Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

Allan Gardens Conservatory (Toronto)

Family Tested
Fall Color

Oasis in the city

The Christmas Flower Show is on until January 7, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You first enter into the building with the high palm tree-filled dome with a central hall (where you can expect a special display during the flower shows). To your right, a lovely tropical hothouse (where we used to play a game of matching leaves fallen on the paths with the right plant.) Beyond it, a large selection of hairy, prickly, and fluffy cacti awaits (so many different shapes!). On the left side of the dome, you'll find a cooler space with a small waterfall and a lovely red-fish pond. This is where we find the loveliest displays during the flower shows. Further, orchids bloom against the roar of water going through a paddle wheel. Look for the turtles!

Displays change depending on the season. Chrysanthemums bring an autumn look to the Allen Gardens, while December marks the return of poinsettias and flower sculptures. (See my Facebook photo gallery for the Christmas Flower Show 2017 and the photo gallery for December 2015). 2016's show was also quite cute, with a Santa in his sleigh and a horse cleverly made our of plants. The first time we visited Allan Gardens during Easter, what a contrast with the wintertime that was still reigning outside! (See our March 2017 photo gallery on facebook: I had not realised how much I needed a visual boost of colour, until I saw the visual richness of the place during spring time, not to mention the sweet bouquet emanating from all the flowers added for this season.

And good news! They've added a big outdoor playground on the west side of the conservatory. More about Chew Chew's Diner, a nearby family restaurant.

Musician penguins under the palm trees

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Nathalie's tips for a smooth outing

After years of doing all kinds of outings with my children, I can assure you the secret to a perfect outing lies in the details, not the destination.


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