What to do in Toronto: Free Family Fun at High Park Zoo

What’s better than a zoo filled with llamas, yaks, peacocks, cows and bison? A completely free zoo attached to the biggest park Toronto has to offer. The High Park Zoo is open year round and built on a sloping hill that is perfect for the kids to run down and easy to push a stroller through. It’s definitely the best of free family fun.

On a gorgeous fall day, we took our two kids to the the High Park Zoo for some fresh air and to see if any new baby animals had been born. Although they weren’t any tiny new animals to see, the kids were beyond excited to be able to feed the llamas by hand.

Normally, going to the Toronto Zoo is a full day outing: driving there, parking, paying the entrance fee and panicking every time you look around and can’t see your kids in the throng of people.

The High Park Zoo is easily accessible by public transportation, and if you drive, there are two parking lots located at the top and bottom of the zoo. Walking up a steep slope (get those kids ready for nap or bedtime) takes you to Grenadier Café so you can have a quick bathroom break and snack before seeing all of the amazing wild animals. The kids can run around while you meander close to them, and you just might have a second to chat with a friend while they press their faces up to the fences surrounding the zoo animals.

Surrounded by lush greenery (and a few cleverly placed trees in case the kids can’t make it in time to the bathroom), the High Park Zoo is the best of rural life inside the city. Every animal has its own description poster placed low enough for the kids to see it; they delight in learning about the animals – and you’ll probably learn a few things too so you’re ready for any questions they might have. Whatever the season or the weather, the High Park Zoo is a wonderful way to spend a few free hours exploring nature with the kids without having to leave the city.

High Park Zoo

1873 Bloor Street West, Toronto
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The zoo is located on Deer Pen Road via the Parkside Road Entrance.