Winter can be tough on the kids, leaving them with so much unused energy because they’re stuck spending most of their time stuck indoors. The following activities are options the whole family will enjoy — and you don’t have to break the bank. You have enough expenses with snow tires and your impending hydro bill, so with these fun outings, you don’t have to worry. Just enjoy your family’s company and have some fun!
Ice Skating In Toronto By srv007
The City of Toronto boasts over 50 outdoor skating rinks, and about 40 indoor arenas, that are open to the public for ice skating in the winter months between October and March (weather-dependent). With hockey as our unofficial national sport, learning to skate is a great activity for children to have fun. Skating connects us with our Canadian roots and helps us conquer the fear of going outside during those cold days.
Dress warmly and enjoy getting outside, and you’ll find that skating is an activity that can be fun and great exercise for the whole family. Access to the rinks is almost always free! With so many rinks in the city, there’s bound to be one near you, but some free and open-to-the-public favourites are Campbell Park (Campbell Avenue and Sarnia Avenue, $2 skate rentals), the Harbourfront (235 Queens Quay West, $8 skate rentals, music, and Food), and Christie Pits (750 Bloor Street West, registered skating programs available).
Tobogganing Day By Wendy Cooper
This free activity that the kids love involves taking advantage of the slippery white sheet of snow that adults usually hate all winter long. Grab your sled, crazy carpet, or basic garbage bag and hit the slopes with the family! Tobogganing hills to look for in Toronto are in Riverdale Park (201 Winchester Street), High Park (1873 Bloor Street West), Trinity Bellwoods Park (155 Crawford Street), and Christie Pits (750 Bloor Street West). Watch out for waves in the hills and steep inclines to make sure you’re safe, or look for smaller hills in your area if you have very small children.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snow-Shoeing
Toronto has dozens of trails across the city that welcome families who enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing, or snow-shoeing. Although companies offer guided tours for a price, most of these trails are accessible for free. Snowshoeing is easy to learn, a great workout for all ages, and actually a ton of fun. Some trails to look out for include East Point Park, Edwards Gardens Trail, South Humber Park Trail, and York Mills Park Trail. People often sell used snowshoes and skis on websites like Kijiji or Craigslist at very affordable rates if you don’t own the equipment already, or you can rent from Mountain Equipment Co-op (400 King Street West) for $12 per day.
Cross Country Skiing By will cyclist
Hot Cocoa Movie Night
The best part of winter is that you don’t have to make excuses if you just want to cuddle up, stay in, and watch some movies — because nobody will blame you for wanting to hide away from the cold! Set a designated movie night with your family, grab a cozy blanket, and have snacks and hot cocoa ready for the occasion. Or have the kids help you make the drink from scratch with cocoa powder, honey, milk, and vanilla extract (and try this secret ingredient — a pinch of cinnamon).
Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow By Kirsten Jennings
An Indoor Summer-Themed Picnic
Try to get over the winter blues by having a summer-themed picnic at home. Get out your beach towels, make lemonade, and enjoy watermelon slices on a picnic blanket in your living room.
Indoor Picnic With Children By Henry Burrows
Beach balls, umbrellas, Hawaiian leis, and sand buckets are all welcome — available from the dollar store. If you want to take it a step further, have a “Bathing Suits and Board Games” afternoon with your family, where you put on your beach gear and play family-friendly games. For that night, you’ll forget about the weather and spend some much-needed family time with your kids.