Thursday, May 30, 2013

Centre Island - Toronto

Toronto's Centre Island is a beautiful and relaxing oasis located just a short ferry ride from the heart of Toronto. 
My kids were a bit disappointed to learn that it was a ferry boat and not a fairy boat,
but otherwise they enjoyed the boat ride.
The Islands have lots of stuff for adults to do, including the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse which is the oldest landmark in Toronto, some great bike trails and bike rentals, boat rentals, beaches, including a nude beach at Hanlan's Point, volleyball nets, softball diamonds and picnic areas.

It was too cold to actually go in the water when we were there but
still fun to play on the beach. 
In addition to all that makes it lovely for adults, it also has an amusement park for little kids called Centreville Amusement Park, Far Enough Farm (which is actually slated to close at the end of June) and Franklin's Garden featuring statues of the characters of Paulette Bourgeois' popular series of kid's books. 
Checking out the animals at Far Enough Farm.
In addition to the free fun stuff to do on Centre Island, you can also bring your own food and have a lovely picnic in one of the many picnic areas throughout the island.    Or you can buy imaginary hotdogs from small children.
I'll take two hotdogs please.

While Centrevills isn't cheap, a play all day pass for a family of four is currently over $100, it is a ton of fun for little kids and adults who happened to have fond memories of it from their own childhoods (like me!).  It hasn't changed much over the years. You could opt to go to the island and do all of the free stuff and just go and pay for a couple of rides by paying for individual tickets. The rides at Centreville are not cheap to do individually though, the log ride for instance is 6 tickets per person which works out to about $5 a ride! Also, once kids are there, good luck dragging them away!
Nothing like a teacup ride with daddy.
Assuming that you opt for the play all day pass there are lots of fun rides for little kids.  Kids over 8 are likely to find them too tame but the younger set they are perfect.
Captaining the swan ride was a big hit!
The most popular ride for our family was the Log Ride.  I am happy to report that it is exactly the same as it was 30 years ago for anyone who has fond memories of being drenched with ice cold water on a hot summer's day. 
An oldy but a goody!  The Log Ride.
We try to manage the kids expectations for treats and junk on these outings by allowing them one treat each and bringing the rest of the food with us.  This time the kids opted for fundips and other retro candy sold in the old timey candy shop.  Now that I have introduced my kids to fun dip I think my work as a parent is done. 
Apparently, not a big fan of fun dips. 
For some inexplicable reason the thing my kids liked best about Centre Island was the great big chair that is sitting by the farm.  Why is there a giant chair by the farm?  That I can't answer, nor can I explain why my kids loved it so much but it was the highlight of the day.
See?  They love it!

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