Ontario’s Family Day holiday falls this year on Monday, February 21, and offers an excellent opportunity to experience Toronto with your loved ones. Some of the city’s top attractions are even offering special family-oriented deals and programs!
Tim Burton is featured at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (photo by Derek Frey)
MOVIES! Family fun is free for the whole long weekend at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. Take the kids to see some fantastic films and explore the world of Tim Burton at the venue’s huge exhibition dedicated to the famous filmmaker. You can also see stand-up/cabaret artist Shawn Hitchins for a hilarious singalong featuring hits from the latest and greatest movies.
VISTAS! View the city from new heights at the CN Tower, which offers discounted Family Day admission. Be sure to stand on the iconic needle’s glass floor hovering 1,122 feet above street level, or go even higher to the Sky Pod and gaze kilometres into the distance. The attraction also offers a “Himalamazon” motion-theatre ride and the thrilling 3D movie Ultimate Wave Tahiti.
AFRICA! Among the thousands of diverse artifacts on display at the Royal Ontario Museum, your family is certain to be captivated by its display of contemporary pieces by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui. For Family Day, the special exhibition is supplemented by musical performances, films, drumming workshops and even a scavenger hunt through the museum’s comprehensive African rooms.
FEET! Kids can be honourary detectives at the Bata Shoe Museum during its weekend of family fun. Hunt for unique shoes throughout the space to earn a Shoe Detective certificate, try on some of the museum’s craziest shoes, and paint a mini clog to take home.
Harbourfront Centre's Natrel Rink (photo by Jennifer Hart)
SKATING! Make tracks to Toronto’s waterfront for a whole day of wholesome activities, as Harbourfront Centre hosts a family skating party with live music plus special guests including superhero characters, dancers, sock monkeys and Canadian Olympic athletes Jayna Heffors and Greg Westlake. Craft workshops help kids make their own mementos to remember the day by.
FINE ART! Discover some of the world’s most wondrous visuals at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ask for a family activity bag at the ticketing desk to make your journey through the gallery even more enjoyable. There’s even a kid-focused exhibition, Animal Tales, which offers children the opportunity to share stories and create their own creature drawings.
ANIMALS! Walk into the wild at the Toronto Zoo and discover some fun facts about animal packs and how they work as families—just like us! The zoo’s indoor pavilions feature exhibits on family trees and conservation, too.
HISTORY! Step into Casa Loma and partake in an old-fashioned scavenger hunt with Dora the Explorer. Kids can meet Dora in the library, and see other costumed characters while searching for treasure inside Toronto’s famous castle. For a more regal experience, youngsters can see what it was like to be a knight in the middle ages, courtesy of the Barrie Swordplay Association.
See how tornadoes form at the Ontario Science Centre (photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic)
HOCKEY! Head to the Hockey Hall of Fame and receive free admission for up to four children with the purchase of one regularly priced adult. Kids will also receive a free muffin voucher from Marché—the better to keep their energy levels up! The museum features interactive activities in the NHLPA Be A Player Zone, as well as numerous artifacts, including hockey’s ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.
SCIENCE! Heat up inside the Ontario Science Centre with the institution’s newest exhibition, Nature Unleashed, which demonstrates how earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and tornadoes occur from the inside out. Kids of all ages can also marvel at the world’s largest mammals in the Whales/Tohora exhibit, or sit back and enjoy one of three mind-blowing Imax films.
MARILYN! The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg opens two special exhibitions in honour of the American film legend Marilyn Monroe. Guided tours, film screenings, music and other special programming is scheduled to help shine the spotlight on the shows and their superstar subject.