kids in toronto winter breakThe holiday rush is over – now what? While I am sure you’ve got a solid schedule to keep the family busy, you may need a few fillers. Here are 17 activities we’re choosing from to get us out of the house this Winter Break. Some are free, some are new and snow is not required.

  1. Ninjaz, a new indoor Ninja Warrior obstacle course that opened this fall in Vaughan, has circuits for kids, littles AND adults.
  2. FREE: Winter Village at Evergreen Brick Works has a new Street Food Market, daily free public skating, shinny, fat biking and hiking. Go on a weekend for miniature village making and campfire cooking in the Children’s Garden.
  3. ROM for the Holidays is in full swing with lots of extra activities in addition to the galleries and exhibitions (CHIHULY closes at the end of Winter Break.) PS – we’re giving away a ROM Membership.
  4. FREE: Take your pick from these free spots to glide with the family – from City of Toronto rinks and cool spots like Harbourfront and Nathan Phillips Square to longer trails in and out of the city.
  5. NEW + OUT OF TOWN: There is a new 425-metre long outdoor skating loop in Valen’s Lake near Hamilton. Valens Lake also offers 10 km of trails and a 300 metre boardwalk and observation tower.
  6. Joy Ride 150: This indoor bike park in Markham has bikes for rent and kid- and adult-friendly trails and jumps.
  7. On Thursday December 29th, there is a holiday all ages play time at Monarch Park Stadium from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Two fields will be set up – one for the age 5 and under and one for the 5 and over.
  8. FREE: Soulpepper Family Festival has a super line-up of performances for the kid-crowd. There is free public programming at the Young Centre on January 7 and 8, 2016.  Here’s the schedule.
  9. Ontario Science Centre always has something for every age. Don’t miss the Wild Weather exhibition (it closes January 7, 2017) plus add-on’s during the holidays like toy-making, block building and a special show on celestial storms.
  10. OUT OF TOWN: Niagara’s Winter Festival of Lights, featuring Aura: Let it Glow, a 5km outdoor illumination display along the Niagara Parkway, and the new enhanced falls illumination are on until January 31. There is also fireworks on select days and a nightly sound and light show projected on to the decommissioned Toronto Power Generating Station on the Niagara Parkway.
  11. E.T. in Concert at the Sony Centre on December 29 and 30, 2016.
  12. Cheer on the Raptors – the 905 Raptors (from the NBA Development League) have four home games over the holidays at the Hersey Centre in Mississauga. Tickets range from $8 to $65 per game.
  13. AGO’s Pop-up Planetarium is on daily until January 8, 2017.
  14. Casa Loma: They have some extra family-friendly fun events through the holidays: Magical Winter Wednesday Nights and When you Wish Upon a Star.
  15. FREE: Winter Bird Count for Kids at Tommy Thompson Park on Saturday, January 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pre-registration is required.
  16. FREE: Winter Week, a week-long celebration of the Toronto Maple Leafs, means lots of free on and off-ice activities, like guest appearances from players and alumni and public skates, across the city from January 3 to 8, 2017.
  17. FREE: Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Councillors have their Winter Skate Party on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Colonel Samuel Smith Park.