Top Family Friendly Events happening in Toronto this October

October is a month of giving thanks, fun and scary boo stuff and we’ve got a lot of events happening in the city literally for the entire family! Here are some of our favourite things to see and do this month!

Toronto Symphony Star Wars Return of the Jedi in Concert: October 3 to 5. Roy Thomson Hall. Revisit the original trilogy’s climactic finale and experience John Williams’s grand, emotional score like never before as the TSO performs it live with the film! Details here.

Nuit Blanche: various locations. October 5 sundown to October 6 sunrise. International and local artists will take over various spaces and transform the city with over 90 art and film installations, participatory and performance arts. All free. Various hubs around the city that covers from Fort York to Scarborough.  See our post for what to see.

Touch The Trucks: October 5. Downview Park. A unique opportunity for kids to explore and interact with vehicles of all types – public service, crime fighting, emergency, utility, construction, transportation, delivery and just plain cool – all in one safe and supervised place. Advance tickets $5, $10 at gate (cash only). Details here.

Toronto Police Dog Services 30th Anniversary Open House: October 5. 44 Beechwood Drive, East York. 10 am to 4 pm. Meet the K9 dog unit, watch live K9 demonstrations, tour the facilities. Details here.

Pumpkin Fest at Downsview Park: October 12, 13 and 14th. 35 Carl Hall Drive. Thanksgiving weekend outing for families includes entertainment, inflatables, games, food, vendors and yes, tons of pumpkins! Wear your costume for the contest! Details here.

The Mush Hole: October 16 to 25. Young People’s Theatre. This dance performance about truths of the Mohawk Institute Residential School. The Mush Hole explores the devastating intergenerational impact of Canada’s Residential School system. From award-winning choreographer, director and producer Santee Smith and the internationally acclaimed Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.

The Bentway Dog Howl’oween Party and Parade: Saturday, October 26. Inspired by the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade in New York City, The Bentway is hosting a dog and family-friendly event. The day will feature prizes awarded for best costume, Beaver Canoe dog wear (PetSmart Canada) will be on-site, loot bags, games and – for human adults a licensed “Yappy Hour”. Event is free but registration for the contest is required.

Bacon the Doggers

Dr. Seuss Experience: Mississauga Square One. Opens October 26. Explore the whimsical world of the cherished book series in this imaginative and interactive experience. This immersive (and yes, Instagrammable) multi-room world will be filled with fun-filled installations will bring Dr. Seuss’s stories to life. Ticketed event.

Dr. Seuss Experience

TSO Symphony Spooktacular: October 27, Roy Thomson Hall. Dress up in your Halloween best and enjoy a variety of frightening favourites by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra including The Shark Theme from Jaws and the Imperial March from Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back.

Halloween Boo Barn at Riverdale Farm: October 26 & 27. 201 Winchester Street. The annual family event includes pumpkin carving, crafts, and exploring the “Boo Barn”. Event is free. Donation of a non-perishable food item suggested.

Photo credit: Riverdale Farm

Boo at the Zoo: October 19, 20, 26, 27. Toronto Zoo. Kids in costume (ages 12 and under) get FREE admission on Boo at the Zoo days *when accompanied by an adult paying regular admission. Hop on the new BOOmobile (additional $), a slightly scary and legendary adventure where you will hear some spooky facts about animals and learn about the ghosts that haunt the Toronto Zoo. On this 45-minute ride you will learn about how the animal kingdom has contributed to Halloween traditions in a special commentary from a resident “Zoo Kreeper”. You may choose to take these tales as fact or fiction!

Photo credit: Toronto Zoo

The Wizards Festival: October 26 & 27. York Durham Heritage Railway, Uxbridge. Calling all wizards and muggles (in costumes please)! This weekend festival brings to life the Wizarding World filled with interactive shows, potions classes, maze, magic shows, and workshops on how to defend yourself against the Dark Enemy. Book your tickets to Hallows Express, where a journey to GOODWOODORA Prison reveals two evil wizards are hatching an escape plan. It’s up to the train passengers and the professors on board to help the ministry secretly transport these evil sorcerers to a more secure location to await their trials. Will the mission be successful? Only time will tell! Make sure you go early to take a walk through the Enchanted Alley. Tickets here.

Photo credit: York Durham Heritage Railway

Culture Pack: With a mission to inspire a passion for Toronto’s dynamic arts and cultural scene amongst younger audiences, Culture Pack – and its inaugural Fall/Winter pack – officially launched recently. The organization offers curated packages seasonally that include a selection of three different events from across the theatre, music, art, dance and film verticals, paired with exclusive access to cultural insiders – like cast members, artists and musicians – and pre or post-show food and drinks at interesting eateries. At launch, Culture Pack has partnered with the City of Toronto, Soulpepper Theatre Company, The National Ballet of Canada and the Textile Museum of Canada. More partners will be announced over the coming months. The price is $200. Details here.

 

 

 

 

 

Sonya Davidson
About Sonya Davidson 574 Articles
Born and raised in Toronto, this city girl covers the latest in arts, culture, food, and style. She also shares interesting stories about Toronto's people, places, and things. Follow @theculturepearl on Instagram and Twitter.