School is out which means you likely have some antsy kids running around at home that are eager to be kept busy! Here is a list of some of the best winter activities in Toronto to do with your kids:
1.Tobogganing (ages 6-12)
This activity is a winter classic and stores like Canadian Tire sell toboggans and “magic carpets” for a reasonable price. There are plenty of hills around the city and no matter where you end up, your kids are sure to have a blast.
Some of our favourite hills:Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough Christie Pits Park Riverdale Park West
2. Ontario Science Centre (ages 2+)
The Science Centre is a great way to get out of the cold while keeping your children learning and busy all day. There are immersive exhibits your kids will love, and tons of facts for adult learning. Oh, and good luck trying to get your kids to leave!
3. A Nutcracker Christmas at the Casa Loma Castle (any age)
This holiday event runs from December to early January. A Nutcracker Christmas is fun for the whole family; Kids can meet Santa, do arts and crafts at Santa’s workshop, and meet with wintery mascots while sipping hot chocolate and snacking on themed eats.
4. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (any age)
Another great way to escape the cold is Toronto’s very own Ripley’s Aquarium. This collection of fish and sharks will keep your kids occupied for hours.
5. Ice Skating (ages 4+)
Another classic holiday tradition your kids will love is ice skating. There are many indoor ice rinks in the city, most of which offer skate rentals and festive drinks to enjoy rinkside.
Some of our favourite outdoor rinks:Nathan Phillips Square The Bentway Skate Trail (serves alcohol) The Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Park The Ryerson Community Rink (no skate rentals)
6. Young People’s Theatre (ages 5-12)
Why not take your kids to see some live theatre? The shows playing this winter are “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” “Jungle Book,” and “You and I,” the best part is you can sit back and enjoy the show too!
7. The Royal Ontario Museum (ages 5+)
The ROM is another perfect way to entertain your kids for the entire year. This holiday season you can find 3 different featured exhibitions, so each time you go, it’s a new adventure.
8. See a Movie (ages 4+)
This holiday season you can bring your kids to films such as “Frozen 2,” “Playmobile: The Movie,” and “Abominable.”
9. Gingerbread House Making Workshops (ages 5+)
Gingerbread house workshops let you keep the mess out of your kitchen. President’s Choice’s Cooking School in Loblaws around the city provides excellent workshops and tasty treats!
The winter season is filled with holidays. Here are some examples of how different cultures celebrate in the winter months around the world:
Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration that lasts eight days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev. Part of the celebration includes a candelabrum called a menorah. Each day includes a ritual of lighting one of the candles, symbolizing the miracle of the Maccabees’ oil lasting nine days.
The rest of the celebration includes:Singing songs
Playing with a top called a dreidel
Eating potato pancakes, or latkes
Making jelly-filled donuts called sufganiyot
The Hindu religion celebrates Diwali, a festival of lights, during the month of Kartika on the Hindu Lunisolar calendar – it is usually between mid-October and mid-November. The five-day festival is associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and is a celebration of light over dark, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
The celebrations include:Fireworks
Decorations like intricate flour and rice designs beside shrines
Candies called “mithai”
Kwanzaa originated in 1966 as a holiday that honours African heritage and culture. The week-long celebration includes lighting seven candles in a kinara, each candle symbolizing one of the principles of Kwanzaa, and culminates with a feast and presents.
4. Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year, is the first day on the traditional Chinese calendar, it is a celebration of ancestors and deities. The holiday has a variety of regional customs and traditions but most celebrate with a family gathering and feast, along with red envelopes filled with lucky money, and cleaning the house in preparation for the holiday.
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus every year with Christmas. Christmas is on December 25th and most celebrations include a feast, gift-giving, and decorating a Christmas tree.
In Finland, families light a single candle on Christmas eve beside the graves of their loved ones.
In Ireland, children go door to door singing while holding up holy bush and wren on a stick.
The winter is filled with many joyous holidays that are celebrated around the world. They are the perfect time to spend quality time with the family, eat delicious food, and stay out of the cold! If you’re looking for activities to do with your kids during the winter that aren’t holiday-related, our other ideas are here.