We’re down to one last month of (school-free) summer. Time to make the most of it by checking out a few of the many amazing, and often free, activities taking place in Toronto over August.
17 Things to Do With the Kids in Toronto This Month
Afro Carib Fest | scarboroughafrocaribfest.com
Take in the best of African and Caribbean culture at this free community celebration. Come hungry as dozens of food vendors will be offering mouth-watering dishes that are sure to please the whole family. There will also be tons of live entertainment by local and international artists, a kids’ zone and the chance for you to learn a few new dance moves.
When: August 24-25
Where: Albert Campbell Square, 150 Borough Dr
Bricks in the Six | brickassembly.ca
Meet the ultimate weekend for LEGO lovers. This family-oriented convention will feature over 25,000 square feet of amazing LEGO creations. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet master builders; shop for classic, vintage and rare collections and build your own masterpieces in the play area, where you’ll have hundreds of thousands of pieces of LEGO at your disposal. And with any luck, you’ll win one of the many draws and contests that will be taking place over the weekend. Ticket prices start at $15 and a family pack is available.
When: August 10-11
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 370 King St W
Burlington Children’s Festival | burlington.ca
Disclaimer: This event isn’t in Toronto but it’s so great—it’s ranked as one of Ontario’s top 100 festivals—that we had to include it. In addition to a large inflatable zone, there will be character meet and greets, interactive activities and a ton of live performances including a ventriloquist and a magic show. Entry is free but be sure to bring some cash as there will also be plenty of food and retail vendors on site.
When: August 18
Where: Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Rd
Butterfly Festival | tommythompsonpark.ca/butterflyfestival
Kids are encouraged to come dressed at their favourite butterfly (or just in brightly coloured clothing) at this insect-themed celebration. While the migrating Monarch is the star of the show, kids will have the opportunity to learn about all different types of butterflies and other pollinators through nature walks and interactive talks. There will also be a live bird banding demonstration and workshops on how to make your yard more butterfly-friendly.
When: August 24
Where: Tommy Thompson Park, 1 Leslie St
Canada National Exhibition | theex.com
The CNE is a can’t-miss annual tradition for many families for good reasons: It has something fun for all ages. Returning this year are the air show, Super Dogs and, of course, the massive Food Building. Kids’ World is also back, and this year stars a Paw Patrol meet and greet and a Thomas & Friends stage show. Also new this year is Godzilla on the Waterfront, which features, “A large scale replica of Godzilla” that we think monster-adoring kids will love!
When: August 16-September 2
Where: Exhibition Place
College-Montrose Children’s Place Family Fun Festival | cmcp.ca
Entertain your kids while helping to raise funds for College-Montrose Children’s Place, a popular EarlyON centre with sites just west of downtown. Aimed at kids aged zero-six, this event will feature bouncy castles, live entertainment and an assortment of hands-on activities and games. Entry is free but be sure to bring some cash to purchase food (there’s a bake sale), drinks and activity tickets.
When: August 10
Where: Trinity-Bellwoods Park, 790 Queen St W
Eagle Drum Girl | myseumoftoronto.com
This family-friendly, one-day performance is a theatrical reading of Elder Redbird’s play about the special bond shared between a grandfather and his granddaughter. Performed by the Young People’s Theatre, it features Elder Redbird himself as well as dance and drumming performances. It’s free to attend and is also a great reason to check out the Wigmam Chi-Chemung, an art installation and Indigenous interpretive learning centre presented by Myseum in partnership with Elder Dr. Duke Redbird.
When: August 5
Where: Trillium Park, Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore Blvd W
Fan Expo Canada | fanexpocanada.com
Fans of comic books, superheroes and really all things pop culture unite at this massive gathering that features shopping, meet and greets and a dedicated Family Zone. There your kids can enjoy princess storytime, help colour the Colourless Cafe and play with a ton of LEGO. Note that some of the costumes at Fan Expo can be a little intense, so this event is best for children who are school-age and up. Passes start at $10 for kids and a wide range of upgrade and combo options are available, including a family pass that starts at $55 and covers two adults and up to four kids 12 and under.
When: August 22-25
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Horsecapes | theex.com
This free, horse-themed event is back to teach your kids all about these amazing animals. In addition to meeting new hoofed friends, your family can watch a colourful equestrian show, learn about what it takes to care for a horse and participate in various activities. There are also free pony rides for kids that meet the height requirement.
When: July 27-August 15
Where: Horse Palace, Exhibition Place
Open Streets TO | openstreetsto.org
Ever wanted to dance down Yonge Street or play the piano in the middle of Bloor Street? This is your chance! All kinds of family-friendly activities will be taking place during the August edition of this popular event that sees chunks of Yonge and Bloor closed to traffic from 10 am until 2 pm. And best of all, it’s completely free!
When: August 18
Where: Bloor St between Ossington and Church; Yonge St between Bloor and Queen St
Paws In The Park | torontohumanesociety.com
At the Toronto Humane Society’s largest fundraiser, your family (including the four-legged members) can get posed for Instagram-perfect photos, check out the vendor’s village and participate in a scavenger hunt. There will also be a face-painting station and delicious food that we suspect will only be available to your family’s human members. Just a warning that the THS will have dogs on site that are available for adoption so you might have to prep on the kids on how no, they aren’t taking a new friend home.
When: August 10
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St E
Sweetery | sweeterytoronto.ca
It’s every kid’s (and a few adults’) dream event: A festival devoted to sweet food. Here you’ll find dozens of sugary treats—think doughnuts, marshmallows, and all kinds of candies —from a variety of Toronto chefs, students and vendors. There will also be live music and at 9 pm on August 10, a screening of Disney’s live version of Aladdin. Entry is free but the food items will cost you.
When: August 10-11
Where: David Pecaut Square, 215 King St W
Taste of the Danforth | tasteofthedanforth.com
Yes, it’s busy and crowded and it’ll probably be really hot outside but still, this popular festival is worth the hassle because it offers not only terrific food but also amazing activities. While exact details are still to be announced, we do know that the Sports Zone and Kids’ Fun Zone will be returning. There will also be a special celebration of “Canada’s Multicultural Mosaic,” which will use the power of dance to take you on a cultural trip across the country.
When: August 9-11
Where: Danforth & Pape
Toronto BuskerFest | torontobuskerfest.com
This annual fundraiser for Epilepsy Toronto is celebrating its 20th year by heading over to the beach. Over 100 street performers will wow you and your kids with tricks, dancing, acrobatics and more. There will also be a midway, a kids’ zone complete with baby-care corner and a family-friendly beer garden. The event has a suggested donation fee of $10 a family and of course don’t forget to bring some cash to support the performers.
When: August 30-September 2
Where: Woodbine Park
Toronto Caribbean Carnival | torontocarnival.ca
While the Toronto Caribbean Carnival (aka Caribana) technically launched on July 7, its flagship events take place this year from August 1 until August 5. On the first, have your family be memorized by the King and Queen show costume competition at Lamport Stadium. Then the following night, watch some of the continent’s best steel pan orchestras compete for the title of Best Steel Band. The Carnival’s biggest event is, of course, the Grand Parade, which will dance its way down Lakeshore Boulevard on August 3. While the parade can be watched for free along Lakeshore, tickets for bleacher-style seating are also available.
When: Until August 5
Where: Location depends upon the event
Toronto Chinatown Festival | chinatownbia.com
Celebrate Toronto’s Chinese community at this annual cultural festival. Watch kung fu demonstrations, opera performances and a variety of modern and traditional dances, including the always impressive lion dance. There will also be “multicultural street food vendors selling treats from all over Asia” so come hungry!
When: August 17-18
Where: West side of Spadina, between St. Andrew St & Sullivan St
Wild Blueberry Celebration | evergreen.ca
The Brick Works is always a fantastic place to take the family but on August 11, it will be an extra-sweet spot to check out because, on that day, it’s all about wild blueberries. The Children’s Garden will be offering free crafts, games and the opportunity to make your very own wild blueberry treats. Also on site will be over 20 food and drink vendors who will be selling everything from blueberry baked goods to special blueberry hard apple cider.
When: August 11
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave