Toronto Summer Bucket List
With Toronto slowly starting to open up, it feels like we could have kind of a normal summer? I have started putting together our family’s summer bucket list which I thought you would enjoy as inspiration for your own summer.
Recommended for 4 years old and up
We first went TreeTop Trekking last year and honestly, I am not sure who loved it more, me or my kids! You need to be okay with heights, because this adventure takes place in a magical tree house village with slides, ladders, bouncy nets and more adventures. There are several locations within 1 hour of Toronto, so make sure to go to one with a Treetop Village which is appropriate for kids ages 4 and up. You need to book in advance, bring lots of water and snacks (obvi).
Fun Rating: Off the charts if you are ok with heights and like nature
Costs: You don’t need a second mortgage
Tips: Bring lots of snacks as you may not be able to buy anything at the site.
Good for all ages
Lots of awesome farms within a short drive from Toronto, while I haven’t been to all of them, these are some of my favourites. Good to check if you need to book in advance and getting there early is recommended to avoid long line ups.
Brooks Farms (North of Newmarket) – I love Brooks farms! They have everything including animals, giant jumping pillows, kid’s shows, zipline and there is an area for picking in season fruits or vegetables.
Andrew’s Scenic Acres (Milton) – They offer walking trails, wagon-rides, playground, animal corral, straw mountain climb, miniature straw maze, corn walk and great photo opportunities year-round.
Riverdale Farm (Cabbagetown) – a farm within our city with lots of classic farm animals. The farm is currently closed, but it should be reopening soon, so keep an eye on their website. Last year, one League of Moms team member visited and confirmed that it wasn’t crowded during the day and social distancing measures were in place though it was self-monitored (ie no staff is there monitoring everyone). There is street parking and a large park to enjoy lunch afterward. It’s perfect for the younger crowd and it’s free!
You can check out a full list of farms we created last year
Fun Rating: Fuuuuun, and there are pies at most farms.
Costs: Riverdale farm is free, well you pay for it via your taxes, but most other farms have entry fees ranging from $10-15
Tips: Get there early, bring a stroller or wagon or you’ll be carrying your kids!
The Toronto Islands
Good for all ages
I took my son to Centreville for his 3rd birthday and he still talks about it two years later! I am hopeful that Centreville will open again this summer or fall, but I am not holding my breath. The Toronto Islands can still make for a fun adventure with a ferry ride, beach activities and without Centreville open it will probably less busy. Despite many things being closed, the cafes on the islands are open so you’ll be fed. Check ferry schedules and buy tickets in advance so you don’t have to hustle to get tickets when you arrive.
Fun Rating: Fun, but expect a long day
Cost: Under $10 to take the ferry
Tips: Bring soooo many snacks, buy your ferry ticket in advance. You can also take a water taxi over, but expect to pay much more. Parking is limited near the ferry docks.
Recommended for 2 years old and up, because any younger and they might not appreciate the desserts
This could either be my best or worst idea, let’s hope it’s my best. One year for my husband’s birthday PK (pre-kids), I took him on a dinner crawl – we had an appetizer at one restaurant, entre at another, and then dessert at our final spot. It still goes down as one of the best birthday outings. I want to bring this idea back with a family-friendly dessert spin to it, so here are my picks for you!
Toronto (West of Bathurst): Glory Hole donuts, Dlish Cupcakes
Midtown (St Clair West): Baker & Scone, Soul Provisions for a popsicle, Thorbors for a croissant, Bar Ape for fancy ice cream
Downtown (East of Bathurst, South of Bloor): Le Gourmand for the best cookies (you don’t really need to go anywhere), Soma for pretty much anything, The Night Baker for more cookies.
Recommended for 3 years old and up
If you are looking to make a day of checking out playgrounds, this is probably best for a kid that doesn’t nap anymore. Alternatively you can check out various awesome playgrounds over the course of the summer. Check out our list of favourites playgrounds which include recos from the League as well.
Fun Rating: Good old fashion fun!
Tips: BRING SNACKS and sunscreen!
Good for all ages
Is it really summer if you haven’t hit up a pool? Luckily, city pools have opened up again, but if you want a VIP experience, check out Swimply – it’s the AirBNB of swimming pools, you can rent someone’s pool for 1 to several hours. The rates are actually pretty good! One challenge is bathrooms, make sure to read through the descriptions to understand if the pool has a changeroom or bathroom you can use. I haven’t done this myself, if you do, please tell me how it goes!
Fun Rating: VIP kinda fun
Costs: Starting at $30/hr you could enjoy some private swim time.
Tips: Bring a potty or book near a Starbucks if no bathroom access
Best for ages 25 and up (in my humble opinion)
I’ve always to do this, book a night at a hotel, splurge on room service, take a long bath, watch TV. I have dreamt about it without kids, but maybe I would do this with my older child? Nah! This idea is really an adult bucket list idea! Once you are double vaxxed, get some girlfriends and take a night off!
Fun Rating: Girls night kinda fun!
Cost: You might need a second mortgage depending the hotel you choose.
Tips: None, because I can’t recall the last time I went to a hotel
This was my son’s idea and while I want him to be outdoorsy, I am not. I also don’t like racoons which can be found to be wandering my neighbourhood at night. The jury is out if we’ll do this or not, but I like this as a first camping experience especially because all the campgrounds are already booked up.
Fun Rating: No comment
Tips: Send your partner, sleep in your own bed.
Rent a Hot Tub
Good for all ages (as long as the water isn’t too hot)
This one surprised me too, but when I dug into it further, it actually sounds like fun. In the daytime, the kids can enjoy a soak in something that is a little more glamourous than your Canadian Tire blow-up pool and at night you & your partner could relive spring break right in your own backyard, hopefully without the terrible hangovers, but maybe with the spontaneous streaking. Check out Tommy’s Hot Tubs for your hot tub needs.
Fun Rating: Spring Break kinda fun!
Cost: $100/night for a minimum 3 night rental
Tips: Add a charcuterie, The Weeknd playlist and life is good.
The Blue Mountains
Recommended for ages 3 years old and up
The Blue Mountains are a great little family getaway with lots of family-friendly activities such as a rock wall, water activities, mountain roller coaster, putting course, hiking trails, swimming pool and so much more. Not far from the Blue Mountains, you can make a visit to the Scenic Caves which has great views, hikes and activities like gem-stone mining and mini golf. The Blue Mountain village is full of food, so you won’t need to worry about cooking.
Fun Rating: Your kids will think they have gone to Disney land
Cost: Not cheap, rooms start at $450
Tips: It’s cheaper to book a place outside of the Blue Mountain Resort. Buy a play all-day pass to get access to all the Blue Mountain activities.
Backyard Movie Night
We use to this pre-kids, actually, we even did it once after our son was first born, he was just a few weeks old, asleep in the bassinet, while we projected a movie outside in our backyard. This could be a very COVID-safe activity for older kids and/ adults. Cheaper and more comfortable than a drive-in movie, just make sure you aren’t breaking any sound laws! OMG, image a backyard movie + a hot tub rental!
Fun Rating: Chill kinda fun!
Cost: Cheap if you have a projector or can borrow one
Tips: Don’t try to be a cool parent and let your kid stay up too late, because you’ll pay for it in the morning.
There you have it! My summer bucket list. Anything I should add to it?
League of Moms / 06/17/2021