In search of good local food + fun (with three kids) | Toronto - LikeALocal Guide

In search of good local food + fun (with three kids)

V
By Traveller July 17, 2018
Toronto

In search of good local food + fun (with three kids)

(7 answers)
V
By Violet Traveller July 17, 2018

Hi! My husband, myself, and our three young kids (age 5, and 3 year old twins) will be in Toronto for two full days. (We are spending two days in Niagara Falls, then 2.5 days in Toronto. I'm not into the tourist traps. We love to explore new places like the locals. My husband and I love good food (but with three kids, we can't do super nice and fancy). Any tips? Any good playgrounds? Places for a good picnic? Good place to grab food for a picnic?

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7 answers

Best place to go with small kids in Toronto during the summer heat is Centre Island. You get to take a ferry there, there's an amusement park and small farm. You can take a picnic over or buy food there too. http://www.centreisland.ca/

If you want to venture outside the city and see some of the natural splendor that we have just outside Toronto you can take a ride on the Parkbus for an overnight or a day trip (https://www.parkbus.ca/destinations).
M
Local July 17, 2018
Reply
Hi Violet. There seems to be many different elements your question and some are a little ironic. First of all Niagara Falls where you plan to spend two and a half days is a biggest tourist trap in the country so if you really don't like that you might want to consider reducing your time there. As far as playgrounds and things to entertain the kids, while it's being a long time since I've had three year olds, I would consider Wonderland, the largest theme park in Canada. They have an area specifically devoted to young children and also has a great water park. Another option if you are downtown is to take the ferry across to Centerville which has plenty of picnicking and restaurants as well as an amusement park and petting zoo. It is the go-to place for very young children. Again while you said you don't like tourist traps, most attractions are well frequent it by locals as well. The aquarium is quite amazing as is the CN Tower next door. If you're looking for something less of a attraction, but eclectic and interesting, try a walk around Kensington Market.
Local July 17, 2018
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Cont'd... The portions are really good, too. China town is another place where you will find cheap food at great prices and it's very good. King Noodles is one of my favourites. You can also visit St. Lawrence Market and pick up some picnic items (or a Loblaws - which will have pre-prepared foods as well as groceries) and anywhere along the Harbourfront will be a good picnic spot.You can take the kids across the lake via Ferry and visit Centre Island. There is an amusement park for kids there and you can get all day wrist bracelets for the kids to ride all day on that pass. Picnic areas are there, also, and there's a beach area, too. I suggest to pack a lunch, none of the places will be cheap to eat on the island. And, since there is a bit of walking involved, bring your cooler on a dolly/wheeled buggy so it's easier. The beach area is beautiful and the kids can swim, build sandcastles, throw rocks in the water. Bring a sun umbrella (can get at Loblaws, Walmart etc.. for cheap) so you have some shelter in the sun. The kids will love the Island, you're out of the hustle/bustle of downtown and there is a lot to see and do, then you can relax by the beach for a quieter afternoon.
Local July 17, 2018
Reply
If you're in Niagara, a great park is on the American side of the Falls. On the Canadian side you can walk and see them, but the American side has a great big park space and some trails to get you really close to the falls, with many picnic areas along the way. I actually prefer the American side (I can't believe I'm admitting that) but it's because of everything you say.. less touristy, less crowded, and lots of nature and park space. In Niagara Falls the cheaper food places are North of the tourist area (falls) on Clifton Hill. You can do a YELP search for restaurants with 1 dollar sign (cheap) and filter your search to include "good for families/children". There's also the Hershey store (good for a quick look) and The Rainforest Cafe. I wouldn't recommend eating there, but you're allowed to go in to take a look. It's designed like a Rainforest with mechanical animals that come alive and they even have a tank with fish and sharks. Your kids will love the experience. The Ferris Wheel is a good way to see the falls from up high that won't cost you an arm and a leg. I know you said you don't like touristy things, but if the kids do want to do some of the Clifton Hill amusements, there are passes you can get that are considerably cheaper and give you access to a few wax museums and rides. In Toronto, there's The Warehouse. They have a couple of locations and everything on their menu is delicious and only $5.95.
Local July 17, 2018
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High park (which is closer to downtown Toronto) is a nice place for a picnic. There’s a stream, picnic areas, and a playground. Along blood st west(near by) are lots of restaurants, shopping to chose from.

Distillery district, again great food, and usually have things going on for kids as well.

Trinity bell woods park, is also a nice place for a picnic

And then there’s riverdale park, which has a farm, would be a cute place for families

Or Toronto island might be an option
You take a ferry accross, there’s a amusement park, lots of area to picnic, beach front
A
Local July 17, 2018
Reply
HIgh Park is a great spot. There's a big playground there and a zoo, too. Picnic spots, a wading pool as well as a bigger swimming pool and lots of nature. You can bring a ball or frizbee to toss around, too.
Picnic in Niagara=Niagara Parkway North of floral clock or Queenston heighys
flying saucer restaurant=UFO themed kids would love
The Old Firehall=off beaten track, 10mins but solid food and atmosphere, kids would fit in too.
Mick N Angelo's= great Italian family restaurant where the locals would go...awesome food!


All above are Niagara suggestions. I was born n raised in the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
B
Traveller July 17, 2018
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Its very very hard to avoid the tourist traps in Niagara Falls or Niagara on the Lake...this is why my suggestions were a bit away from the usual touristy areas