The Best Indoor Amusement Parks Across Canada
Who says roller coasters are just for summer? These great Canadian amusement parks deliver thrills for the whole family, year-round.
Photo: Bora Parc
Canada’s Best Indoor Amusement Parks
Craving sunshine and a little adventure to get you through another frigid Canadian winter? Bora Parc, just northwest of Quebec City, is the indoor amusement park for you. This Polynesian-themed waterpark offers year-round tropical fun for thrill-seekers ranging from mild to wild.
Novices can tackle the tides in the park’s gigantic wave pool or cruise down the adventure river, where you’ll travel behind a waterfall and through a huge cave at pulse-pounding speeds. Serious adrenaline junkies will make a beeline for the trap-door speed slides: after a brief countdown, the floor you’re standing on will fall away and you’ll plunge 15 metres into the pool below. (You might want to bring a backup bathing suit—just in case.)
Photo: Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com
Galaxyland and World Waterpark
Few Canadian destinations offer super-sized fun quite like Edmonton. Here, inside the West Edmonton Mall, North America’s biggest shopping mall, you’ll find Galaxyland, the world’s biggest indoor amusement park. Although the park’s marquee attraction, Mindbender, the world’s largest triple-loop coaster, took its last spin in January to make way for a massive redesign, there are still three full-size rollercoasters—27 thrilling rides in all.
Afterward, throw on your swimsuits for an adventure at World Waterpark next door (above), where you can plunge down 17 different waterslides, and brave the surf in the massive wave pool.
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Photo: Méga Parc
Quebec City, Quebec
Step out of your clockwork airship, hang up your bowler hat and monocle and settle in for a day of steampunk fun at Quebec City’s Méga Parc, located in Les Galeries de la Capitale Mall. Having first opened its doors in the 1980s, Canada’s second-biggest amusement park underwent a $52-million overhaul in 2019, relaunching with an industrial revolution vibe that’s straight out of The Wild Wild West.
Standing seven storeys tall and featuring cabins that move on a track, the spokeless Ferris wheel is the park’s signature attraction. Zipping right through the wheel’s centre is Canada’s longest indoor “cloud coaster”: riders sit in individual seats suspended from an overhead track that runs through the mall itself, soaring high above the heads of shoppers.
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Photo: Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Niagara Falls, Ontario
If your idea of packing for a family vacation involves just a bathing suit, you’ll love Fallsview Indoor Waterpark. Here, you can relax on the “beach”, swim in the wave pool, get drenched by a thousand-gallon bucket, and plunge down no fewer than 16 waterslides—all while soaking up a fantastic view of Niagara Falls itself. Another winter perk? Guests can travel to and from their rooms without setting foot outside: the water park has indoor connections to three nearby hotels. During warmer weather, the park’s outdoor sundeck offers the chance to catch some rays and a breath of fresh air.
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Photo: Stoked Centre
Though your knees may buckle and your palms sweat, Saskatoon’s Stoked Centre offers high-flying activities even acrophobes can handle (and perhaps even enjoy).
Consider the two-storey suspended rope obstacle course with 12 elements to traverse—it’s more challenging than scary. There’s also a 220-foot indoor zipline that takes you around the perimeter of the facility at such a gentle pace you might just wonder why you don’t spend more time dangling from a harness inside amusement parks. Once you’re back to terra firma, rip around the race course in a high-speed electric go-kart.
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Photo: Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto
Legoland Discovery Centre
This Lego-themed attraction is a place where adults can be kids (with the caveat that they actually need to be accompanied by a child in order to get in).
Both the young and young-at-heart will marvel at the spectacle of more than three million Lego bricks under a single roof, enjoying snacks off of Lego plates at the Lego Café, and building—and racing!—their own Lego cars down a giant speed ramp. After seeing how many Toronto landmarks you can name in the awe-inspiring miniature cityscape, burn off some serious energy on the centre’s sole ride: a pedal-powered cruise through Merlin’s magical potions chamber.
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Photo: Saroeun Boodram / Shutterstock.com
This indoor amusement park—Ontario’s biggest—opened in 1985 and hasn’t changed a lot since. After all, why mess with a success that’s managed to attract a whopping 8-million guests? Located in the Woodbine Mall in northwest Toronto, Fantasy Fair is a bit like visiting a carnival under siege by vicious dinosaurs. Two-storey-tall prehistoric monsters are scattered throughout the park’s sprawling layout, which includes 12 full-size rides and a three-level play village, as well as a Ferris wheel, drop tower and rock-climbing wall. Also worth checking out is the “6-D” themed ride experience, which features moving seats and special wind, sound and lighting effects.
At the heart of the park is a stunning 110-year-old antique carousel (above), originally manufactured by Charles Looff—a master carver best known for building California’s famous Santa Monica Pier—complete with 56 horses and chariots.
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H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre
Kelowna, British Columbia
Kelowna is more than 250 kilometres from the nearest ocean, and surrounded by wine country. But here, smack in the middle of B.C., you can catch a wave—and more—at Canada’s largest municipally-run water park. Grab a board and either surf or bodyboard on jet-propelled water that simulates waves with the park’s FlowRider surf experience. If surfing’s not your thing, there’s still a lot of fun to be had by riding a lazy river or racing down one of three corkscrew water slides.
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Photo: PI-O Amusement Park
PI-O Amusement Park
In the suburbs of Montreal, you’ll find an adorable ocean-themed indoor amusement park for kids that does a lot more than just entertain—it also helps to build confidence.
PI-O amusement park staff are known to be friendly and encourage timid riders by promising to stop rides immediately if they aren’t having fun. This approach encourages kids to venture out of their comfort zones and perhaps even take a spin on a boat-themed Ferris wheel or catch a ride on a magical spinning seahorse. Add fun features like a giant sandbox and an ice cream shop where everything is as blue as the ocean, and you get the perfect day out for your little ones.
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Photo: Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario
There’s no denying it: Kids love Great Wolf Lodge. But the real reason it’s so popular (and why so many grown-ups quietly put aside a bit of each paycheque to save up for a visit) is that adults love it just as much.
While your kids have the time of their lives in the four-storey treehouse, obstacle course and water slides, you can get pampered at a relaxing spa, do some yoga and enjoy adults-only hot tubs away from the shrieks and thrills of the park. Family time on the lazy river is all that much more enjoyable when you’re feeling relaxed and refreshed.
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