Indoor Places For City Kids In The Winter

20th November 2016


Baby it’s cold outside! And when you can’t hibernate in your McMansion and your pre-school kids are climbing all over the condo walls, city moms on mat leave have to get creative.

Luckily in downtown there are plenty of hot spots to hunker down during the frosty season…

Ripley’s Aquarium, AGO and ROM

Annual memberships saved my freezing butt so make the investment or asks grandparents to give these as birthday or x’mas presents. Experience over things!

Regular admission is also free on Wednesday nights at AGO.

Pursuit OCR

Let kids be kids at this obstacle course! Now here’s a mindful play space to develop creativity and concentration, and let them hide, run, climb and crawl. 90 mins sessions can be pre-booked for $10.

Red Fish Blue Fish Creative Cafe

I often have play dates at this cozy cafe in The Annex. It’s the perfect spot to grab a snack and coffee while your kids are kept busy in the toy room upstairs or craft space. They also offer paid music and tutoring programs.

Jumblies Theatre

Conveniently located in CityPlace right by the library is a drop-in place for both parents and kids to do arts & crafts and dance. There is a wooden train set to keep babies entertained. Check their schedule because they are only open at certain times.


Fort York Library

Not only do they have a big selection of board books but they offer sing along & story time by age group and special family events on weekends. Reserve your spot in advance because they fill up quickly. This is also a great place to meet other moms in your neighbourhood.

Cineplex Family Movies

Watch a family favourite film on Saturdays at 11am for only $3. There are no theatres downtown so you’ll have to make the trek to Yonge-Eglinton, Yorkdale Mall or Fairview Mall.


Unfortunately there are no indoor playgrounds downtown so closest one that I take my little man to is in Leslieville. Play passes come in a 6 pack for $60+tax.

Open Gym

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to noon at Trinity Bellwoods Community Centre, they fill the gym with balls and push toys so let your kids go bonkers and burn off steam here. Remember to bring indoor shoes!

Miss Lou’s Room

Located on the second floor of the Harbourfront Centre, this space is open weekends 11am  to 3pm for free story telling and craft time.

Early Years Drop-in Centres

Generously funded by the Ontario Government, your tax money is put to good use in these spaces filled with toys, arts & crafts, song circles, snacks and friendly volunteers. In downtown there are a few of them including Niagara Street School, College Montrose, Scadding Court, Ryerson School, Harbourfront Community Centre and Artscape Youngplace by Trinity Bellwoods Park <– That’s the one I go to because it’s newer and split into 2 rooms for infants and toddlers. Plus they have other special family events on the go.


Yes, that PATH. Toronto’s ultimate underground walkway. Not wise to go during office rush hour because it’s literally like pushing a stroller upstream during salmon mating season, but if you go between 9:30am to noon or 1:30pm to 4pm, the long stretches of space (30 kilometers!) is perfect to lull your little one to sleep. Bonus: tons of window shopping and likely you’ll know someone who works there, so make a lunch or coffee date while baby naps!

Family-friendly Shops

While you get your shopping done, kids can play in the wooden house at MEC. Mini Mioche has a little toy area at the back of their stores and Indigo at Eaton Centre offers Lego and a Thomas Train Set to keep little hands busy. Marshalls on John Street and Winners in Queen West has a toy section — my little one has yet to figure out that you can actually buy and bring the toys home so he enjoys going there to just look at them ha!

Leave a comment and let me know where you take your little ones in the winter!


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