Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

Ontario Science Centre (Toronto)

Family Tested
High energy
Fall Color

The science of fun

The exhibition Brain: The Inside Story now on until March 29, 2015! (I have not seen the new exhibition yet but they promise a forest of tangled wires with flashing lights to simulate the synapses. Can't wait to see that for myself!)

To enjoy the Centre itself, I recommend starting your visit with The Living Earth, three escalators down (a ride in itself for the younger kids!) to Level 6 and to your far right. Start slowly with the tropical forest to feel the climate and see the waterfall. Then get inside the cold cave for a fun contrast, and get them excited with the 5-metre-high tornado. Further is the Science Arcade, hosting the popular hair-raising Van Der graaf Generator. Up the stairs in that room, make them lay on their bellies to watch a short movie of a flight from a bird's perspective.

Returning to the centre of Level 6, don't miss the interactive floors, changing under your feet. After this, we normally split into two age groups: younger kids with an adult going to whimsical KidSpark (on Level 4, two escalators up) while big kids remain on Level 6 to and head to the fantastic Weston Family Innovation Centre. There, they can make short animated films, replay weird sounds on special DJ's tables, have their picture reproduced on a wall of bubbles, and so much more. Past the Centre is the visiting exhibition Brain: The Inside Story, on until March 29. (Click here to read about my visit on November 28, 2014.)

As for KidSpark, it is simply lovely. It was designed for kids 8 years and younger. Hard to say what my kids preferred: racing balls down roller-coasters, constructing with the lifts, the water table, the tree house. Decisions, decisions. Kids of all ages can enjoy the giant circuit for metal balls by the entrance of KidSpark.

Consider a membership!

Don't expect to see it all in one day! And if you intend to come back to see more, I strongly recommend you take a family yearly membership ($130, for two adults and up to 4 children, members pay only $5 for parking). Which means you'll be able to return as much as you want, preferably after 2 p.m. when schools or camps are leaving, without feeling the pressure to see it all to "get your money's worth".

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Buy the book Toronto Street Art Strolls

Nathalie's tips for a smooth outing

After years of doing all kinds of outings with my children, I can assure you the secret to a perfect outing lies in the details, not the destination.


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