I’ve always wanted to take the girls to Centreville Amusement Park, and the beautiful long weekend gave us perfect opportunity.

I dragged out the surprise for a couple of days, giving clues for good behaviour (I know, I’m a great mom).

Clue # 1: It’s in Toronto but we’re not sleeping over.
Clue # 2: We have to take a boat to get there.
Clue # 3: There are animals but it’s not a zoo.
Clue # 4: There are lots of rides (this one got the biggest reaction).

and finally, the big reveal:

It’s Centreville!

On Sunday morning we got ready and drove into the big city (with our usual stop at Tim’s on the 115!) Tip: if you’re going to Centreville, find a public parking lot as close to the ferry docks as you can to save time (and to save any walking the kids need to do for the amusement park!)

The ferry has regular departures (see schedule), and both ways we just walked right on and set sail. The girls really enjoyed being out on the water and seeing the city from a different vantage point.

After a short seven minute ride, we arrived at Centre Island, which isn’t just home to Centreville Amusement Park, but also large grassy parks and sandy beaches (one is listed as “Clothing Optional”, so of course I had to spend some time there. Just kidding.)

Here we are, a short walk over the island to Centreville. (The girls are such good sports about posing for blog photo ops.)

In order to get the full experience to share with you here, we were provided with all day ride bracelets, which really are the best bang for your buck (for the kids, and any adults who want to do the rides as well. Admission to the park is free, so there’s no cost for anyone not wanting to take advantage of rides.)

One of the first destinations was the train, which we liked as a nice overview of the park at the beginning of the day: “We have to go on that ride!”, “There’s a farm!” ,”Look, popsicles!”

Frannie, ever her mother’s daughter, consults the child-friendly park map while on the train:

While I didn’t expect Far Enough Farm to be the highlight of the park for our little country girls, a mini-farm on an island is pretty cool: pigs, horses, silkie chickens, goats, peacocks and more!
Here they are, checking out the goats:

The most exciting part of Centreville for my girls, by far, was the rides. The best thing for us as parents is that they could go on almost everything by themselves!

The Boats:

The gorgeous 1907 Antique Carousel:

Other popular rides are the Ferris Wheel, Antique Cars, Bumble Bees and Log Flume (nice to get a little splash of water on a hot day!)

It’s also a bonus that bringing a cooler/picnic basket is definitely allowed and encouraged (as opposed to many ‘no outside food or drink’ family destinations), although there are tons of options for purchasing food. We got a ten slice pepperoni pizza (from Pizza Pizza) at lunchtime for $22 which fed all four of us with some left over. There’s also a Carousel Café, Shopsy’s, and lots of places to pick up snacks and treats.

Centreville is definitely a great place to take a young family. Maggie (who’s almost five) could do every ride that she wanted to, and we didn’t even hit them all. Seven year old Frannie enjoyed the rides as well, but I could see her growing out of them within a year or two. I’d say the ideal ages for the park are from toddler to seven or eight years old.

Older kids looking for adventure should definitely hit the Scrambler. I went on with the girls, and it’s inside a building which is darkened for the ride with loud music and flashing lights. Maggie clung desperately to the grab bar and Frannie told me repeatedly that she was going to be sick…a sure sign of a wild ride!

Before finishing this post, I wanted to give the girls’ the last word (almost, I can’t quite give that up) and ask for their highlights of the day:

Frannie’s favourite: “The farm {I stand corrected}, and the swan ride.”

Maggie’s favourite: “Beasley Bear ride, the Scrambler even though it made my tummy a bit nervous, the train ride and the swans.”

All good things must come to an end, and here you see my tired girls on the ferry ride back to the mainland (Maggie was asleep in the van before we were out of the city):

The highlight of the day for me was slowing down to spend some time with the family, and giving this experience to the girls (not just the amusement park itself, but going in to the city, taking the ferry to the island, etc.) It was great to be active out in the fresh air, and to forget everything I always feel like I need to be doing at home.

As out-of-towners, it’s not something we’d do frequently since driving downtown is an adventure in itself before even getting to the ferry, but parents who live in or will be visiting the GTA this summer really need to check out this gem of a family outing.

This post was generously sponsored by Centreville, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit http://www.centreisland.ca

3 comments on “Family Fun at Centreville Amusement Park”

  1. I haven't been to the island since I was a kid, and I can't wait to take my kids. Hopefully we'll make it this summer! Great pics, glad you enjoyed the big city 🙂

  2. You were right – this is a great post on Centreville! 🙂 We're going to try and go this summer. Like your girls, I'm sure our kids will love the ferry ride and the 'Far Enough Farm'. It's great to know that we can bring our own food. When I saw the pics of the girls on the rides, I thought "seems just like the Lindsay Fair"!! 🙂

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