Things to Do During Winter in Toronto with Kids

Things to Do in Toronto this Winter with Kids - SavvyMom

What’s that sound we hear? Is it our children whining that they are bored even though they acquired a small mountain of new toys and games over the holidays? Don’t stress, we’re here to help! We’ve collected a few ideas on how to entertain your kids over the next few months of winter in Toronto.

Since the start of the year can be tough on our bank accounts, we’ve made sure to include more than a couple free suggestions. We’ve also featured lots of outdoor ideas, so that you kids can get some always welcomed fresh air.

You’ll also find some ideas over on our roundup of January-specific events happening in and around Toronto. And if you’re looking for some ideas that will get you out of the house for a full day or even the weekend, check out our roundup of quick, local winter getaways from Toronto.

Ideas for Family Fun during Winter in Toronto

Earl Bales Ski Hill

4169 Bathurst St., Toronto
Aiming to open mid-January

Did you know that the City of Toronto operates its very own ski slope? Sure, it’s pretty simple and small, consisting of just three hills but it’s a nice option for young kids who are still getting used to the slopes (and there is a chairlift, which is always fun). Equipment rentals are available for both skiing and snowboarding and an all-day lift ticket for kids is only $43.50. At publication time, Earl Bales Ski Hill was still closed due to lack of snow but the City is hoping to have the\ facility open by mid-January.

Toronto Marlies Hockey Game

Coca-Cola Coliseum, 45 Manitoba Dr., Toronto
Various dates

Have a hockey-loving kid but you’re not loving the price of Maple Leaf tickets? Then consider checking out Toronto’s other professional hockey team, the Marlies. This American Hockey League team has several at-home games lined up over January and February over that are sure to thrill your little sports fan. Tickets start as low as $15 as games usually start at 7:00 pm or 4:00 pm. The parking situation at the Coca-Cola Coliseum is also a lot more manageable than parking near Scotiabank Arena.

Outdoor Skating

Various locations

Nothing says winter in Canada like bundling up, then lacing up, and taking a spin around an outdoor skating rink. Toronto is spoiled with amazing skating opportunities. Some of our favourite spots include the pretty Paul Quarrington rink at Sherbourne Comon (5 Lower Sherbourne St., Toronto) and the versatile Greenwood skating trail and rink (150 Greenwood
Ave., Toronto), which frequently offers opportunities for shinny. And let’s not forget the Bentway (250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto), which lets you skate under the Gardiner while taking in some art and maybe a hot chocolate or other treat. Need some more outdoor skating rink suggestions? Check out our longer list here. All listed rinks are free to access.

Snow Tubing

Various locations scross the GTA

Is tobogganing just not doing it for your kids anymore? Do they have a need for snowy speed? Snow tubing might be the thrill that they’re looking. While Toronto proper is lacking in snow tubing opportunities (someone should fix that), there are several options located relatively nearby.

Ski Lakeridge (790 Chalk Lake Rd., Uxbridge) offers two hours of tubing for $40. Note that reservations must be made here. At Mount Chinguacousy (9050 Bramalea Rd., Brampton) your family can enjoy six trips down the hill for around $16 and no reservations are required. Or take things to the next level at Horseshoe Adventure Park (1101 Horseshoe Valley Rd. W., Barrie) where your family can fly down Ontario’s longest snow tubing hill. A three-hour snow tubing ticket costs around $58. All three destinations also offer downhill skiing and snowboarding.


Various Locations

Tobogganing is one of those classic winter activities that your family will hopefully get to partake in at least once this season (we must get snow eventually, right?). We’ve rounded up some of our favourite sledding hills in Toronto, all of which have been given the City of Toronto’s seal of approval.

Need some more options? Check out Fairmount Park (1775 Gerrard St. E., Toronto), which is located conveniently next to a community centre or Linus Park (125 Seneca Hill Dr., Toronto), which is home to a wide hill that’s lit up at night.

Toronto Island Park

Catch the Ferry at 9 Queen Quay W., Toronto
Open year round

The Toronto Islands are best known as a summer getaway, but your family can actually visit them all year long. If your family skates, snowshoes, or cross-country skies, pack up your gear and enjoy one of the city’s most scenic spots for those sports. Your family can also enjoy a peaceful walk. Just make sure to bring food and water as none of the usual retailers are open this time of year (there are public bathrooms at the ferry dock).

It’s free to access the islands but you will need to take the ferry over. Tickets start at $4.29 and kids under two are free. In the winter months, the ferry also only goes to Ward’s Island, however it’s easy to reach the rest of the islands from that ferry dock.

Toronto Public Library

Various locations
Various dates

Toronto’s public library system offers so much more than just books! Many branches offer free, family-friendly events and programming throughout the year, including weekend mornings and afternoons. In addition to the usual story and singalong times, there are puppet shows, movie screenings, all kinds of arts and crafts and so much more. Most activities are drop-in (or grab tickets the day-of) and are the perfect way to break up a cold, boring day. Click this link to see all available activities and sort by location, age, date, and more.

Treetop Trekking

Bruce’s Mill Conversation Area, 3291 Stouffville Rd., Whitchurch-Stouffville
Open Friday-Sunday through March

Two of Treetop Trekking’s activity areas are open during the winter months. The Treewalk Village is suitable for all ages (but ideal for kids ages three to eight) and its combinations of bridges, nets, and obstacle courses is a perfect way to burn off energy. Kids nine and up can also explore uplä, “a spectacular world of a nets suspended high in the forest canopy” that is perfect for bouncing and acrobatics.

Tickets for the Village start at $22 while the cost to access uplä is $38. Each experience is for two hours.

Union Winter Roller Express

TD West Carriageway at Union Station, 61 Front St., Toronto
Open now until February 4

Looking for some indoor fun that will also use up some of your children’s boundless energy? Then check out the temporary roller-skating rink that’s been set up in the lower level of Union Station. Spread across 5,500 square feet, this space even includes a tunnel decorated with lights. Access to the rink is free, as are skate rentals (you can also bring your own wheels) and protective gear for the kids. Delicious food and drink items are available for purchase. For added fun, stop by on Fridays from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm for the Union Beat Skate Night, featuring DJed music.

Winter Stations

Woodbine Beach, 1675 Lake Shore Blvd. E., Toronto
Starts February 19

Toronto’s outdoor winter art exhibition returns this February with a new slate of large, and sometimes interactive, artwork. As in years past, the creations will line Woodbine Beach, giving your family a reason to check out the beach despite the chilly weather. Full details about this experience haven’t been shared as of publication time, but we do know that it will be free to explore.


Mountsberg Conservation Area, 2259 Milburough Line, Campbellville
Fridays through Sundays until February 19

Is your family up for a bit of a drive? Then stock the car with snacks and head out to Winterlit, located roughly an hour outside of the city. Explore two hiking trails decorated with gorgeous lights and artistic creations, enjoy tasty treats next to a roaring fire, learn about the animals that call the park home and more. There are also the options to add on a painting activity and the “owl prowl.” This experience will let you meet a live owl and then head out for a nighttime hike “…to see whose hooting.”

Tickets for non-Conversation Halton members start at $19 and kids four and under are free.

WinterViews Skating

229 Richmond St. W., Toronto
Now open

Toronto’s newest skating rink is nestled right in the middle of downtown, in what’s soon to become a pretty new park. Built using synthetic ice, this rink promises a “smooth and seamless skating experience” that won’t turn to mush just because it’s a little warm outside. There will also be music, “disco lights,” and the option to rent a private cabin where your family can enjoy and even a personal fire pit (or grab a bite to eat in the open-to-all lodge). The rink is free to access and there are even free skates to borrow (subject to availability). Just note that the family-friendly skating hours run from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm; after that it’s 19-years-old and older only.

All skaters 16 and younger must also wear a CSA-approved helmet.


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