For countless GTA kids, May is a majorly important month because it’s when Canada’s Wonderland reopens its doors for amusement park fun. So of course, we had to include this key event in our May roundup of family-friendly things to do in Toronto.
But Wonderland is hardly the only place your family is going to want to check out this May. With the warming weather comes all kinds of ways to keep the kids entertained. Below we round up 11 of those attractions and events that have really caught our eye.
Fun Things to Do in Toronto with Kids in May
Online & across your neighborhood
April 29-May 2
Technically this event starts at the end of April, but we decided to include it since it does spill into May and we think it’s a fun, interactive, and educational event. Described as “an annual four-day global event where cities across the world compete to see which city can gather the greatest number of wildlife observations,” the Challenge will have your kids photographing local plants and animals to help Toronto earn the title of wildest city in Canada.
The Toronto chapter of this event is organized by Eco Spark, which will be tallying the results for our city. The challenge is free to participate in (though donations are encouraged) and all registered members get 15 per cent off of an annual membership to the Royal Museum of Ontario.
Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jay Ways, Toronto
Sundays now through the end of the Blue Jays’ season
Jr. Jays Sundays are back at Rogers Centre. Kids ages 14 and under can check out the activities in the three different Jr. Jays zones inside the stadium, run the bases after the games and between now and the end of August, check out outdoor fun that includes inflatables. Every game, a few Jr. Jays are also randomly picked to take part in special pregame and in-game
events. Membership is free but you do need to sign up in advance to take advantage of the program’s 50 per cent off discounted kids’ tickets. There’s also an option to upgrade to a $30 paid membership and get a few more perks.
1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, Vaughan
Opens to everyone April 30
Southern Ontario’s biggest theme park is back open and ready to welcome your family to experience its 17 roller coasters, two areas just for little kids and so much food. Note that for the month of May, the park is open most Thursdays through Sundays and then every day of the week following the Victoria Day long weekend. The Splash Works waterpark is also slated to only be open the last weekend in May (it starts running daily in June). Tickets start from $39.99 but note that if your family plans to visit the park at least twice over the next year, an annual pass is the way to go.
Meridian Centre, 1 Front St. E, Toronto
Calling all Potterheads: For three nights only, the Toronto Symphony takes to the stage at the Meridian Centre and performs the score to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 1 while the film plays on a giant screen. Though the movie runs nearly two-and-a-half hours long, this special performance does feature an intermission, making this experience a bit easier on school-age kids. Tickets for these special performances start at $55.25.
May 6 @ Scotiabank Arena, 40 Bay St., Toronto
May 7@ FirstOntario Centre, 101 York Blvd., Hamilton
If your kids adored watching figure skating at the recent Winter Olympics, they’ll love seeing some of skating’s most beloved performers glide, flip, and spin their way across the ice at two local arenas. This spring’s tour includes skates by Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, and Kaetlyn Osmond. Tickets start at around at $44 all-in for Toronto and $38 for Hamilton. Meet-and-greet passes are unfortunately already sold out but some great seats are still available.
Opens May 7
Home to over 30 rides— most perfect for the under six set—a petting zoo, a splash pad and more, Centreville is a must-do for many Toronto families. It also means trip to the Toronto Islands. While you can take a water taxi out to the Islands, the ferry is the more affordable way to go. Find its schedule and details here. For the month of May, the park will be open on the weekends, as well as Victoria Day. Tickets can be purchased at the gates but buying your tickets online will save you time and
money. An online ride-all-day pass costs $28.98 for those under four feet and $38.05 for those over four feet. Family and annual passes are also available.
Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson), 17 Gould St., Toronto
Take a trip downtown for a day of interactive science experiments at the newly-renamed Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson). Physics, science innovation and something called the Flushability Test will all be explored in demonstrations led by the school’s scientists. This event, which will feature activities for kids, teens, and adults, is completely free to attend and runs from 11am until 3pm.
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto
Harbourfront Centre’s multidisciplinary children’s festival features over two dozen events aimed at kids ages four to 14. Expect see everything from dance classes to plays to drag story time. While many of the presentations tie into Harbourfront’s ongoing Nordic Bridges celebration, other events focus on indigenous food, francophone music and creating works of art. Most events are pay-what-you-wish but do require advance registration.
Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St., Toronto
If you have a member of your household who is gluten-free, you know that food festivals can be challenging events to visit. So here’s an food fest that’s perfect for your family: the nineth annual Gluten-Free Garage. As the name suggests, this event is all about gluten-free food and features, “…more than 60 curated vendors, food trucks, demos and libations.” Kids 12 and under are free while everyone else needs to either book an advance ticket at $10 (these come with a free tote bag) or pay $12 at the door.
Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Ave, Toronto
Register your whole family for this fun walk that also raises money for an important cause: Funding research into making cystic fibrosis history. This year’s run takes place right in the Toronto Zoo. Registration starts at $18 for kids ages three and up. Kids two and under are free, as are existing zoo members.
Various locations across the GTA
May 31-June 12
The city’s “only contemporary arts festival dedicated to the very young” is back and ready to wow babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with at least 10 different live shows. Performances take place at several different venues including Factory Studio Theatre (125 Bathurst St, Toronto), Assembly Hall (1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr, Toronto), and AKI Studio (250-585 Dundas St E, Toronto), and are all under 60 minutes in length. Tickets are available now and start at $10 for most performances.