The temperatures are plummeting, but the city has no shortage of fun things to do, even when the cold fronts come marching through. Get the family bundled up in their gear and head out into the frozen Toronto tundra in search of some fun outdoor events to check out this chilly January!
Toronto has a lot of great hills for tobogganing — two great options for families are Christie Pitts Park and Trinity Bellwoods as the hills in these parks are a reasonable height and steepness, and have no obstructions on the way down. These hills are still popular enough that you can enjoy a great ride with fellow community members, but are more low key than Riverdale Park and High Park so as not to be overwhelming for little ones.
A little closer to our home is Cedarvale Park, another great option for family tobogganing with little ones. The hill is wide, straight and has enough height for speed and fun without becoming dangerous. Maybe we’ll see you there with our ‘krazy karpets’ in hand!
Lace up your skates and check out one of Toronto’s many outdoor skating rinks! Two great options can be found at Nathan Phillips Square and the Natrel Rink at the Harbourfront! Admission to both rinks is free. Enjoy the twinkling lights at Nathan Phillips Square or the amazing view of the harbour and downtown core from the Natrel Rink.
Nathan Phillips Square Skating Rink is open daily from 9am to 10pm, for information on skate rental prices, check out http://nathanphillipssquareskaterentals.com/
The Natrel Harbourfront Rink is open daily from 10am to 10pm. While admission to the rink is free, if you need to rent skates there will be a cost. For information on skate rental prices, check out http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/venues/natrelrink/index.cfm?ref=fp
Toronto Islands Off-Peak Season Fun!
The Toronto Islands might be a popular destination for family fun throughout the spring and summer, but there are still many sights to soak up in the winter. The islands are beautiful and calm in the winter with many less people making the trip out for some cross-country skiing or a visit to the Far Enough Farm! These are two great activities you should consider when looking for some scenic winter fun. Far Enough Farm is open from 10am to 5pm, 365 days a year — with no admission fee! Bring your little ones to meet and greet a variety of farmyard animals. They will love to learn about, interact with and pet these adorable animal friends. Check out their website here for more info.
If your family loves to be active and look for ways to keep energy levels high in the cold, try cross-country skiing on the island’s trails! This is a great physical activity with an added bonus of mental stimulation — the scenic winter views of the trails contrast beautifully with the city skyline across the harbour.
Storytelling at Wychwood Barns’ Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday morning from 10am to 12pm, the Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market holds an all-ages storytelling event! This is great for anyone in the family, and a nice way to huddle up on a cold winter day and keep your mind active — right here in our own neighbourhood! These sessions are free, stop by just to listen or even tell stories of your own.
Grab a Delicious Hot Chocolate
After all that chilly winter fun, your family might need some warming up! Nothing beats the cold like a mug of decadent hot chocolate, and Toronto has lots of options!
Check out Aroma Espresso Bar in the Annex at Bathurst & Bloor, not too far from our store! Their unique take on hot chocolate has been widely acclaimed throughout the city. They simply pour steamed milk over ‘meltable’ chocolates and leave you to stir it to your desired level of chocolatey-goodness.
If you’re looking for a really exciting cup of hot chocolate, you most definitely have to check out Soma! Soma’s revered “Mayan Hot Chocolate” is infused with delicious, unique spices for the adventurous palette. If you’re feeling more traditional, they do have a classic (but still outstanding) cup of hot chocolate. Either way — these delicious drinks are guaranteed to warm you up after a day of winter play. Soma is located in the Distillery District at 32 Tank House Lane or on King St West, 443 King St West at King & Spadina.
If you’re looking for other unique hot chocolate spots that might be closer to home, check out this comprehensive list on Blog TO!
We hope this list has provided some fun outdoor activities that inspire you to seize the day this winter, and enjoy the season and all it has to offer before the snow and ice thaw in the spring.