Our road trip through Western New York state and Canada included many new pit stops. We were very excited for our two days in Toronto because we planned on cheering on our beloved New York Yankees that were scheduled to play the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. We were also excited because we had expected to check off three more places from Frommer’s 500 places to take your kids before they grow up - The CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Toronto Zoo. Here are some highlights from Toronto’s must-see family attractions.
1. MLB at Rogers Centre – We planned our visit to Toronto around the fact that the New York Yankees would be in town for an away game. My son and nephew are HUGE Yankee fans and if asked, they will tell you that going to the game was their favorite part of the road-trip. They were so excited that we arrived at Gate 11 of Rogers Centre at 5:30 p.m for a 7 p.m. game. Since we were so early, we watched some of the warm ups and stocked up on your typical ballpark food. Rain earlier that day had kept the retractable roof closed, but the boys cheered loudly next to the Blue Jay fans throughout an exciting game that included a crazy fan running out on the field. Unfortunately, the Yankees were not able to end up with the win, but the whole experience made the boys proud that they were “loyal fans” that followed their team on the road. Needless to say, I’ll be checking the Yankee schedule this year for our planned road trip down the east coast.
2. CN Tower – Standing at the height of 1,815 ft, 5 inches, the CN Tower defines Toronto’s skyline and is the most recognized icon in Canada. It is the world’s tallest free-standing structure and serves as a hub for telecommunications across the city. The only way to the top of the world’s tallest tower is by riding the glass-faced high-speed elevator. I am not kidding when I say high-speed because it only takes 58 seconds to reach 1,136 ft. No wonder why it has earned the world’s title as the #1 elevator ride by National Geographic Journeys of a Lifetime. Of course, the boys loved the elevator ride, but they had an even better time giving me heart palpitations as they walked across the glass floor 113 stories above the ground. I enjoyed the four lookout levels that offered spectacular views of Toronto and Lake Ontario that just got better the higher we went up.
3. The Hockey Hall of Fame - I know that Canadian’s would find this hard to believe, but our family is not huge hockey fans. Despite this fact, it didn’t keep the boys from having a great time, and we were excited to add it to the list of our other Hall of Fame visits (the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame). The Hockey Hall of Fame was more than a sports museum. The boys enjoyed the interactive exhibits, the NHLPA Be A Player Zone, the broadcast pods and the replica of the Montreal Canadians dressing room. Of course getting up close and personal with hockey’s Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup was one of the most memorable moments as you can see from the picture below!
4. Toronto Zoo – The Toronto Zoo was listed as one of the 7 Great Zoos in the world by Frommer’s 500 places to take your kids before they grow up. I have been to a lot of zoos (including the Bronx Zoo and the San Diego Zoo which also made Frommer’s list), but I have to say the Toronto Zoo is one of my favorites. Yes, it is big, but I found it easy to navigate. The “Follow the Footprints” offered three trails that were approximately an hour and included opportunities to meet the zookeepers. The divided prairie and wetlands biomes were in the kid’s zone. Also, there is also a Waterside Theater where you can catch a bird show and splash island where the kids can cool off.
Toronto is a great city to explore with kids. There were so many other places we would have liked to check out if we had more time to the Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Science Center.
Are you planning to go to Toronto? What will you see?