How to See Toronto in 48 hours with a Family- Summer 2019
Planning a weekend getaway to Toronto with the kids? You’re in luck, because this city is home to countless family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and cultural offerings. Thankfully, you don’t need a full week to see Toronto in all of its glory. With our helpful guide, you can get a good dose of family fun in just 48 hours!
Weather in Toronto can be unpredictable, so we’ve provided plenty of options for both indoor, rainy day activities and things to do in the heat of the summer sunshine. Without further ado, let’s get to sightseeing!
Start your day at Yonge and Dundas Square to get a peek at the iconic “Times Square of Toronto” before it gets too busy with weekend crowds. For breakfast, head south to the historic St. Lawrence Market. With over 120 different vendors, the market will be sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Next, check out the newly revitalized Toronto waterfront (also known as the Harbourfront Centre) to walk alongside Lake Ontario, grab an ice cream cone, visit The Power Plant art gallery, or rent a paddleboat. Kids love climbing the wave decks, exploring the music garden, and playing on the sandy beaches.
From here, you’ll be in convenient proximity to the CN Tower if you want to stroll over and marvel at its height (1,815 feet!). If the weather is unfavourable, Ripley’s Aquarium (Canada’s largest indoor aquarium) is right next door and is home to over 15,000 sea creatures, including the beloved jellyfish exhibition. Across the street, you’ll find Rec Room, a 40,000 square-foot arcade and entertainment space adored by kids both big and small.
When the sun is shining, hop on a cruise boat and set sail to Centre Island for the best possible view of the Toronto skyline. On the island, treat the kids to a couple of rides at the Centreville amusement park, bring your own picnic for dinner, hike the trails, or rent a bicycle. Journey back to the mainland in the evening for that picture-perfect sunset view.
If the kids’ bedtime isn’t too early, head over to Toronto’s Entertainment District to catch a play at the Princess of Wales Theatre or a movie at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. In July and August, the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show also screens free movies in public parks throughout the city.
Rise and shine- Torontonians take brunch seriously! Depending on where your family is staying, there are plenty of great options for weekend brunch in Downtown Toronto. The Annex, Kensington Market, Queen Street West, and Old Toronto are all strong contenders. If you make your way up to the Annex, be sure to hit up Casa Loma, a sprawling 70,000 square-foot castle turned museum and historical landmark. Kids ages 11+ can even take part in one of Casa Loma’s escape room experiences!
Kensington Market is always lively in the summer months, and on Pedestrian Sundays, crowds flood its colourful streets for food, music, and shopping from local vendors. Kensington is a top pick for foodies visiting Toronto, and offers dozens of cuisines and treats to please the younger ones. Bring take-out dishes to the Bellevue Square Park, which is complete with outdoor seating and a play structure.
If it starts to rain, explore one of Toronto’s world-class museums and art galleries. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is perfect for kids, its interactive and educational exhibitions are always crowd-pleasers. If you are passing through Chinatown, the Art Gallery of Ontario is definitely worth checking out. Always free for children under 13, the AGO regularly holds kid’s programming, creative workshops, and tours for families.
Don’t leave the AGO without stopping by Grange Park, the gallery’s neighbouring greenspace that just received a $12.5 million dollar revitalization. Complete with public art installations, a playground, and a splash pad, Grange Park is the perfect place to take a breather after doing some serious city exploring.
In the evening, Nathan Phillips Square is the place to find concerts, markets, festivals, and other summer events. Don’t forget to take a family selfie in front of the rainbow TORONTO sign- it’s the perfect backdrop to commemorate a weekend of fun in Toronto!
Each of these locations correlates with a City Sightseeing Double Decker tour stop in Toronto. Browse the list of our stops to find out how you can easily navigate through the city during your stay!