Free outdoor programs for kids launched by city

Starting Monday, you should be able to take your kids to outdoor programs in Toronto parks and recreation areas — for free.

The city announced today it has launched its ParksPlayTO initiative for kids up to age 12 and the Summer in the 6ix program for young people 13 to 24.

“Over the past few weeks we have been working hard to find new programs to get kids and youth outside to enjoy the summer months,” Mayor John Tory said. “ParksPlayTO and Summer in the 6ix will provide much needed social interaction and physical activity for kids and youth across the city.”

Drop-in activities are to take place at up to 100 parks and outdoor spaces across Toronto, including Broadlands Park, Cedarvale Park, Eglinton Park, Fenside Park, Jimmie Simpson Park, Kew Gardens, Leaside Outdoor Pool, Monarch Park, Riverdale Parks East and West, Rosedale Park, Stan Wadlow Park, Withrow Park and many more locations. (See the full list, map, workshop details and schedule on the city site.)

ParksPlayTO morning sessions are to begin at 9:15 a.m. and afternoon sessions at 1:30 p.m.

Caregivers age 18 and older can bring up to four children but must remain to participate in the program.

Summer in the 6ix will offer three sessions a day at multiple locations across the city seven days a week. Programming will include dance, fitness, ecology, sports, leadership, employment, arts and media.

For both programs, no registration is required. Just show up at the scheduled times.

Coaches from Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment are also joining with city recreation staff to provide sport skills workshops in basketball, soccer, football and ball hockey for the programs.

Of course, the programs are designed to maintain physical distancing, include health screening and meet other standards set by Toronto Public Health during the coronavirus pandemic.