Although summer is coming to a close, making room for auburn leaves and cooler winds, it doesn’t mean we have to let go of all the excitement. There’s still plenty of things to do in and around Toronto, so we put together a short and sweet list of experiences you can participate in come ‘back to school’ season — perfect for young and old alike.
1. Jurassic World: The Exhibition
Here’s an experience that will charm the entire family this fall: Jurassic World: The Exhibition! Based on one of the most iconic film sagas in cinema history, the exhibition is an immersive ride through Isla Nublar, bringing scenes from the beloved movies to life right before your eyes.
Gaze in wonder at the towering Brachiosaurus, come face-to-face with a Velociraptor, and get an up-close look at the most fearsome dinosaur of all, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. There may or may not be more dinos lurking in the shadows… You can find out at Jurassic World: The Exhibition in Mississauga, just a few minutes away from Toronto! Get tickets right here.
2. Divina Dalí + THE HAPPENING
Featuring a stunning collection of 110 rare masterpieces from the private archive of Dalí’s archivist, Divina Dalí is a multi-sensory experience that takes you on a mesmerizing journey through Dante’s Divine Comedy. Delving into the two worlds of Dante Alighieri and Salvador Dalí, the family-friendly experience is one filled with wonder and surrealism. Dive into one of the most beautiful tales in the history of mankind!
Plus, exclusively on September 22, Divina Dalí hosts THE HAPPENING, a 19+ soirée that explores The Divine Comedy through more than just artworks. Expect Dalí-inspired cocktails by Milou, extraordinary visual arts performances, and curated music by world-renowned DJ Karim Olen Ash. Save your spot for THE HAPPENING.
3. Bubble Planet
Step into the enchanting world of Bubble Planet, where bubbles come to life in sizes and forms you’ve never imagined. Whether you’re taking your adventure-seeking kiddos or fostering your own inner child, the captivating experience will ignite your imagination.
At Bubble Planet, you’ll journey from one immersive space to another where a myriad of bubbles engage all your senses. Encounter gigantic balloons, enormous soap bubbles and a hyper-realistic balloon ride that promise a sensory experience like no other. Get transported back to the joys of childhood!
4. Ripley’s Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium might sound like a basic activity to do all year-round, but do you know about all its programs and events? The aquarium that sits by the CN tower has plenty of exciting offerings in store, including a Plant Nite, Paint Nite, and Jazz night that are perfect for an evening out on the town (they all include tasty cocktails to decompress from the work day!)
On the kiddos’ side, there are your usual tours available, dive shows, stingray experience and of course — general admission if you just want to stroll through the impressive aquarium with your little ones.
5. Little Canada
A quirky celebration of all things Canada, Little Canada allows you to explore our diverse country in miniature scale (we’re talking mini!) The unique experience is perfect for kids and adults, since you’ll undoubtedly embody a childlike sense of wonder as you stroll through a mini Canada. It’s also super educational, plunging you inside the culture and heritage of our country.
And if you happen to love the mini world, you have the opportunity to live there forever by getting “Littlized.” You can learn more about the process on their website, but it’s giving “honey, we shrunk ourselves!”
6. Water bike ride through Lake Ontario
While the weather still calls for it, why not take a soothing water bike ride? Get ready for an adventure with the entire family as you experience the joy of water biking on the breathtaking waters of Lake Ontario.
Pedaling through the glistening waves, we can guarantee you’ll savor the awe-inspiring cityscape of Toronto. It’s an unforgettable way to explore the beauty of the city from a whole new perspective!
7. Twilight Board Game Café
Your kids will simply love this spot. Twilight Board Game Café not only offers a vast menu filled with a wide selection of drinks (hello bubble tea!)as well as delicious food options like pasta, cheese fries, tiramisu, and mouthwatering waffles, it also features some of the best board games. It’s the perfect place to titillate your taste buds while having a blast with friends and family, eliminating those ‘back to school’ blues.
8. On Third Thought
On Third Thought Gelato takes pride in being allergen-conscious and vegan-friendly, specializing in crafting delicious gelato right in their downtown Toronto shop! Why are we big fans? If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, you can enjoy their handcrafted gelato without worry.
You can also enjoy an extra dash of fun — even with the kiddos present — since they have a complete wine bar, alcohol-infused scoops and flight options. Their suggested pairings include mango with Sauvignon Blanc, strawberry with Prosecco and chocolate with sparkling Raboso or Merlot. If that doesn’t sound delicious, we’re not sure what does.
9. Visit the Toronto Islands
If you’re a true Torontonian, then you know the Island is a must year-round. Just a 13-minute ferry ride from downtown Toronto, it’s the perfect natural escape right on the doorstep of our beloved city. Ferries depart from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, located at the foot of Bay Street and Queen’s Quay.
Made up of 15 interconnected islands linked by pathways and bridges, the Toronto Islands are best visited on foot —an ideal day out in nature with the fam. You can even pack little sandwiches to make a picnic out of it before the weather turns sour. If you need a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is it.
10. Ghost Tour of the Distillery Historic District
During the day, the Distillery Historic District is a lively and vibrant place that attracts couples, families and singles. It’s a pedestrian-only zone where plenty of shopping takes place, families enjoy their time, and film crews use the charming 19th-century stone buildings as a backdrop for period settings.
But once night falls, local legend has it that the atmosphere takes on a spookier tone. According to local paranormal experts, the spirits of inhabitants from long ago are said to return, walking the cobbled streets once more. If you’re up for creeps and thrills this spooky season, the annual ghost tours at Toronto’s Distillery Historic District are right up your alley!