Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

12 Trees of Christmas at Gardiner Museum

Family Tested

Gardiner is branching out

Every year, designers are given "carte blanche" to their wildest fantasies with the decorating of twelve Christmas trees following a theme, which are then displayed throughout the museum. The result is usually lavish, if somewhat loaded, with a myriad of lovely details that small eyes enjoy discovering.

For the 12 Trees of Christmas 2015, the museum has gone a different direction and I could find only one such tree, displaying a glamourous spider theme. The others were "inventions", more like the idea of a tree, celebrating creativity. "Is that a tree?", wondered a little girl, as she looked at the plexiglass construction adorned with see-through photographs of a ballerina. "Creepy!", declared another, mesmerized by the wall projection of a tree made of hands opening and closing under a light snow (which I personnally found beautiful). Maybe tree "concepts" are less interesting for children (they're still fully engaged in the I-Spy game of spotting the twelve trees on all three floors) but they grew on me. I loved the tall tree made out of open umbrellas covered with Hermès scarves, the acrylic tree structure adorned with gorgeous crowns made by Startford's artisans, and the infinity reflection of a neon tree behind a glass showcase.

Good news! The twelve trees traditionnally were sold during a fundraising event and had to leave the museum by mid-December. In 2015, the event will go on until January 3, 2016. I'm hoping the Gardiner Museum will continue to do this. Combined with the Family Day held every Sunday (with activities included with the admission), and a visit of the museum's several galleries to expand their horizon, it makes for a fun family outing. (More about the Gardiner Museum.)

During my last visit on November 29, 2015, I took a bunch of photos of art depicting animals and created an I-Spy game to print and bring with you during your next visit. Enjoy!

We never what to expect in Gardiner’s Christmas trees
Even better on a Family Day (every Sunday)!
In 2015: a plexiglass tree with golden crowns by Stratford’s artisans
In 2015: An Hermès tree

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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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