Things To Do Around Toronto This Thanksgiving Weekend

A two year old boy makes his selection from a wide variety of pumpkins.
A two year old boy makes his selection from a wide variety of pumpkins.

Thanks to a professional development day on Friday, this Thanksgiving weekend is extra-long for most Toronto kids. While we hope that you have one of those days set aside for eating and visiting with family and friends, you might be wondering how to fill up the remaining days. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some family-friendly events happening in and around the city.

Wondering where all the Halloween-themed activities are? Check SavvyMom next week when we’ll have a new list packed with spook-tacular ways to celebrate the best holiday (according to some) with your kids.

The Great Turkey Race

The Toronto Public Library always has some kind of family-friendly activity planned and on Friday, one of those activities is a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving long weekend. Stop by the TPL’s Brentwood location to participate in the Great Turkey Race. Your kids will get the chance to build a turkey powered by a Sphero robot ball that they then will race through an obstacle course that they will also help to assemble.

When: Friday, October 11 from 2 pm-3 pm
Where: Brentwood Library location, 36 Brentwood Road North, Toronto

Beaches Reduces at Withrow Park Farmers Market

On Saturday, one of the East End’s favourite farmers market wraps up for the season and along with it, Beaches Reduces, “a community initiative to reduce single-use plastics and packaging in our neighbourhood.” It offers tips and tools that will help your family greenify its practices in a fun and accessible way. After you and the kids have learned how to put yourselves on a path towards a zero-waste lifestyle, pick up farm fresh veggies, delicious baked goods and other tasty goodies, including items that can make for a perfect picnic lunch, assuming the weather cooperates.

When: Saturday, October 12
Where: Withrow Park, 725 Logan Ave, Toronto

Kidapalooza Fall Festival

Spread across 50,000 square feet of indoor space (with a few attractions outside), the fall edition of Kidapalooza is absolutely crammed with ways to keep your kids busy. The eight different play zones include one for crafting, one for dancing and even one just for toddlers. Your kids can also get into the Halloween spirit early with the twice-daily costume contests and a kid-friendly haunted house. New this year are mechanical rides and giant, animatronic dinosaurs. Tickets, which include access to all of the fun, start at $25.

When: Saturday, October 12-Monday, October 14
Where: Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Rd, Markham

Pumpkinfest Richmond Hill

The first of two Pumpkinfests on this list will take place at Richmond Hill’s Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park. There your family will find hours of fun thanks to over a dozen different mechanical rides, inflatables and carnival games. There will also be loads of live entertainment including a magic show and demonstrations from Mad Science, Hands-on Exotics and more. And yes, there will be a “pumpkin patch” where your kids can pick out the perfect jack-o’-lantern for $3 (for a small ground) or $5 (for a big one). Admission and parking are free but the rides and games (and of course the food) will cost you.

When: Saturday, October 12- Monday, October 14
Where: Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Rd E, Richmond Hill

Pumpkinfest Toronto

Live in or closer to Toronto proper? Then your family will want to check out Pumpkinfest’s Downsview Park location. It offers all the same great attractions and fun as you’ll find in Richmond Hill ⁠—including the pumpkin patch ⁠—with the added bonus of a giant inflatable pumpkin. Both sites are also offering costume contests for kids, pumpkin carving contests for adults and for all ages, pumpkin bowling. Just like in Richmond Hill admission and parking are free but everything else, including meals from a variety of food trucks, will cost you.

When: Saturday, October 12- Monday, October 14
Where: 35 Carl Hall Rd, Toronto

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Zoo

Did our recent article on where in Toronto to take amazing fall family photos to get your creative juices flowing? But does your family need some, uh, motivation in order to get them to pose in coordinated outfits? Then consider a trip to the Toronto Zoo. Its 5,000-plus animals are great bribe material while its colourful fall foliage and numerous pop-up photo backdrops over Thanksgiving weekend make it a perfect spot for pictures. Ticket prices start at $19 (kids two and under are free) and don’t forget that parking costs an additional $12. All of the photo opportunities are included with the price of your ticket.

When: Saturday, October 12- Monday, October 14
Where: Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Drive

Woodbridge Fall Fair

Now in its 172nd year (yes, you read that correctly), this event is a true autumn classic. Your kids will love the Children’s Village, which includes the Pioneer Area, as well as the petting zoo and the wide assortment of rides and games. There’s also horse and dog shows, live human entertainment and a giant pumpkin contest. And of course, there will be tons of delicious food. Parking is free while admission starts at $5, with kids six and under being free.

When: Saturday, October 12- Monday, October 14
Where: Woodbridge Fair Grounds. 100 Porter Avenue, Woodbridge

Thanksgiving Brunch at Casa Loma

Looking to do something a little different this Thanksgiving weekend that still involves lots of delicious food, including turkey? Then consider Thanksgiving brunch at Toronto’s iconic Casa Loma. Dine on an extensive, all-you-can-eat menu that includes Thanksgiving classics, breakfast stations and a seafood bar. Then take your family on a tour through the city’s only castle. Admission to Casa Loma’s grounds is included with the cost of brunch, which starts at $55 a person (kids under four are free) and note that reservations are required.

When: Sunday, October 13
Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrance, Toronto

Thanksgiving at the Village

Harvest time was a big deal back in the 1860s. Teach your kids why with a trip to Black Creek Pioneer Village. On the Sunday and Monday of the long weekend, Black Creek will be hosting harvest-themed activities, old fashion games, and wagon rides. There will also be plenty of live entertainment, including shows featuring some of the park’s history actors. Ticket prices start at $11 and kids four and under are free.

When: Sunday, October 13 & Monday, October 14
Where: Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway



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