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Toronto Staycation: 6 Great Places to Visit as a Family

Image: Toronto Staycation: 6 Great Places to Visit as a Family
Views and vistas captured from the two levels of viewing rooms on the Canadian National Tower in Toronto Canada in 1978. From the upper viewing room. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 01:53 PM

The largest city in Canada, Toronto has a diverse multicultural population, a vibrant arts, theater, and culture scene, and has been called the New York City of Canada. While the city's fast pace, cosmopolitan air, and abundance of entertainment opportunities make it a great place for tourists, it's also a great place for local a local family to plan a staycation.

U.S. News and World Report suggests, "The best times to visit Toronto are March through May and September through November. Peak tourist season occurs during the summer months: the sidewalks come alive with pedestrian marketplaces, patio restaurants and numerous cultural events. However, as temperatures rise, so do prices." In other words, families looking to beat the crowds and save some money should avoid the summer months.

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Here are six great places for families on staycation to visit in Toronto:

1. CN Tower: Standing 1,815 feet above the ground, this famous landmark used to be the tallest free-standing structure in the world. The SkyPod takes visitors up 1,465 feet and provides "an awe-inspiring 360 degree unobstructed view of Toronto, Lake Ontario, and surrounding region." The Glass Floor level provides a straight down view of 1,122 feet and is not for those afraid of heights! Families can enjoy the culinary expertise and remarkable views at CN Tower's revolving restaurant, the 360, which is located 1,151 feet up.

2. Royal Ontario Museum: Canada's largest world culture and natural history museum offers families on vacation at least a full day's worth of fun and educational entertainment. In particular, the Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs garners rave reviews. However, this is just one of the extraordinary exhibits and galleries at the museum and the "ROM" is considered a must-see vacation destination for visitors and Toronto locals.

3. St. Lawrence Market: The farmer's market here is described as "As fresh as you'll ever find!" With more than 120 vendors, merchants, and artisans, the market is a bustling scene of culinary and shopping opportunities. For those visiting on a Sunday, be sure to check out the Antique Market as well.

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4. Toronto Zoo: Canada's premier zoo has more than 5,000 animals and an interactive Discovery Zone with a kid's zoo, water play area, and a family entertainment theater. Must-see exhibits include the Xie Shou Giant Panda Experience, the 10-acre Tundra Trek that features a "5-acre Polar bear habitat and underwater viewing area," and the Gorilla Rainforest.

5. Toronto Islands: These eight islands are accessible by ferry and offer a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hiking, biking, and picnic options are available as well as an amusement park, which features more than 30 rides, games, and food outlets. Yet another attraction is the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.

6. Crother's Woods: Many of the trees in this forest located in the Don River valley are more than century old. Families on vacation or staycation can escape the city to hike the forest trails. "Your first steps into the dense woods will catapult you back in time. Back to a time before Europeans settled in the wide, misfit valley and the fertile slopes of the land were covered with sugar maples, American beech, red and white oak, black walnut and butternuts — trees of the Carolinian forest," reports The Star.

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While Toronto's fast pace, cosmopolitan air, and abundance of entertainment opportunities make it a great place for tourists, it's also a great place for local a local family to plan a staycation.
toronto, staycation, family
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2015-53-25
Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 01:53 PM
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