Family fun for the holiday season

With a full two weeks off from school in December, our daughter finds the house gets a bit small and confining. Here’s our list of winter diversions in and around Toronto:

1. Tobogganing! In Toronto, the big hill in Riverdale Park (a few blocks south of Broadview subway station, bordering the east side of the Don Valley) is classic, as is High Park, but since we’re fortunate enough to have a pretty hilly city, smaller hills also abound.

2. Head to the giant indoor waterpark at Niagara Falls. Several hotels connect directly to the waterpark and have package deals which include the pricy waterpark admission. In midwinter it’s lovely to spend a day running about a warm building in a bathing suit and the waterslides there are huge, fast and excellent. For extra fun, book a hotel room overlooking the falls. Check the fireworks schedule and you might be able to catch a good view of the fireworks right from your room.  The butterfly conservatory just outside Niagara Falls is well worth seeing, too.

3. Head to Collingwood (or High Park, or any other spot with trees and silence and without sidewalks and traffic) for some skiing or snowshoeing and other resort-based fun. Those of us who don’t ski/snowshoe can hang out and enjoy hot chocolate and the snowy scenery.

4. Toronto City Hall’s Nathan Phillips Square has a great light display for most of December. There’s a great skating rink too! If you’re not a skater, Toronto has a list of neighbourhoods that participate in the annual Cavalcade of Lights displays at

5. Go to a mall to check out the Boxing Day sales. Stay for five minutes then go home again. Aaah, isn’t home great?

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