Condo living with kids is becoming the norm for many urban families. With the cost of freehold Toronto housing skyrocketing out of reach of many buyers, more parents are raising young children in Toronto condos.
Affordability is a key factor here but there are many other pros to condo living for families including amenities, well-appointed locations (often times gaining access to prime school districts), less maintenance and more time for family and it can be a great way to teach kids about living in a community.
The downsides (depending on your building and specific unit) can be tighter quarters and lack of private outdoor space but these are things that condo kids and parents learn to work around. When it becomes a little more problematic is during the holidays, particularly at Halloween, as many condos don’t allow trick-or-treating.
We’ve talked before about Halloween rules in condos – they vary by building but most do not allow door-to-door trick or treating or exterior decorations (although we can see this changing as condo demographics shift across the city). But that doesn’t mean that your kids are stuck inside this Halloween.
If you’re looking for something different to do with the kids, here’s a roundup of some of our favourite Toronto Halloween events for families.
Toronto Condo Dwelling Families: 2015 Halloween Events To Get Your Kids Active & Engaged
Neighbourhood Pumpkin Parades
Many Toronto neighbourhoods host an annual pumpkin parade on November 1 where residents bring their carved jack-o-lanterns to the local park during the day and it makes a great family outing at dusk to walk the paths and see everyone’s creations lit-up.
Some of these events have a lead-up event this weekend where you can bring your kids to carve your pumpkin. Neighbourhood events like this are almost always free and typically run by the local BIA or Friends group (sometimes donations are requested to support the local park).
Here are just some of the better-known neighbourhood pumpkin fests but be sure to check out the website of your local BIA and Friends groups (where applicable) to see what’s happening in your ‘hood.
8th Annual Pumpkin Sale to Benefit Sorauren Park
October 24, 9AM-12 noon
Loads of pumpkins for sale, hot apple cider and more. Rain or shine at the Sorauren Park town square. 100% of proceeds donated to phase two fundraising for the town square.
November 1, dusk
After Halloween on November 1st, head back to Sorauren Park at twilight to add your pumpkin to the annual Pumpkin Parade. More Information
The Junction – Pumpkinfest
October 31, 2-6PM in Vine Parkette (bring your own pumpkin)
Pumpkin carving for kids and a ton of family programming.
November 1, 6-9PM
Much like the Sorauren Park event, you can come back on November 1 for the pumpkin tour. More Information
St James Park – Pumpkin Parade
November 1, 6:00-7:30PM
Bring your jack-o-lantern to the St. James gazebo and join the pumpkin parade by adding your pumpkin onto the edge of a pathway. A prize will be given for best pumpkin design by a family/kid and by a business.
There will be free hot chocolate and hot apple cider while supplies last and a special presentation by Jamii of their Queens of the Esplanade routine. More Information
Pumpkinfest at the Kingsway
On Jackson Avenue (by TD Bank)
October 31, 10AM-2PM
Face painting and pumpkins included! More Information
The Beach – Halloween on Queen
October 31, 12noon-4PM
at Glen Manor on Queen
Costume prizes, parade, face painting, fire jugglers and more! More Information
Trinity Bellwoods Park Pumpkin Parade
November 1, 7PM
Bring your pumpkins any time that day with a tealight and the parade will start when it gets dark. Free hot apple cider while it lasts thanks to The Lucky Penny! More Information
East Lynn Park
November 1, 6:30-9PM
Bring your jack-o-lantern and join the pumpkin parade at this popular east end event. More Information
Mimico Pumpkin Parade, 2445 Lakeshore Blvd West
November 1, 6PM
Bring your carved jack-o-lantern and add it to the community’s parade. More Information
Riverdale Neighbourhood Play
Riverdale is one of our favourite Toronto communities for families. It’s not unusual to see neighbours ban together for yard sales, lemonade stands and good old fashioned family street parties.
A seasonal staple and annual family tradition for many in Toronto’s east end is the Riverdale Halloween Play put on by a group of residents formerly known as the Langley collective. The street near Langley and Howland is blocked off Halloween night, a professional sound system and stage installed and local families put on a play to entertain residents and visitors – yep, families travel in from all over the city to trick or treat in this ‘hood just to watch the show.
This year’s theme is the very spooky “Gentrified” with three showtimes on October 31 at 7:30 PM, 8:00 PM and 8:30 PM. More Information
Toronto Public Library Events
The TPL offers wonderful (and often free) year-round programming that’s really under-utlized by many Torontonians. There are a number of Library branches hosting a Haunted House in the lead-up to Halloween that’s appropriate for younger children.
Halloween Haunted House at the Library
October 31, times vary by location (drop in, no registration required)
Little boys and ghouls, prepare for a scare! Children, come and take a walk through a spooky haunted house. Some locations will have stories, treats, and crafts.
Halloween at Toronto’s Major Attractions
And of course, there are paid programs (most included with the price of admission) at many of Toronto’s top attractions.
Boo at the Zoo
October 24 & 25, 30 & 31, 2015
It’s time to get out your Halloween costumes and head out to the Toronto Zoo! Up to two kids in costume (12 and under) get in free when accompanied by an adult. All kids are eligible to take part in the “Critters and Costumes Parade” at 11:40 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. daily. MORE INFORMATION
Howling Hootenanny at Black Creek Pioneer Village
October 24, 25 & 31, 11 AM to 4:30 PM
Enjoy The Haunted Maze and Scarecrow Mini Maze (for the little ones), Apple Sling Shot, FREE pumpkin decorating, Creepy Creature Show, Trick-or-Treat in the Village and much more! MORE INFORMATION
Brick-or-Treat, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Vaughan Mills
Every Saturday & Sunday in October culminating in the Halloween event on October 31
Something spooky comes over the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre in October and it comes to life with BRICK-OR-TREAT! Little ghosts and mummies can experience spooky entertainment, costume contests, building contests, scavenger hunts and more, all included in the price of admission. MORE INFORMATION
Ripley’s Aquarium Gills & Ghouls
October 31, 10AM-4PM
First 2,000 kids will receive a free trick or treat re-usable bag! Ripley’s aquarium will be transformed into a creepy cove and there will be live performers throughout the aquarium, including a mermaid, merman, witch, and a pirate plus underwater pumpkin carvings during live dive shows throughout the day. MORE INFORMATION
Harbourfront Cenre Annual Halloween Party at Purina PawsWay
October 31, Free drop-in activities offered from 1:30PM onward; contests and costume parade will run from 3PM–5PM
A spooky celebration at the howling Halloween party: games, prizes and family fun for both people and dogs! Bring your camera and take photos of you and your furry friend at our Halloween-themed photo booth. Get creative with the kids at our arts and crafts table.
Bring your cat or dog in costume for a chance to win a prize! MORE INFORMATION
Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland
Select dates throughout October including October 31
Teens (13 years+) will love this perennial favourite. Canada’s Wonderland is transformed for 13 terrifying nights in October into their popular Halloween Haunt. This year will be bigger, better and more terrifying than ever with a brand new maze, Spirit Manor and the return of a fan favourite, ZOMBIES 4D Interactive Dark Ride. MORE INFORMATION
Haunted High Park at Colborne Lodge (pre-registration is required)
October 30 & 31 (ages 13 & up): 7:00-8:30PM
October 24 (ages 8 & up): 6:30-7:30PM and again at 8-9PM
Visit Colborne Lodge and its grounds at night and hear about legends and ghost stories that have been told about the Lodge and High Park. Period refreshments included. MORE INFORMATION