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August Fun with Kids: Our Top Picks in Toronto This Month

Wednesday Aug 2, 2017 by Amanda Wood

Young girl on balance bike clapping at geese, Centre Island Toronto
PHOTO: CENTREVILLE AMUSEMENT PARK

Spend the rest of summer break soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm evening breeze as you attend festivals, view the solar eclipse, and enjoy rides at the biggest fair of the year.

Get out, explore Toronto, and taste lots of delicious food along the way!

Toronto Islands and Centreville

After months of flooding that shut down the Islands to visitors, as of July 31, the beaches and attractions on the Islands are open again! At Centreville Amusement Park, the train, bumper boats, and swans rides are closed, but other rides are open. Also open on the Islands: Franklin Children's Garden, William Meany Maze, kayak and pedal boat rentals at the Boat House, wading pools and splash pads, bike rentals. Far Enough Farm will not reopen this season as many of the animal pens will have to be rebuilt due to flood damage. Be sure to buy ferry tickets and Centreville passes in advance to avoid lineups!

Location: Toronto Islands, Toronto; accessible from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (9 Queens Quay W., Toronto) or via a number of water taxi operators from the downtown waterfront between Lower Spadina Ave. and York St.
Date: All month
Time: Centreville 10:30 am–8 pm; check the ferry schedule
Price: Ferry round-trip $7.71 adults, $3.72 kids, infants free; buy ferry tickets. Centreville day passes from $25; buy Centreville passes

Summer Wednesdays at Evergreen Brick Works

Wander among the food vendors, sampling delicious gourmet selections and freshly roasted local fare, making the most of the warm summer nights. While you nibble on your tasty treats, check out the live artist performances on the pavilions or watch your kids play in the Children's Garden or the bike obstacle course.

Location: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., Toronto
Date: August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Time: 5:30 pm–10 pm
Price: FREE

Waterfront Artisan Market

At this open-air market you'll find a fantastic mix of up-and-coming local artisans, chefs, crafters, and bakers. The market will be open every Saturday rain or shine! Find unique, tasty foods and local crafts and then take a walk along the water, making your weekend an adventure.

Location: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay W., Toronto
Date: August 5, 12, 19, 26
Time: 11 am–8 pm
Price: FREE

Weekend Explorers

Participate in the scavenger hunt through the Legislative Building and Chamber in Queen's Park, play games that teach about Ontario's Parliament, and make some crafts! This event is open to families with children ages 6–10 and takes place every weekend in summer.

Location: Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 111 Wellesley St. W., Toronto
Date: August 5–6, 12–13, 19–20, 26–27
Time: Sat. 10 am–11 am, Sun. 2 pm–3 pm
Price: FREE

Music in the Park at Kew Gardens

Each week there will be a different style of music to enjoy in the park. Stroll through the grass or pick a spot to sit and soak up that lovely summer sunshine and let the music carry you away for a couple hours. Nearby you'll find iconic landmarks, restaurants, shops, and local artisans.

Location: Kew Gardens Park Plaza, 2075 Queen St. E., Toronto
Date: August 6, 13, 20, 27
Time: 2 pm–4 pm
Price: FREE

JerkFest

This annual festival celebrates the world-renowned jerk cuisine. Not only will there be all kinds of jerk foods (jerk frog's legs, jerk alligator, jerk chicken, jerk pork, and jerk fish, for example), but there will also be great music, family-friendly entertainment, and a kids' zone. The young ones in the family can enjoy face painting, rock climbing, inflatable rides, balloon characters, and much more!

Location: Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd., Etobicoke
Date: August 10–13
Time: Fri. 5 pm–10 pm, Sat. and Sun. 11 am–10 pm
Price: FREE

Habari African Festival

This event at the Harbourfront Centre is a multi-disciplinary arts and music festival that displays the diverse and rich cultures of Africa. There will be presentations and workshops that celebrate African music, arts, dance, and culture to create an authentic African experience. 

Location: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., Toronto
Date: August 11–13
Time: 10 am–10 pm
Price: FREE

Taste of the Danforth

Looking for mouthwatering food and a celebration of Canada's multiculturalism? Then come to The Danforth for an amazing weekend where there's free entertainment, an extensive variety of delicious food, and fun zones for the kids. Plus all the proceeds from the festival go to support multiple charities.

Location: Along Danforth Ave. (centred at Danforth and Pape Aves.), Toronto
Date: August 11–13
Time: Fri. 6 pm–11 pm, Sat. and Sun. noon–11 pm
Price: FREE

Day Out With Thomas

Take a train ride in a coach pulled by an actual, working Thomas the Tank Engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt on this fun journey from the York-Durham Railway—sure to delight any lover of the big-eyed, blue steamie! The ride is exciting enough, but it's not the only attraction: there will also be storytelling, live entertainment, a hay maze, scooter rides, inflatable bouncers, a bubble station, face-painting, and more.

Location: Departs Uxbridge Train Station, 19 Railway St., Uxbridge
Dates: August 11–13 and 18–20
Times: 10 ticketed departures each day
Price: $25 + HST; buy tickets online

PAWS in the Park

Head out to Woodbine Park where the Toronto Humane Society will be holding its largest fundraiser and finding homes for some of the adorable canines. There will also be a pet photo booth, shopping in the Vendor Village, lots of food, face painting, and more.

Location: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E., Toronto
Date: August 12
Time: 9 am–4 pm
Price: FREE

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Looking for a fun summer fair the whole family can enjoy? Look no further! The CNE has plenty of rides and games, a super dogs performance, Kid's World, and a farm. But it's more than just your run-of-the-mill fair; there's also aerial acrobatic and ice skating shows, music, park performers, parades, a gaming garage, and much more. You'll definitely find your summer fun here.

This year,  you can view the solar eclipse while at the CNE, on August 21 at 1:10 pm. Eclipse glasses will be distributed for free at the UNIVERSE booth or order some online.

Location: Exhibition Place, 210 Princes' Blvd., Toronto
Date: August 18–September 4
Time: 10 am–10 pm; see events schedule
Price: Regular admission $19/day for ages 14–64, $16 for ages 5–13 and 65+, free for kids under 5, $59 for family pass; other ticket options include all-day ride passes, advance discount tickets, individual ride coupons; see ticket options

Open Streets TO

This is the city's largest free recreation program, where the streets are temporarily closed to cars and opened to people. Explore the city and get in some physical activity, having fun and being healthy the whole way. At activity hubs programmed by local community partners, you will be able to participate in art, physical activities, or cultural programming and get to know a little more about what makes that particular neighbourhood great. If you miss the August event, not to worry: there will be a second Open Streets TO on September 17!

Location: Along Bloor St. and Yonge St., Toronto; see a route map
Date: August 20
Time: 10 am–2 pm
Price: FREE


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