We’re excited to share our top picks for March Break fun in Toronto!
This post was sponsored by Toronto Tourism & Media partners, meaning we received pay and/or complimentary admission to facilitate our review. As always, opinions are our own. View our Disclosure for more info.
How is it March already, guys?! I’m loving the slow creep to Spring, but man is this year moving at warp speed!
Like so many of you, we are thinking about our March Break plans and how to keep 4 (very high energy) school-agers busy during their time off. Now, I’m all for not busting the boredom and constantly entertaining them all the time. I know giving them time to “just be” is good for them to kick start their imagination and do some good ole’ fashion kid-centered whatever. BUT, I’ve been through enough school breaks now with the kids to know a bit of scheduled activity is good for us all.
We’re bypassing on the sunny destination vacay this time around (because it’s super, insanely pricey for our gang of six to travel during high season), and opting for a staycation with some daytime excursions around town and in the City.
So, it was such a treat to partner with Toronto Tourism earlier this month to check out some of the cool sights we had yet to experience with the kids – many of them with March Break-specific activities and camps if you’re looking for that option. Sidebar: isn’t it crazy how we take the attractions right in our own neighbourhoods for granted sometimes?! So glad we made time to explore the fun-filled family options right here in our great City.
**Post has been updated since original broadcast to include new & modified faves**
Here are our top picks for March Break fun in Toronto:
Skate outdoors among Toronto’s City Hall landmark and home to the iconic 3D Toronto Sign installed for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Rink opens mid November until mid-March, so March Break will be your last chance to experience it this year. Family-friendly features: indoor lockers, rink-side washroom facilities, skate rentals (*for fee*), on-site snack bar & complimentary skate instructions. If you’re into breaking-bedtime, try out a DJ skate night! Ample (*paid*) parking nearby. (*Note: check real-time ice condition updates on City of Toronto’s website before you go!*)
2) Casa Loma
Once a private home turned Toronto’s very own castle, what kid doesn’t want to pretend they’re in a magical kingdom and explore the secret underground tunnels? Check out the Imagine Dragons event running during March Break as part of their Escape Series.
3) CN Tower
Okay, it was kind of crazy we hadn’t seen the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere with the kids until a few weeks ago, even though the City is just 30 mins away for us. So not only was the 1.5 minute ride up the 553 m tower a total (ear-popping) hit, so were the insane cityscape views. The kids tried to convince me to do the Edge Walk…um no way, no how, seeing how a few steps on the bottomless glass floor had my head spinning!
They’re currently doing repair work on the Lookout Level, but making up for the inconvenience with a free extra-high trip to the Skypod, which would normally cost extra.
Also, check out the Kidzone on the lower level – perfect for kids under 8 years and right beside a quick-service food counter if you need a refreshment like we did toward the end of our visit.
Tip: right next door is Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium and when you book the two together you save! We didn’t visit Ripley’s on this adventure as 2 kids had recently been with their school and we’d also visited the one in Myrtle Beach just months before.
Alright, if you know our family, you know we have a bunch of hockey-crazed members, so this one is kind of a no-brainer for our crew. Outside of the neat artifacts from historical moments in hockey, we loved the interactive options like trying our hand at goaltending and shooting the puck.
The kids also got a kick out of mom and dad pretending to host our very own Sports Centre broadcast. Finish up with a special family snap with hockey’s holy grail – the Stanley Cup. Visit HHOF’s homepage for a March Break family value offer.
Our gang is still talking about the virtual coolness factor of TIFF’s digiPlaySpace. Introduce kids 4+ to tech, or indulge the minds of the already digitally curious of your bunch. Our kids that attended are age 4, 7 & 9 and all found more than a few things to love about this space. We jumped, clicked, swiped and danced our way through this interactive space where virtual and reality blend into one neat experience.
The kids also attended the advanced screenings of the TIFF Kids International film fest, showcasing the best in Canadian & International cinema, and opening to the public just in time for March Break. Their favourite flick was “The Highway Rat” – based on the book of the same character they already love.
Seriously, add a pit stop to TIFF’s Bell Lightbox to your March Break must-dos!
*UPDATE: TIFF digiPlaySpace will not be running for March Break 2020, but they do have guided tours of TIFF Bell Lightbox you can book for 1 p.m. on Saturdays through March to explore the architecture, history, & functionality of their state-of-the-art building!
A super place to stimulate their imagination and feed the curious minds of the STEM lovers in your family. Every time we visit, we always find something new we love. The kids’ current faves are the Inventorium, the Energy Show and some of the KidSpark and other sci-based learning activities.
NEW this year: The Castle Builder exhibit where kids can immerse in an interactive castle-building experience based on age group. Starts March 2nd.
The kids are dying to try out one of their Sleepover experiences this year!
Tip: if you see yourself visiting multiple times this year, invest in one of their membership options for great family savings.
We have a Lego® maven in our crew, so this was his version of heaven on earth. Outside of the endless Lego play & build stations scattered throughout, the kids also loved finding their way through active zones like Ninjago City Adventure, and ending our visit on the Kingdom Quest Ride, which this mama kicked butt with the highest score of our bunch 😉. Our toddler and 4 year-old also really loved the Miniland® attraction. Our little guy is 2.5, so some of the activities were outside his age group. The attraction is best suited for kids 3+ years-old.
Tip: buy your tickets in advance online not only to save upto 30%, but also to pre-book your time of arrival. We went on a very busy day, but still got right in with our pre-arranged admission time slot.
BONUS: this attraction is located inside one of TO’s best tourism malls – Vaughan Mills. So, you can get a little play and shopping done in one sha-bang! We added an Ice Cream pit stop too! I love one-stop adventures!
We call the ROM our “Family Fun Museum” and this iconic, culture-filled, all-ages-welcome Toronto educational hub is always filled with adventures during March Break! Explore art, culture and nature with their immersive family activities, special exhibitions, and permanent galleries. *NEW for 2020, you won’t want to miss the Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches & Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic Family Experiences.
Visit their Tips for Families page to make your experience as stress-less as possible!
Instilling an appreciation for the arts in our kiddos is made easy by the family-friendly features of Toronto’s AGO – FREE admission for visitors 25 & under, family lounges/cafes/facilities & awe-invoking exhibits in an accessible venue!
*NEW for 2020, don’t miss the Illusions: The Art of Magic featuring limited edition, world-renowned lithographic posters celebrating the Golden Age of Magic (Hello Houdini!) & hands-on fun & scheduled magic shows for all-ages (included with regular admission). Or visit on Family Sundays – creative play & learning for all!
Such a fun way to experience the zoo after dark! Terra Lumina is a family-friendly, enchanted night walk by Moment Factory. The experience is interactive, family-focused & a timely presentation to ignite critical thinking with our kiddos about how humans + nature can work in harmony for our future. Go slow and immerse with all your senses. Our full review HERE.
VISITOR NOTE: the trail is stroller & wheelchair accessible with lots of restroom stops along the guided path! There is no interaction with real animals, but do dress warmly – the entire experience is outdoors and about 45 minutes across 1.5 KM.
If you’re visiting or “staycationing” in Toronto for spring break, we’d love to hear your favourite things to do as a family. Whatever you get up to, hope it’s an enjoyable one for all!