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5 Educational Family Field Trip Ideas Around Toronto

Summer is a welcome break from the routine of school, but it doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. With a little planning, there are plenty of opportunities to weave education into the summer months. One of our favourite ways to take advantage of the holidays is to plan regular family field trips that can’t always happen due to busy school year calendars, often filled with extracurriculars.

If you are planning on being in or around the GTA during the summer months, there are no shortage of fun and educational activities to explore. Here are a few of our top choices for summer activities in and around Toronto.

Ripley’s Aquarium: With over 20,000 different aquatic species and animals to discover, Ripley’s Aquarium is a fantastic place to visit. More than 5.7 million litres of water make up North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel. Ripley’s Aquarium gives you the chance to participate in many different touch exhibits featuring sharks, crabs, shrimp, and stingrays. There are also changes to see an amazing daily dive show every 2 hours, daily. Made up of 9 differently curated galleries that showcase both freshwater and saltwater environments from around the world, Ripley’s Aquarium is the place to learn this summer.

The Ontario Science Centre: The Ontario Science Centre is an excellent choice for summer fun-especially on those scorching days when you don’t want to be outdoors. The Science Centre boasts a variety of exhibits and offers many daily demonstrations that bring science to life. Who can forget visiting there as a child and watching a peer’s hair stand on end due to static electricity? For kids under eight, plan on spending hours in KidSpark—an area that encourages scientific learning through play and exploration.

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory: The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a massive facility with a beautiful indoor tropical garden that features thousands of flying butterflies from all over the world. Not only are there butterflies in the indoor tropical garden but there are beautiful reflecting pools, waterfalls, streams, red-eared slider turtles and so much more. It’s an enjoyable educational experience for children of all ages.

Casa Loma: You needn’t go on a European vacation to experience the castle life. At Toronto’s Casa Loma you and your family can explore the suites, gardens, and travel the 800ft underground into a tunnel that leads to the stables. Use the self-guided audio tours to learn about the early 20th century.

Hilton Falls: If you are looking for a fun, outdoor experience, Hilton Falls is a fantastic place to visit. Hike the trails, go trail running or even go mountain biking. Explore the trails and beautiful water features like rivers, the reservoir, and the falls. Stop by the old Mill Ruins to find some remarkable history.

There are several different fun and educational activities that you can participate in as a family this summer, so get planning and have fun!

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Toronto Summer STEM Field Trips

STEM

Summer is approaching.  The holiday break and warm weather doesn’t mean that learning has to stop.

There are numerous activities and places to visit around Toronto that are fun and promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning.   Here are some of our favourites for families of all ages:

Ontario Science Centre:  The Science Centre features over 500 exhibits, live demonstrations, Toronto’s only public planetarium and IMAX® films in the dome theatre. The AstraZeneca Human Edge is a new exhibition hall that explores all the wonders of the human body. Bring your little ones to KidSpark, a unique discovery playground and learning space for children age 1-8.

Canada’s Wonderland:  How does an amusement park teach us about science?  At Canada’s Wonderland with all the excitement of roller coasters, there is a ton of science behind building all of the structures.   Consider all of the measurement, motion, gravity, speed and acceleration that teaches children about science and physics.

Lego Land Discovery Centre: Looking for a STEM activity on a rainy summer day?  Look no further than the Lego Land Discovery Centre a family experience with over 3 million bricks under one roof. There are Rides, a 4D cinema, Master Model Builder workshops and more! You can also see Toronto’s iconic attractions made out of LEGO in MINILAND.

Ripley’s Aquarium: Experience  one of Toronto’s newest and most exciting attractions. Containing over 5.7 million litres of water, the 12,500 square metre (135,000 square foot) interactive aquarium immerses guests in a thrilling underwater adventure that showcases more than 16,000 marine animals

Staycation: After a busy couple of weeks, why not bring the activities home.  Click here for some fun science experiments for kids do with you at home.  These activities have a Canadian bend to it to celebrate Canada 150.

 

 

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Toronto Educational Summer Field Trips

Family Field Trips

The summer school vacation is a wonderful time for families to do exciting and meaningful activities.  While trips outside of Toronto to cottages or other vacation spots can be fun, there is also a ton to do in the city.   Here are some of our favourite educational activities for your summer family field trip:

Riverdale Farm: Located in Cabbagetown, this is a wonderful educational activity for families looking for a more local experience than visiting the Toronto Zoo.  Kids can tour the turn-of-the-20th-century farm and learn about chickens, sheep, goats and pigs.   Don’t forget to bring a picnic and enjoy the lovely grounds just outside of the park.

Ripley’s Aquarium:  This newly opened attraction in downtown Toronto is a hit for both kids and parents.  The aquarium is one of the largest in North America and has over 15,000 fish to see including: sting rays, tropical fish, eels, sharks and jellyfish.   See how these fish interact in their local habitats.   Also don’t miss some of the attraction highlights including a 97 metre tunnel that takes families through the Dangerous Lagoon, live shows and touch tanks to feel some of the different sea creatures.

Black Creek Pioneer Village: Learn about 19th century life in Ontario and recreate the community atmosphere at the time.  Tour 40 restored homes, farms, public buildings and workshops and interact with the different community members.

Casa Loma: Take an educational visit to a castle in the middle of the Toronto and learn about its interesting history.  Also, don’t forgot to visit all the towers, staircases, tunnels, gardens and exciting secret passageways.

Young People’s Theatre: The summer can’t be complete without seeing a play.  Designed for young audiences, YPT has award winning musicals, plays and classics from children’s literature that are designed to excite.

 

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Spring Educational Activities in Toronto

After a cold and snowy winter, let’s celebrate that spring is finally here!   With the sun out and the temperature warming up, there are a ton of great educational and fun activities that families can take advantage of in Toronto.

Attend Events:   There is no shortage family-friendly activities in Toronto.   Here are some of our favourites:

TIFF Kids digiPlay Space:   At TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace, kids can engage with emerging creative media technologies and share innovative artistic experiences.

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival:  Tap into spring and visit the Kortright Centre in Woodbridge or Bruce’s Mill in Stouffville to enjoy great maple syrup and fun crafts and family activities.

Sesame Street Presents: The Body: An amazing educational attraction featuring Elmo, Oscar, Grover and the rest of your Sesame Street friends.  This interactive exhibition teaches students how their bodies work and how to keep them healthy as they hop, jump, run and play their way through this hands-on Sesame Street adventure.

Sign-up for Programs:   Whether it is the arts, sports or personal hobbies, there is an activity for every child in Toronto.   Consider which activities are right for your child’s interests, schedule and personality.  There are many great resource sites in Toronto with a listing of activities including: Help We’ve Got Kids, The Kid Scoop and Toronto4Kids.    

Enjoy Nature:  With the leaves returning on trees, flowers blooming and animals out from hibernation, the spring season presents fantastic learning opportunities.   The best to learn about nature is to enjoy the outdoors go on a nature walk in a Toronto Park.  To truly capture the experience, bring a note pad and pencil to gather observations, crayons or coloured pencils to draw pictures and a camera to make a scrapbook.     Also don’t miss Earth Day on April 22 to learn about the importance of the environment and protecting our planet.

Learn About the Science of Sports:  The Baseball season opens in late March.  Not only is attending baseball game a fun time to spend with your daughter or son, it also present numerous learning opportunities.   Think about geometry with the layout of the field, gravity with the ball going up and down, friction with the different types of pitches, momentum with the contact of the ball and statistics to measure players performance, to name a few.

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Fun Family Fall Activities in Toronto

With the school year in full swing and the leaves starting to change colours, we know the beautiful season of fall is in full swing.

This is a great time to take advantage of the many fun family events and activities around the Greater Toronto Area.

Here are some of our favourites:

Thanksgiving at the Harbourfront Centre: On October 14 the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto is hosting a fun day for the family including arts and crafts, movies and concerts.

Halloween Fun at the Bata Shoe Museum: On October 26 & 27, the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto is hosting a Halloween weekend including arts and crafts and decorating your own cookie.  Any children in costumes get in free!

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair: From November 1 -10 at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, this annual tradition brings the farm to downtown Toronto with petting areas, horse jumping and learning how food goes from farm to fork.

Kortright Centre for Conservation: During the weekends of October 5, 12, 19, enjoy guided fall colour walks outside of Woodbridge.  On the weekend of October 25, celebrate Halloween with activities for children of all ages.

Canada’s Wonderland: Every Saturday and Sunday in the month of October, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang hosts Camp Spooky a fun family activity that including rides, mazes, a costume parade and fun kids shows.

Chudleigh’s Apple Farm:  Located north of Milton and open until the end of October, enjoy all their ‘Farm Happenings’ including apple picking, tractor rides, a straw maze and friendly animals.

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Summer in Toronto – Educational Activities

There is no shortage of fun and activities in Toronto over the summer.   With numerous festivals, parks, museums and places to take trips, there is something for everyone to do.

Below are some great educational ideas and activities for you and your family to do during the summer in Toronto.

Visit Historical Sites:  Toronto has many historical sites, all with unique and exciting stories.  Take a field trip around the city and learn about its past. 

Learn about Science:  The Ontario Science Centre has a ton of great programs over the summer including a Science day camp.

ROM Walks: The ROM museum offers free guided tours of Toronto’s historical and architectural neighbourhoods.    For schedules and additional information, click on the following link. 

Attend a Cultural Festival:  There are numerous festivals to learn and appreciate local cultures, often with excellent food and shows.   Taste of the Danforth from August 9 – 11 is among the largest of these festivals in Toronto.

TD Summer Reading Club:  Toronto program that encourages children from all backgrounds to build their confidence, skills and excitement about reading during the summer months.

Toronto Zoo:  Learn and see over 5,000 different animals and 500 different species in a variety of exhibits from different areas around the world.

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