Even though our last visit was over a year ago, my 3-year old daughter definitely remembered Ontario Science Centre.
I’m always looking for fun places to take my family in the winter that are warm and kid/baby friendly and I told her that we would take her and 7-month old baby sis to see the new Sesame Street exhibit.
Lunch at the Ontario Science Centre
One of the reasons my family loves the OSC is that you can bring your own lunch.
We arrived at noon, packed our winter coats into a locker (costs $1), and had lunch in the designated eating area located near the entrance. There were a large number of picnic style tables where other families were having lunch.
On a previous visit, we ate at the cafeteria – it’s a bit expensive and crowded – I would recommend bringing your own lunch or eating before you come!
Sesame Street Presents: The Body
After lunch, our first stop was Sesame Street – The Body on Level 6. We spent an hour and a half exploring the circle of exhibits that taught us about our hands, nose, digestion, and bones.
Another one of her favourite sections was “Elmo’s World”, where she could practice tying shoe laces, watch Elmo TV on bean bag chairs, and dress Elmo with magnetic clothes.
If you want to catch this exhibit, be sure to do so in the next few months because it will only be here until May 5, 2014.
Next, we headed to KidSpark (8 yrs and under) on Level 4. Even though it was partially closed, there was still a lot to do, including water tables, exploring insects, hot air balloons, and playing with the ball ramps.
My only complaint here was that there weren’t enough water aprons for the little ones. At the two hour mark, I had to tell my daughter that we were going to go to a different floor.
We saw the classic electricity demo, the Human Edge exhibit (lots of skeletons), the Family Innovation Centre (interactive play suited for older kids), and walked through the Rainforest.
Baby and Toddler Friendly Ontario Science Centre
The OSC is baby friendly, as I had no problems finding change tables, diaper disposal systems, or nursing rooms. The nursing rooms, called “Baby Care Rooms” aren’t the most comfortable, as the chairs aren’t great for feeding and the rooms are very cold, but at least they’ve got them.
There are regular, family, and baby care washrooms near KidSpark which are quite good in terms of cleanliness, some of which are equipped with shorter kid sinks. There are plenty of benches and tables throughout the OSC where you can stop and rest or have a quick drink.
Our visit wrapped up at 5PM closing time, making our visit 5 hours in total with two young kids. If your kids are high energy, plan to spend the entire day at the OSC, as there are lots of areas to explore outside of KidSpark and Sesame, even for a 3 year old.
Know Before You Go
Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Ontario.
Best Time to Visit: Any time although afternoons seem to be a bit quieter. Ontario Science Centre is open 364 days of the year.
Cost: Admission is based on the type of ticket – Science Centre only or Science Centre + IMAX. Admission ranges from $13 to 28 for visitors 3 years and older.
Several tiers of annual membership are available. The one that we would most likely choose costs $130 and cover 2 adults and up to 4 children.
Food and Snacks: The cafeteria area is busy so I’d suggest eating before or after your visit or packing lunch in your bag.
Getting There: Parking is $10 ($5 if you have annual membership, Gold Members qualify for complimentary parking) per vehicle. The OSC is also accessible by TTC (buses and not subway).
About the Author: Born and raised in Toronto, Lillian is mom to two little princesses and can be usually found researching new restaurants or recipes when she’s not working or travelling.