Family Fun near Downtown Toronto

Toronto Family FunForget the romantic island get-a-away for two at least once with a family excursion to Toronto. Canada's largest city means a fun-filled vacation for the entire family. It is here that the family together can discover the "other island" with a 12-minute ferry ride over the Toronto Harbour.

Ward's Island is an island that connects with two other islands, Centre and Algonquin. Once disembarked, there are bikes and quadri-cycles to rent for a three-mile ride out to Ward's Island beach. Spend some time soaking up the flavor of the local eclectic community. There are old houses, modern homes and everything in between.

Head for Centre Island and take the kids to a small but charming amusement park. Rent canoes or kayaks and paddle along the lagoons to a quaint old-fashioned farm. There is no need to pack a picnic, there are a few fast food restaurants here.

However, if the family is partial to picnics for this trip, the pristine beaches of Center island and Hanlan's Point are surrounded with neatly manicured lawns and gardens perfect for picnicking and daydreaming.

It is fun to dip into a little history here with a visit to the ancient lighthouse, old piers and a church at least a century-old. Two great light dining options for dinner are available with both indoor and outdoor seating. No need to worry about getting hungry before reaching the mainland via one of the frequent ferry rides.

You will want to spend one day, maybe more at the Toronto Zoo. This huge zoo can hardly be fully experienced in only a day. The fascinating animals there are geographically grouped in large habitats. Tour a little version of the world's animals on the many routes to explore.

Be entertained by the hilarious penguins and the antics of the gorillas. Enjoy adorable pandas at the Panda Interpretive Centre. There will be plenty of places to have lunch with pizza, burgers and other typical zoo fare available.

Kids will love the new splash pads after a long zoo tour on hot days. Parents will appreciate the cooling mist stations. In chillier times, no one will be disappointed. There are many fantastic indoor exhibits to visit at the Toronto Zoo.

No vacation is complete without a little shopping or browsing. Visit Bloor Street West and see the latest in haute couture. There are shops that cater to children as well. Experience the culture of the city here with cafes, boutiques, bakeries and more. It will be easy to find something for everyone when shopping on Bloor Street West.

Between all these adventurous places to visit, be assured you can find a family-friendly hotel or bed and breakfast for resting nearby.