Swap Screen Time for Nature!

It's important for kids to spend time outside in nature, for their physical, mental, and emotional health. Are your children spending too much time inside? Avoid nature deficit disorder by swapping screen time and getting the kids outdoors. The Greater Toronto Area offers many opportunities to help your kids connect with nature so they can get a healthy dose of green time.

Where to go...

Nature Parties at Kortright
Host your next birthday party in nature! The Kortright Centre for Conservation hosts Nature parties... all about bugs, bees, history, and birds. Kids can explore nature through one of the following party themes: Incredible Insects, Owl Prowl, Let's Go Fly a Kite, Nature Spy Adventure, Wetland Wonders, Animal Survival and more. Parties are led by a Kortright Centre nature guide, and include a themed hike through the forest, along with active nature games. More

Explore a National Park for Free
Whether you’re looking for adventure, fun for the family, or a break from the everyday, Parks Canada has countless unique experiences. In 2017, admission to all Parks Canada locations is free, to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. With the 2017 Discovery Pass, you will have unlimited opportunities to enjoy national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites across the country! More

Go the the Humber Arboretum
The Humber Arboretum is nature in the city at its best! The Humber Arboretum is dedicated to showcasing an extensive collection of woody and herbaceous plants, and protecting and restoring habitat for native plants and animals. The Arboretum makes a unique contribution to life in the Greater Toronto Area by providing educational opportunities in horticulture and environmental stewardship for anyone who visits. The Humber Arboretum hosts workshops, tours, family events and more throughout the year. Visit their Events Calendar page for details. More

Go on a Hike
Hiking is something you can do at any age and it's a great activity for kids. Instill a love of the outdoors in your children by taking them on a family hike. It's also a great way of spending real quality time away from phones, computers, and television. You'll be amazed at how many things come up in conversation when you're alone together on the trails. Looking for plants, flowers, insects, leaves or wildlife is a good way to engage the youngest of hikers. Hiking along a river is a popular option, offering the chance to uncover frogs, dragonflies and wetland animals. Try bird watching or looking for animal tracks, trees, or rocks as you hike. Here are 5 trails to explore... More

Go to Wye Marsh
The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland is just a quick trip north of Toronto where you can explore and experience the wonders of nature. Wye Marsh includes an amphibian and reptile display hall, hiking, biking and skiing trails, canoeing and kayaking routes, an observation tower and boardwalks, birds of prey display, and more. The Centre is dedicated to operating year-round family programs, to develop awareness, enjoyment, and understanding of the environment and wildlife. More

Go to Evergreen Brick Works
Open year-round, Evergreen Brick Works is a community environmental centre that inspires and equips visitors to live, work, and play more sustainably. Located in the heart of Toronto’s Don Valley, the site engages visitors through interactive workshops and community seasonal festivals, and offers a full suite of programs combining ecology, design, technology, and the arts in a hands-on, multi-sensory educational experience which includes family-friendly fun all year long. There are a variety of activities and workshops that are just for kids, to get them playing in the kitchen, the mud and in the garden. Visit their calendar page for special events. More 

Go to the Kids Zoo
No doubt that the Toronto Zoo is a popular place for children and a must see and do family attraction. But for younger kids who like their nature hands-on, the Toronto Zoo offers a great concept: a Kids Zoo uniquely designed for kids 9 and under. Activities range from the educational to the creative to just plain fun! The Kids Zoo delivers special programs and interactive experiences made just for kids. There are "close up and personal" animal and staff encounters, touch tables, storyboards, and amazing opportunities for kids to use their creativity and imagination. Kids Zoo is located in the Discovery Zone and opens at the end of April or early May. More

Explore Rouge Park
Rouge Park is Canada's premier urban wilderness park, located in York Region. Not too far from the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto, you can experience different scenery with historic farms, century-old trees, peaceful meadows, and lush wetlands. Throughout the year, you can take part in free guided walks to discover the park's natural, cultural and agricultural stories. More 

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