fun is open to the public now until September. Besides providing the backdrop for some adorable photos (there are 44 different kinds of sunflowers to pose in front of), the ranch also offers over 25 different attractions including tractor rides, pony rides, and a 500-foot slip and slide.

Grand River Parks

In and around Guelph, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1.5 hour to 2 hours, depending on where you go

The Grand River Parks system is packed with all kinds of ways to enjoy some of southern Ontario’s best recreational opportunities. Spend the morning relaxing at Guelph Lake’s sandy beaches then after a picnic lunch, go tubing down the Elora Gorge. While all Grand River parks are now open, not all amenities are available and certain attractions require advance booking. Additionally, all parks are operating under capacity limits. Definitely be sure to review the Grand River Parks’ website before your family heads out their door as it contains all the details you’ll need, including a status page that will let you know which parks are full (or almost full). The website also notes any applicable fees.

Or if you’re more pool people, check out two of Ontario’s largest outdoor pools at Byng Island and Brant. Whatever your
family decides to do, be sure to check the parks’ activity status page before you head out to ensure that your desired activities are open for fun. The website also notes any applicable entry fees.

Hamilton Conservation Lands

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

The Hamilton Conservation Authority oversees a number of beautiful properties around the city of Hamilton, most of which offer great, family-friendly hiking opportunities with no need for a reservation. Stop by the Eramosa Karst Conservation Area and see, “the watershed’s most unique natural gems,” complete with underground caves. Then pop over to Christie Lake and take the kids for a swim.

And if waterfalls are your family’s thing, then a visit to the Hamilton Conversation Lands are a must-do! The Spencer Gorge area is your best bet for waterfall viewing as here you’ll find Dundas Peak and Tew Falls and Webster Falls. Just note that on long weekends, this section requires advance registration.

Lakeview Park

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

Looking for a lakeside destination that’s an easy drive down the 401? Then consider Oshawa’s Lakeview Park and its still relatively new splash pad and playground. The latter amenity houses 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. And when your kids get tired of climbing and splashing around, you can all relax at the adjacent sandy beach or take a stroll along the paved walking path.

Niagara Falls

Distance from Toronto: Around 90 minutes

There’s so much to do in Niagara Falls that your family could easily spend multiple days there. But if you have just one day here, you likely want to focus on the Falls themselves and Clifton Hill, that colourful and chaotic area where you’ll find funhouses, a Ferris wheel and North America’s largest elevated go-kart track facility, the Niagara Speedway. This area even has its own discount pass, so that your family can save a little money.

As for the Falls, enjoy them from one of the lookout points or get up close and personal with a boat tour. Or grab one of the town’s Adventure Passes and experience a few other ways to explore the Falls while saving some money . If the weather takes a turn, check out Bird Kingdom, which happens to be the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary.

Professor’s Lake

1660 North Park Dr., Brampton, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour

Yes, this is a “fake lake” (though one fed by a natural spring), but that just means that Professor’s Lake is an ideal place to take little ones swimming as it has little-to-no current. What it does have is a sandy beach, a real water slide, and boat rentals. For a fee, your family can rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or everyone’s favourite, a paddleboat. And new for 2023 is an inflatable waterpark, which is open to everyone ages six and up. Tickets to the inflatable park are $25 for a two-hour time slot. There is a fee to access the beach, but it’s only $11.28 for up to four people. Individual rates are also available and start at $2.88 for kids.

Santa’s Village & Muskoka Zip Line and Aerial Park

624 Golden Beach Road, Bracebridge, ON
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours

This suggestion is a little further away than our other ideas, but we think your kids will be okay with the drive since the result is a Christmas-themed amusement park that’s ideal for kids 12 and under. From bumper boats to a couple small rollercoasters to meeting Santa himself, this spot is sure to put a smile on your kids’ faces. Plus, there are real reindeer! (Okay they are technically fallow deer, but your kids won’t care.) In 2023, tickets start at $64.95 per person (anyone under 36 inches is free).

Have older or more adventurous kids? Then Muskoka Zip Line and Aerial Park, which surrounds Santa’s Village, might be a better fit. It offers fun high above the forest floor, so long as you weigh at least 44lbs and are 48 inches tall. The arial adventure pass, which covers 34 games over two levels, is $48.95 a person while the zipline tour is $54.95.

Turkey Point Provincial Park

194 Turkey Point Rd, Turkey Point, ON
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours

Turkey Point’s two-kilometer-long beach is renowned for being kid-friendly, due to its sandy bottom, lack of an undertow, and warm(ish) temperature. The park also offers plenty of other activities including two easy hiking trails, fishing, and a discovery program that will help your kids, “discover the wonders of nature.” And yes, there are flush toilets. There’s also plenty to explore around the park, including ziplining and kayak tours at Long Point Eco-Adventures. Reservations aren’t required but they are recommended, especially for gorgeous weekends. The day use fees start at around $12.

Wye Marsh

16160 Highway 12 East, Midland, ON
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Covering 3,000 acres of a national wildlife area and “provincially significant wetlands and woodlands,” the Wye Marsh is an excellent choice for a back-to-nature daytrip. Here you’ll find trails, picnic facilities and a child-appropriate interpretation centre where you can meet a few local animals, including birds of prey who can no longer survive in the wild. For families with older kids, guided kayak and canoe tours are available. Admission starts at $9 for children and seniors, with kids three and under free.


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