Looking for a great day trip with the family while visiting Toronto? The Toronto Zoo will not disappoint!
I’ve been a visitor to the zoo for as long as I can remember. As kids we would make an annual trip each summer and we could usually be found glued to the glass of the orangutan and gorilla exhibits. Fast-forward to today with memberships in our hands, it is now my little monkeys and me entranced by the same exhibits.
There are so many aspects of the Toronto Zoo that make it the family friendly environment that kept my and many other families coming back year after year. Below are the top features of the zoo that I think are most relevant to travelling families. Sorry in advance for the length but I wanted help you plan your trip as much as possible!
Toronto Zoo Education & Camps
The zoo has a jam-packed calendar full of fun activities for the kids, ranging from a couple of hours to a full day and longer full week camps. (I am really looking forward to trying out the Serengeti Bush Camp Overnight Experience) The majority of these activities costs are additional to regular park fees and if you are a member, there is a slight discount. I would love to see more free with admission events such as Boo at the Zoo every Halloween. These activities can get pricey.
Toronto Zoo Pavilions
One of my favourite parts of the park! The Pavilions are great for little ones. They are large indoor tropical exhibits that are based on different geographical regions across the world. There is a lot to see with minimal walking between exhibits, so little legs don’t have to walk far. The pavilions also allow the zoo to be usable in any weather: rain, sleet or snow. Whether its unbearably hot or frigidly cold, the pavilions truly make the zoo enjoyable all year long.
Included in the membership pass or purchased as a day pass, the Zoomobile is perfect for those that cannot dedicate a whole day walking the 10 km of paths in the 287 hectares of park. I loved this feature when I was giantly pregnant and couldn’t waddle around the whole morning with little Miss E. It also provides a behind the scenes look with a guided tour. You can take strollers on board if you want to use the Zoomobile as a quick shuttle between areas of the park. There is also an area near the front of the park to leave your stroller while you ride, but they are not supervised so leave them at your own risk.
Toronto Discovery Zone
The Discovery Zone is totally dedicated to the zoo’s littlest visitors, who comprise 33% of their total zoo’s attendees! It includes an amazing 1 acre splash park to cool off in during the summer, an outdoor amphitheater and the Kids Zoo which features a huge tree fort with slide, sandpit and interactive animal exhibits. Unfortunately this is only open during the summer but you can easily spend a whole day just in there.
Typically a trip to the zoo is a day long affair and everyone, including the baby, need a recharge. The Family Centre offers a quiet and peaceful space to breastfeed and relax. There is also a diaper change station and bathroom available on site.
Toronto Zoo Food
There is a range of food options at the Toronto Zoo to choose from but like all tourist attractions, the prices are on the high side. The zoo is quite accommodating on bringing your own food. There are picnic benches and tables everywhere and many green spaces to stretch out on for a picnic. We bring our own food most of the time but when we have purchased the food we have been happy. My favourites by far are Canadian Smoke’s Poutinerie and Beaver Tails!
According to Amanda… the verdict is:
Obviously from how long I have been a loyal zoo visitor I am a big supporter. It’s a fun, educational and physical activity for the kids with lots to do in every season and every type of weather Toronto may throw at you. I would rate the zoo higher if there were more perks that came with the membership. Still worth getting if you live close enough but we would participate in much more if it didn’t cost an arm and leg to do the ‘extras’.