I consider myself a creative and crafty mom but I was even surprised and inspired by all the imaginative options to keep kids busy at the new Children’s Discovery Centre near Liberty Village.
This mini-museum for children six and under merges a lot of the best-of’s from so many kid-friendly venues (the CEO and Founder was inspired by the Discovery Museum in San Francisco) and all your fave homemade DIY activities. Here there are 10 discovery zones equipped with everything you could imagine. And then some.
What we love is that kids can just play. There are no slides or kid playground structures. Each section is fully equipped, but doesn’t feel overcrowded with “stuff.” Each new room brings a million new opportunities – a real canoe and tent in the campground (plus some supplies to make your own), vet office with veterinary tools and stuffed pets (even a mini x-ray machine), arts area loaded with cardboard boxes and windows you can paint, and a big stage with dress up gear (my kids were most enthralled by an “old” push button landline phone.) This is just to name a few of the many gems to kickstart little imaginations.
Facilitators are onsite to engage and help encourage discovery, but adults in TOw must supervise their child(ren). (Everyone over 12 months pays admission.)
Here are some (not all) views of the fun to be had:
Getting there: Located at the northeast corner of East Liberty Street on Strachan Ave next to Liberty Village. All the TTC and driving directions (and parking options) are here. No stairs. Indoor stroller parking.
Low-down: Open weekends from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Closed weekdays and holidays. (Open weekdays for pre-booked school groups.) Admission: a single Play Day Pass is $13 (adults and kids over 12 months). There are Five-Day Packs for $55 and Family Memberships. They do birthday parties.
Snacks: Bring your own and eat in the Sago Mini Café. (Yes that Sago Mini.)
Potty time: Family washrooms.
Babes in TOw: There is a special “First discoveries” zone for babies, plus a baby area next to the “Art Hive” where there is a “shoes off” policy. There are also two “Quiet Rooms” for breastfeeding or just chilling out with your kids.
Big kids in TOw: My six-year-old was more than occupied and happily explored along side older kids and toddlers.
In the hood: There are tons of parks and playgrounds in walking distance. Directly 1km north to Queen Street is Trinity Bellwoods Park. Less than 1km southeast you’ll find Fork York, June Callwood Park (on the to-visit list) and Fort York Library. Lots of greenspace to run at Cornation Park south of the Lakeshore.