Toronto’s Centreville Amusement Park on Centre Island is a favourite of ours. And as a family destination, it’s a true treasure. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, Centreville is a unique mix of theme park and urban farm, set in one of the most idyllic locations in the city. Plus, it has the best view of the Toronto skyline there is!
We’ve visited Centreville annually with our kids. From our first visit when our daughter was just a toddler, to our visit to Centreville when we were truly at the “golden age” for the rides, we’ve got our Centre Island strategy down to a science.
5 tips for visiting Toronto’s Centreville Amusement Park:
1) Get there early…
Once Centreville opens for the season, closing time can vary but opening time is always 10:30am. Getting there early gives you enough time to hit the washroom, have a snack, and plan out your day. But I also recommend getting there early in the season.
Centreville opens on weekends starting in May. We were treated not only to glorious spring sunshine, but also blooming trees that have usually dropped all their blossoms by the time we usually visit later in the summer. I do love the big willow trees on Centre Island, but I had no idea there were such beautiful flowering trees there as well.
2) Enjoy the ride(s)…
The treat of visiting Centreville, and a highlight for my family, is the ferry ride across from the docks. That experience has stayed with me since I was little. Waiting for and watching the ferry dock, and the entire (brief) ride, is part of the whole experience.
Of course, once you’re there, you’ll probably have your ride rituals as well. My recommendation is to hit the “big” rides first before any lines develop. Then you’re at your leisure to fit all the others in. The Toronto Island Mine Coaster is an update to the previous dragon coaster, but the queue has been rearranged to the back of the ride. On our visit it was the only ride with a wait time longer than five minutes (probably close to a 15min. wait).
3) Pack some snacks…
Centreville is truly one of the most (last) affordable family outings in and around Toronto–especially when it comes to food. Outside food and picnics are encouraged, but the available fast food, restaurants, and concession options are really reasonably priced anyway.
We often do a combination of packed snacks and concession lunches, which is easier on our waistline as well as our wallet. And since Toronto water is one of the world’s finest, all you need is a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated all day.
4) Bring family and friends…
As a child I have wonderful memories of spending the day at Centre Island with my cousins, and we’ve continued that tradition with our last visit there. My nephew and BFF joined us, and it was great fun seeing them all get along and making plans for their day, leaving us grown-ups in the dust. The beauty too, of Centreville’s family pass, is the kids can be wristbanded for the all-day rides, saving one for a designated ride grown-up for anyone little who might need some encouragement. Add-on wristbands for the family pass are also discounted if you’ve got lots of cousins and friends to join you!
A bonus of Centreville and the Far Enough Farm is that admission is free. It’s only the ride-going guests who need to buy tickets or wristbands.
5) Book online and save…
Booking ride tickets and wristbands online not only saves you money, it saves you time. As the season goes on, line-ups for passes at the front entrance and at the Town Hall start to get longer. When you arrive having pre-booked your passes, there is usually a separate window with little-to-no line. For families with babies or toddlers not likely to go on anything other than the historic Carousel, it makes sense to purchase individual ride tickets online, since they never expire.
Centreville often have online specials that include an All Day Family Ride Passes and food specials that price out to the cost of just one meal at any other theme park. Be sure to take a look at the website before venturing out.
Surely we aren’t the only ones who are on their second generation of visiting Centreville. Share your tips with us in the comments below!
This post was sponsored by Centreville, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit www.centreisland.ca
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