Going on vacation is the best. Thinking of what to do, where to go, what to eat. Don’t you just love the feeling… the rush of excitement… as you imagine your next vacation?
Sometimes the best vacation destinations are closer than you think. Like maybe in your own city.
Earlier this month I took a week off work to spend time with my family.
Guess where we went?
Technically it was a staycation.
And it was a fun week.
Being a Torontonian, there’s so much to do in our city. Too many exciting destinations to fit in a one week time span.
So here’s what we did and how much our staycation cost.
The zoo is literally a 15 minute drive from our home in Scarborough. Which made the trip very easy.
The sun was up. And it was a beautiful day for exploring.
The first thing we did when we got to the zoo was ride the carousel. There was nobody in line so my daughter had her choice of which animal to hop onto.
We then walked around and saw exciting sights such as the freshwater fishes of Indomalaya, a massive Amazon python, a Siberian tiger, giraffes, gorillas, and one of my wife’s faves… pink flamingoes!
(We also enjoyed a Nutella beavertail.)
My daughter’s favourite was the panda exhibit. She loved seeing the panda live — and considerably larger than her three plush pandas at home.
Cost: $70 ($29 x 2 adults, $12 for parking, free for children two and under)
Royal Ontario Museum
My daughter loves watching Peppa Pig. So she was thrilled when she got to visit Toronto’s museum to see… dinosaurs!
Adults and children alike will enjoy a visit to the ROM. The first (and only) time I ever visited was when I was in elementary school. I think I got lost… or was that Casa Loma? 😉
The ROM looks more amazing than ever with so many exhibits to see.
Dinosaur fossils, Egyptian artifacts, the blue whale, a bat cave…
Want to keep kids busy?
Have them dig up and brush off some fossils, try some medieval costumes or hang around in the kids play area.
You need a whole day to really take in everything the ROM has to offer.
Cost: $34 ($17 each x 2 adults, kids under 3 are free)
We love The Beach. We visit almost every week in the summer. And frequently during the spring and fall.
Our typical routine is to drive down, park somewhere near Kew Gardens, then pick up some scones at Cobs bread.
My daughter explores the playgrounds. Then we walk down to the boardwalk. And pick our spot in the sand. Where she builds sand castles. And dip her feet in the water.
The Beach is as close as you’ll get to that ‘vacation’ feeling while staying in the city.
The views are breathtaking. There’s lots of activities going on. Quaint shops and restaurants make for a unique day of exploration.
Or you can just sit back, relax ,and take the sun in.
Cost: Free (plus the cost of scones)
Ontario Science Centre
Who doesn’t love the Ontario Science Centre? You don’t have to be a geek to love this place. Sure, it’s great for kids. But it’s just as fun for us big kids who love discovering scientific stuff!
There’s just so much to do at the science centre. Lots of exhibits. Hands on activities.
There’s a play area just for kids where they can build blocks, explore a bat cave, and even play with water.
My daughter got to play guitar in a colourful sound studio. She picked up some groceries in the kids’ supermarket. She even had the chance to shoot a stop photography short film!
Needless to say this was one of the busier attractions we visited during our staycation. My daughter loved it.
Cost: $57 ($19.47 x 2 adults, $11.50 for children)
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Next time you’re thinking of something to do, and the vacation bug bites you, think about the many exciting destinations Toronto has to offer. (Did I just sound like a Toronto tourism brochure…?)
There’s just so many places and activities to enjoy in Toronto.
And there’s certainly nothing wrong being a tourist in your own city.
Especially if it’s one of the best cities in the world. 😉