Three buildings of fun and educational activities – so good you might even decide to stay the night!
The Ontario Science Centre is an enormous space which covers a wide range of scientific topics, from wildlife and nature to our solar system and beyond. More than 600 activities and exhibits are spread over 10 different rooms in three buildings, so be prepared for a day on your feet. There are also free prams and wheelchairs available for those who need them.
Your first port of call is the Great Hall where you can sit and be mesmerised by David Rokeby’s Cloud installation. The giant mobile is made up of 100 sets of suspended metal panels, each programmed to behave slightly differently. The result is a gentle and meditative mechanical rainstorm.
The Living Earth Exhibition Hall is another of the museum’s highlights. Here you’ll be able to wander through an artificial rainforest. Look out for poison dart frogs and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
Although the centre is child-friendly in general, the KidSpark Hall in particular has been specifically designed to engage and inspire younger visitors. Children will learn how to build complex structures such as houses and rollercoasters. The Amazing Aging Machine is a great laugh to try out with the kids too; this computer generates an image of how you’ll look in 50 years' time.
One of the most popular events put on by the Science Centre is the Sleepovers which take place on selected Saturdays in spring. These events include a day of interactive science workshops, some stargazing, a 3-D film in the Omnimax theatre, and then indoor camping overnight. Take a look at the website to see when these events are happening and to book ahead.
The Omnimax theatre is an exhilarating experience in itself. For an extra charge you’ll be able to enter the theatre where you are surrounded by speakers and a panoramic screen. Check the website to see what’s on.
The Ontario Science Centre is in the Don River valley, about 20 minutes by car from the centre of Toronto. Parking is not cheap so you’d be well advised to take one of the buses that stop just outside.
The centre is open daily except for Christmas Day, with extended opening hours on weekends and public holidays.