Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

Gardiner Museum (Toronto)

Family Tested

Great on all levels!

My favourite time of the year to visit the Gardiner Ceramic Museum with children is during the 12 Trees of Christmas event but any other time, kids will enjoy their visit, if you put them in an I-Spy game state-of-mind. Even better, on Sundays, the museum offers family activities included with the cost of admission.

You'll find something to catch their attention on all levels of the Gardiner Museum. Start the visit with the Modern and Contemporary Ceramics gallery on the ground level, where we get to marvel at the skills of artists able to make ceramic look like leather, metal, fabric or vegetables. The most whimsical pieces are found in the European Porcelain galleries on your left on the second floor. Our favourites: the Monkey Orchestra figurines, the Pug dogs from Germany and the wall display of one hundred tiny scent bottles. Last time I visited that section in November 2015, they had recreated a scene in a glass showcase, inspired by a French painting (included in the display) and featuring a life-size woman in a "boudoir" from the mid-18th century. Many other pieces in the other galleries depict intricate scenes of war. (Check the animal-themed I-Spy game I created for the Gardiner Museum.)

The current exhibition on the third floor, presented until January 20, 2016, is quite spectacular! In Kent Monkman: Rise and Fall of Civilization installation, large bisons painted on the walls surround a 9 feet high cliff from which a huge bison jumps under the eye of Miss Chief, the alter-ego of the Cree artist. At the foot of the cliff lay crashed ceramics, like crushed bones from the hunted animals. Quite a sight!

This is not a cabbage! It’s the life-like art by artist Karen Dahl.
Family Day’ every Sundays (expect activities in the lobby)
The European Porcelain galleries offer the most whimsical pieces.
Special exhibitions are included with regular admission

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Buy the book Toronto Street Art Strolls

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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