If you are looking for a winter vacation spot where kids can experience culture, taste some amazing food and stay at a hotel with an indoor water slide, Toronto is the spot for you. This Canadian city just across the border from Buffalo, NY has tons of things for families to do in the winter and we’ve got the full scoop below. Scroll through and plan your next adventure!
1. Take a self-guided walking tour.
One of the best ways to get to know a new city is on a walking tour. Kids will get a kick out of Graffiti Alley in the Queen West neighborhood and the nearby streets are full of quirky shops and places to grab a snack if you are hungry. Visit the StickerYou store while you are in the area to grab some stickable art for your water bottle. If glam is your game, book some time at Bite's Lip Lab to create your own lipstick color to take home with you.
It's an easy walk from Queen West to Toronto's Chinatown where you can grab some tasty eats and all the Toronto-themed merch you could ever want.
2. Eat your heart out at Kensington Market.
If you continue your walking tour just past Chinatown, you'll come to Kensington Market. This spot is one of the best street markets we've seen with every kind of food you'd ever want. For Mexican food we recommend Seven Lives Tacos y Mariscos for their Baja-style tacos. You'll find some out-of-this-world ice cream creations at Sweet Jesus. If you need to warm up, head to Pho Hung for some bowls of warm goodness.
The Kensington Market also has lots of shopping opportunities and cool Army surplus stores so leave some room in your suitcase for your purchases.
3. Make it a museum day at the ROM.
A visit to Toronto would not be complete without a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum. From dinosaurs to Egyptian mummies, there's loads to explore at the ROM so make sure you allow enough time. Kids will especially love the CIBC Discovery Gallery where they can try on costumes, dig for dinosaur bones and examine specimens such as fossils and meteorites. If you visit through late March, you can see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 exhibit (and you'll be amazed by the entries made by kids as young as 10!). Coming this spring, you can immerse yourself in the world of Winnie-the-Pooh. If you are lucky enough to be in town on the third Tuesday of the month, the ROM is free from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
4. Splash down inside your hotel!
Is there anything better than a hotel with an indoor water slide? We don't think so. The Chelsea Hotel is the perfect spot for families visiting Toronto and their four-story water slide is just one of the reasons that you'll love it there. The hotel has two-bedroom suites that are perfect for visiting families, as they come with a full kitchen. In addition to the corkscrew water slide, the hotel has a kids club where you can drop off your little ones for some play time with the resident bunnies while you enjoy a meal out.
They also have a game room where the tweens and teens congregate, and an adults-only pool on top floor for parents to get some time away. On-site food options are plentiful and you can even have a pizza delivered to your room if you wish. Kids will get a kick out of the kids check-in stand that welcomes them upon arrival.
5. Dine out at Eataly.
We love Eataly as an option for families as it is super casual and your loud kids won't disturb anyone's meal. Part grocery store, part food court and part restaurant, Eataly offers many different dining options for families. Grab an open table and get your food from the counter service spots or make a reservation to eat at one of the restaurants like La Piazza. Their menu of pizza options will have you ordering way too much and the cured meats and cheese platter is perfect for sharing. Save room for a scoop of gelato or some made-to-order canoli from nearby stands.
6. Laugh your pants off at Second City.
While you may know of Second City as a comedy spot that has alums like Mike Meyers and Tina Fey among its ranks, you may not know that they offer kid-friendly comedy performances. With tons of audience interaction, these improv shows are a lot of fun for your whole crew.
7. Brunch + babysitting = WIN
As parents we know how it's virtually impossible to enjoy a leisurely brunch with the kids. Ricarda's has that all figured out. Their Sunday Jazz Brunch is the place to be as the food is both delicious and plentiful, the ambiance is super chic and they have a massive room with a bouncy house where staff will supervise your kids while you eat and enjoy the live jazz performances.
With chef-manned stations serving crepes, charcuterie and tons of Mediterranean dishes, you'll want all the extra time you have to try everything they offer. Plus, they have the ultimate kid favorite—the s'mores station—complete with three different types of chocolate to choose from.
8. Show your room key and save.
When you stay at the Chelsea Hotel during your visit to Toronto, your room key can get you some amazing discounts on nearby attractions like discount tickets to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada. You can save 20% on your visit to the ROM, the Ontario Science Center, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
This trip was paid for by Visit Toronto and the Chelsea Hotel, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.