A young girl smells flowering roses at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Royal Botanical Gardens | Hamilton Halton Brant

Ontario gardens for kids to enjoy

A young girl smells flowering roses at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Royal Botanical Gardens | Hamilton Halton Brant

Strolling through a garden and admiring the beauty of flourishing plants and blooming flowers is the ultimate therapy. When you’re visiting with kids, however, experiencing that level of relaxation might be challenging.

While Ontario is home to hundreds of gorgeous gardens and green spaces, here's a selection that offers fun, kid-friendly activities and programs so everyone in the family can benefit from nature’s goodness.

Greater Toronto Area

Children’s Garden at Evergreen Brickworks

Once a quarry and brick factory, this Don River Valley site has been transformed into an engaging local attraction with community events, activities, markets, a café and a Children’s Garden.

This free, interactive playground welcomes kids of all ages and abilities to explore nature and learn about the environment in a safe, fun way.

Open every Saturday and select Sundays.

Location: 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto

Franklin Children’s Garden

Inspired by the book series Franklin the Turtle, this interactive attraction on Toronto Island Park features several different stations, including a learning garden with drop-in summer programs, an activity garden complete with bronze sculptures of Franklin and Rabbit and a turtle pond and wetland area. It’s the perfect place to entertain and educate budding biologists.

The garden is located behind the Toronto Island Nature School. It is open daily and there’s no admission fee. However, you’ll need to purchase ferry tickets from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal city-side at 9 Queens Quay West to access the Toronto Islands.

Location: Centre Island, Toronto Islands

Teaching Garden at Toronto Botanical Garden

The Toronto Botanical Garden within the Edwards Gardens welcomes visitors of all ages with a variety of horticultural activities.

This includes special children’s programs for both groups and individuals designed to stimulate children's curiosity about nature and gardening through hands-on experiences.

The gardens are open year-round from dusk to dawn and admission is free.

Location: 777 Lawrence Avenue East, North York

Chinguacousy Park

This 40-hectare park is home to a greenhouse and tropical gardens, as well as several fun activities geared for kids.

Meet the animals in the mini moo farm, warm up in the playgrounds and skateboard park and cool off in the wading pool or at the splash pad.

Free admission to the park, some activities cost a nominal fee, seasonal operating hours.

Location: 9050 Bramalea Road, Brampton

Children’s Garden at High Park

Encourage your little ones to explore the green spaces and natural environment within Canada’s largest city.

Although many of the Eco Programs at the Children’s Garden are curriculum-based school outings or summer camps, the facility does offer free family drop-in programs and hosts free community events. 

Location: 1873 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Hamilton, Halton and Brant

Family Programs at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Exploring nature is one of the best ways for families to grow together.

The Royal Botanical Gardens offers year-round, kid-focused experiences and special events, from gardening workshops to the natural playground designed for the whole family to enjoy.

Some activities, workshops and special programs require registration and additional cost beyond general admission.

Location: 680 Plains Road West, Burlington

Lucy Maud Montgomery Children’s Garden of the Senses

One of Canada’s favourite authors, Lucy Maud Montgomery, lived in the community of Norval for nine years.

The Lucy Maud Montgomery Children’s Garden is a sensory garden dedicated to her and inspired by her creativity. Each corner of these gardens feels as though it’s straight out of one of her novels, from the picturesque gazebo to the cascading waterfall and hopscotch steppingstones.

The Sensory Garden is a carefully structured interactive section of the garden designed for kids and adults with special needs.

Open year-round, and admission is free.

Location: 477 Guelph Street, Norval

Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley

The Enchanted Forest at Abbey Gardens

Abbey Gardens is a multi-disciplinary attraction that features organic gardens, a café and craft brewery and hiking trails.

Tucked away near the back of the property is the Enchanted Forest, a dedicated kids’ outdoor play area and crafts centre.

There are also stables for rare Ojibwe and Miniature Appaloosa horses onsite.

Open Victoria Day of May long weekend through to Thanksgiving in mid-October.

Location: 1012 Garden Gate Drive, Haliburton

Last updated: June 7, 2024

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