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August 31, 2014

5 Tips for Visiting Toronto with Kids

CN Tower

CN Tower

Back in June, I had the opportunity to visit Toronto, and while I was there for a travel blogging conference, rather than a family vacation, I can say that I found Toronto to be exceptionally family-friendly. Not only is there a lot for little ones to enjoy, like the Toronto Zoo, Ontario Science Centre and Centre Island, but there are loads of great places to eat with kids too, like Lick’s and the St. Lawrence Market. Here are five quick tips for visiting Toronto with kids:

1. Look for Family Festivals. Sure, there are lots of must-do tourist attractions in Toronto, like the CN Tower and the Royal Ontario Museum, but keep your eyes peeled for numerous festivals that take place in the city during the spring and summer. Pick up a weekly entertainment publication, like NOW or The Grid, to find activities offering access to local fun and traditions.

le germain cups

My Room Number Etched on the Water Glasses at the Hotel Le Germain

2. Choose a Well-Situated Hotel. While in Toronto, I spent three nights at the Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, a boutique hotel in the heart of Toronto. It was within easy walking distance of the Air Canada Centre, CN Tower and the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as the Metro Toronto Convention Center. Though I was not with my children, this hotel would have been an ideal choice given its proximity to top family attractions in the city. You can see a full review of this hotel at My View from the Middle Seat.

It’s also worth noting that 10 Best listed the Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square among the 10 Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Toronto. I have to agree largely because the rooms are spacious, modern and relaxing, which is perfect for adults, but the hotel can also provide kid-sized robes, baby monitors and bath toys for the littles. The hotel is even dog-friendly for those that want to bring them along.

CN Tower

CN Tower

3. Try a Discovery Walk. If your kids can easily hoof it around the city or suburbs, then try a self-guided Discovery Walk. It’s a great (and free) way to experience Toronto, including the city, parks and beaches, if you have an hour or two to spare. You can print out maps and burn off some energy as you and your kids explore all that Toronto has to offer.

4. Get the See Toronto Mobile App. Before I visit a new city, I love to download the mobile app, if there is one, and the free See Toronto mobile app is available for iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile phones. The app offers lots of suggestions for different traveler types, whether foodies, families or sports fans. It also provides directions from where you are, restaurant ideas and local events, all of which are ideal when your plans for the day change on the fly, as they often can with kids in tow.

Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline

5. Try CityPASS, But Do the Math First. If you want to make the most of your visit to Toronto, check into a multi-day discount admission pass, like CityPASS, which gets you into five top attractions, including the CN Tower and Casa Loma, for nearly half-price. The pass also allows you to skip the ticket lines, which is nice, but do the math to make sure you’ll be able to visit all or most of the included attractions before opening your wallet.

While in Toronto, I was with several other family travel blogger friends who wrote great posts on visiting Toronto with kids that you may want to check out:

The Mother of All Trips: Toronto with Kids – A Few Fun Ideas

Trekaroo: Toronto Family Attractions: What to Do in Toronto with Kids

Have you been to Toronto? Do you have any tips or must-see attractions to keep in mind when visiting with kids? Let me know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: I received one complimentary night at the Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, as well as two nights at a discounted media rate. However, all opinions expressed in this blog post are entirely my own.


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Comments

  1. Carrie B. says:

    I’ve visited Toronto with my family a few times and we always stayed at the Park Hyatt Toronto hotel and it was a very pleasant and comfortable place. Kids enjoyed as well as we did! Le Germain looks amazing too, I might give it a try next time!
    Good suggestion with the mobile app, I’ve been using a similar one called blogTO and it helped me a lot with finding interesting events and other stuff to do. I’ve read an article about some other apps useful for Toronto some time ago and there’s a thing called Toronto Crime Stopper. It’s an app for avoiding crime – I never even knew something like that exists! But safety first, right?