Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Explore Your Kids Artistic Interests at the Art Gallery of Ontario #Toronto

Art Gallery of OntarioRecently, I was doing what every Parent does… I was worrying. On this particular day, the question that had my stomach in knots was “Am I doing everything I can to support The Kids interests?”.

Since Max was little he’s been eating, sleeping and breathing music and soccer. More than once a day, I have to ask him to stop kicking his ball in the dining room (a.k.a Ed and my office). And Artemis loves reading, crafts and dancing so much that she either begs to sleep with a book, pencil crayons or her sparkle shoes. Never know when the urge will come over you.

Art Gallery of Ontario-Kids Gallery1

And so I worry. That they’ll have all the skills and desires to be skydivers but never find out because I never took them skydiving. With this in mind, I thought that while in Toronto this Summer, we’d deviate from the normal Family Attractions.

We visited the Art Gallery of Ontario.

If you think that Art Galleries aren’t appropriate for young kids because they have to be quiet, can’t touch things and there isn’t anything for them to see or do. Think again.

We started out the day by visiting the Francis Bacon and Henry Moore Exhibit. Art or the interpretation of it is not my strength so I really appreciated that you could rent an audio guide with headphones (for $3) or download an app to your phone (for free). It was interesting to see how much The Kids enjoyed the sculptures. I say that because they asked tons of questions and were very quiet. Mind you, so was everyone else but it definitely wasn’t silent like a library and neither were The Kids. Interestingly, they weren’t the only young kids in the exhibit (although they were the youngest) and thankfully, no one gave them a second glance. Trust me, I was watching.

Art Gallery of Toronto Kids Tables

After that, we walked around a few more exhibits but The Kids were excited to open up their activity bags that they received at Guest Services (be sure to ask for them). We took a break at one of the many seating areas and found tables for kids equipped with paper and utensils for drawing. The kids enjoyed creating sculptures with their molding clay but we didn’t stay long. They were excited to see the Thomson Collection of Ship Models, Kids Gallery and the Hands on Centre.

Art Gallery of Ontario Artemis Sculpture

So Much for Kids to See and Do at the AGO.

Imagine you love ships and suddenly you’re in a room filled to the brim with them. Some big, some made out of wood and some no bigger than a toonie. Or, tables and pictures hanging on the wall at just the right height. The bonus, an area where you could dress up, take a picture and upload it to Instagram where your face would then appear on the screen in the gallery for you to see. Just another day for kids at the Art Gallery.

And last but not least, we ended the day at the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands on Centre. What a feast for the senses and I’m not even talking about The Kids. The room had everything; mirrors, dressup area, car sets with roads, trains with tracks, a craft table bigger than I’d ever seen, instruments, pillows, places to jump and a romantic book nook. Well, there was probably more but that’s what I managed to take in. The great thing about this centre is that kids 5 and under get in free as long as they’re accompanied by an Adult (with a ticket). If you get an annual membership for $100, your kids could play 6 days a week for 52 weeks a year.

Art Gallery of Ontario Kids Hands on Centre

And there’s more. Gallery Tours, Special Events and Summer Art Classes. I could go on but instead of reading about it, I highly recommend that you visit the Art Gallery of Ontario and take a step outside the norm by letting your kids experience something that they might not normally. Who knows, they might just be the next Picasso.

Explore Your Kids Artistic Interests at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Connect with AGO Website | Facebook | Twitter

Note that this is the fourth of five attractions in our “What To Do with your Family This Summer in Toronto”.

Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo received tickets that enabled us to complete this review.

34 thoughts on “Explore Your Kids Artistic Interests at the Art Gallery of Ontario #Toronto

  1. Rene

    This looks great – I had totally thought I’d have to wait until the kids were older, but now I know that’s totally untrue!

  2. Brandee H

    Sounds like you had a wonderful visit to the room. The annual membership would definitely be worth it if you lived close by!! We recently went when the RIM hosted a free day. It was a great opportunity to see the exhibits.

  3. HEIDI C.

    I really enjoy taking my kids to museums and galleries. I am so appreciative when they have family programs.

  4. Debbie S.

    I love hands on activities like what the museum has, and unique educational toys to buy too! Looks like you guys had fun!

  5. Amy Lovell

    This place looks awesome!!! Ive always thought art galleries are more for older quieter kids, but I guess I was mistaken!

  6. Alayne Langford

    Your visit brings back memories of the last time we went to see the Dinosaur exhibit and how we just could not get enough of it. It was awesome! Thanks! Gosh I think it was at the AGO!

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I love it when places have a hands-on area for children, it’s these things that get children interested in the topic. I remember taking my children to a science centre that had so many hands on displays that it was tough to drag them away and it only worked because I bribed them with an offered of ice-cream. 🙂


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