A Day at the AGO with a Toddler
It’s been awhile since we visited the Art Gallery of Ontario (you may recall our first visit with the baby here) and with the grandparentsn town, we figured a quick afternoon visit would be the perfect way to stay cool in Toronto! Visiting on a Friday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to see many young moms and their babies exploring the various galleries. Looks like we weren’t the only ones trying to stay cool exploring art! Art and babies definitely can mix! It helps that the AGO is extremely stroller friendly – planning around nap times can also ensure parents get a chance to learn and be inspired. The AGO even has free strollers for rent!
One of the best features of the AGO is that they have plenty of activities for kids of all ages. From summer camps to drop in centres, your kids are sure to be entertained. With your admission ticket you get access to the Hands-On Centre which is a great drop in program ( open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends) where kids can make friends, costume play and explore art-making and creative play activities. Parents do have to stay and monitor their offspring and there’s plenty of stroller parking. It can be a bit difficult to find the Hands on Centre but ask any of the helpful staff and they’d be more than happy to guide (or escort) you towards the Weston Learning Centre.
When it comes to food, there’s plenty of options for both adults and the little ones, complete with Gehry-designed booster chairs and the washrooms all have change pads. I’ve also noticed plenty of comfortable lounge spaces for breastfeeding moms or those parents looking for some time-out space. I am in love with shopAGO kids, it’s no lie. Each time we pop by there we find some cool new toys 0r gifts (like the light up painting in the video). This time I also discovered kids stories about Toronto! I only wish I could shop there more often without having to pay admission fees! On a side note, shopAGO kids does have an online shopping portal but there’s something about some of those nostalgic toys that I enjoy playing with before purchasing! Always a kid at heart!
While it is true that the actual art galleries and exhibits can be a bit boring for the little ones, we found the Little Monkey was engaged when we started pointing out the colours in paintings or naming various sculptures or objects. A great way to improve their vocabulary with words that wouldn’t usually fit into our everyday repertoire. Ofcourse she wanted to pull at or touch things she wasn’t allowed to, so a few whining sessions did take place!
We don’t have an annual membership to the AGO but I can see myself popping by for the kids activities a lot more if we did! Definitely a purchase worth pondering about. Open all year long, the AGO is definitely a cool spot to hang with your toddler when time permits.
Jul 31, 2013 @ 20:28:37
SOunds like a great time, I want to take my kids to the museum here