Monday, September 7, 2015

Toronto Amusement Park Caters To Children

Amusement parks aren't always the friendliest of places for family vacations with children as they don't often have many attractions to please the preschool to elementary school aged kids in the family and are filled with roller coasters and other thrill rides that are just too intense for young riders.  There is always that dreaded moment when traveling with young kids where your child isn't tall enough to get on something they really want to experience or worse needs a parent to go along with them on a ride you really don't want to partake in yourself.  So when we heard about an amusement park in Toronto, Canada that caters to young children we just had to take a road trip to go check it out.

Centreville Amusement Park is located on an island in Lake Ontario just off the coast of Toronto.  It features more than 30 rides and attractions that are ideal for children aged 3 to 8 years old.  It is open seven days per week June through the end of August and on weekends in May and September.  We attended on a Saturday in late August and found the crowd to be pretty sparse as we arrived at 10:30 am when the gates first opened and my kids rode several of the rides numerous times in a row without having to get off but by 1:00pm the park began to become more crowded and the lines began to grow for the rides.  Still during our visit the longest we ever had to wait for the kids to get on a ride was about 15 minutes even when attendance was at its peak.  I note "waited for the kids to get on a ride" because a majority of the attractions are designed specifically for children and those that aren't are meant for families to enjoy together with parents riding along with their kids.

To get to the Centreville Amusement Park you need to take a 15 minute ferry ride to the island from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal located along the downtown Toronto lake shore.  We stayed during our trip at the Novotel which is located a block away from the intersection where the city's train station and the Hockey Hall of Fame are located and it took us about ten minutes to walk to the ferry terminal from our hotel.  When I was growing up there was an amusement park called Boblo that was located on an island near where the Detroit River merges into Lake Erie which unfortunately closed more than 20 years ago.  It was always a thrill to ride a ferry over to Boblo Island for a day of fun.  It was a very nostalgic moment to share a similar experience with my children as they enjoyed the ferry ride and excitedly awaited our arrival at Centreville Amusement Park.

A popular feature of the amusement park are the variety of cars that are available for toddlers to tweens to drive that run on tracks through a course to ensure there is no danger to the riders of crashing the vehicles.  My son's favorite was the Tin Lizzy while my daughter really liked the Ford touring cars.  There are also fire engines that can take little ones for a ride.

My kids favorite part of the amusement park was the kiddie roller coaster which they must have ridden at least 20 times throughout the day.

They even got me to ride it with them a few times.

Then it was down the log flume ride with dad!

Some of the other fun rides that are miniaturized versions of popular adult-sized rides you'd find at other amusement parks included Leapin Lily Pad which is a pint sized Demon Drop, the Rockin Ferry which is a tamer version of the swinging pirate ship, and the Beasley Bear ride which spins riders around in circles a bit slower for the little folks.

All aboard! There's a train ride that takes you for a scenic tour around the outskirts of the park.

After your train ride take a spin on the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the Toronto skyline.  Here's a picture of our view from the top.

If you your kids like buzzing around in the air fly over to the Bumble Bees that will have them circling around in the air.  There is also a really nice antique carousel that the whole family can ride on together right next to the Ferris Wheel.  I have to say the Ferris Wheel and Carousel at Centreville Amusement Park are the fastest moving I've ever been on so make sure to hold on!

For toddlers and preschoolers the park has something special to with a kiddie boat ride and twirling teacups meant just for them. The tweens, teens and adults in your group will want to check out the Scrambler which spins and whips you around in the dark surrounded by a laser light and sound show. They also have some great bumper cars shaped like cows and a pond filled with bumper boats that are for the enjoyment of an older crowd compared to the age range that most of the rides cater to.

Who has ever wanted to go on a pony ride?  Children can do that at this amusement park! Plus there is a petting zoo which features horses, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, goats, and several other barnyard animals.  If you don't want to ride a real animal, parents and kids can jump on a motorized swan and take it for a cruise around a pond.

To enjoy the attractions at Centreville Amusement Park you need to either purchase tickets or purchase an unlimited ride day pass.  You can get 25 tickets for $25 (Canadian) but that approach can quickly nickle and dime your trip's budget to death cause you use multiple tickers per person per ride.  For example the Kiddie Roller Coaster and Log Flume Ride are 6 tickets each per person every time you go on them.  If you have four people in your group that is 24 tickets for one ride on the Log Flume Ride right there.  For $120 (Canadian) or $30 per person our family was able to go on an unlimited amount of rides for the day.  We were at the park from 10:30 until about 4:00 pm and we made sure we got our moneys worth.

After a fun day on the island it was back to the ferry for the cruise back to Toronto and on to our next adventure.  The ferry ride is a round-trip fare you pay once at the terminal before getting on the boat to visit the island.  It is $7.25 (Canadian) for adults, $3.50 for children 2-14, $4.75 for Seniors (65+) and kids under 2 are FREE.

We had a grand old time during our visit and if you have younger children in your family I'd absolutely recommend going.  I would note that tweens and teens 10 years and old probably will find this park way to tame to keep them amused for a whole day unless they are joining in having some fun on a family adventure with some younger siblings.  I know with teenage temperaments that type of outgoing attitude can be hit or miss.  If you feel like you've been missing out on enjoying an amusement park experience with your 3 to 8 year old than you'll not want to miss taking a visit to Toronto and stopping by the Centreville Amusement Park.


  1. This looks like so much fun! I will have to share it with my sister-in-law for her kids.

  2. You are taking me back to all of our fun family vacations. This looks like the perfect place for me because those are about my cutoff for rides. I don't like the real roller coasters because I am afraid of heights.

  3. OMG looks like you had such a great time. That amusement park reminds me so much of the old Boblo amusement park :( I so wish it was still around to visit.

  4. I went to Boblo a few times with my grandmother. It was a fun place. It sounds like this place is perfect for kids and the ferry ride is a good price. Glad you all had fun!

  5. I've never even heard of this place. Thanks for pointing it out. It looks like a great time for younger kids.

  6. This is truly an amazing amusement park! Kids and parents will truly enjoy their time in there!