Toronto Day-Tripping

BATD ON Dec 19, 2012 AT 12:56 pm

by Colette Gilbert

On our day of arrival, we didn’t have time to think about being tired, as we were lucky enough to be invited for dinner at the 1,815 foot high CN Tower which we had already spotted gloriously peaking out high above the city skyline on our way in from the airport.

Visibility on a clear day can reach 160km (nearly 100 miles)

We dined in the revolving 360 restaurant on the X floor which offers spectacular views at every turn along with delicious food. It’s quite difficult to concentrate on eating dinner with the view constantly changing around you with something new to admire. Quite breathtaking. The kids took a while to get their head around the view, I think they thought it was some kind of TV screen at first.

We visited the observation level. This has a glass floor with a view down 1,122 feet.

 First stop the next day was the Toronto Zoo which, with 700 acres to explore, is pretty awesome. As a family of course we have done the zoo thing a few times in London and in the first instance the kids think they know what’s coming and are quite ‘OK yes whatever, it’s a zoo’ about it, until we get there and they realise actually this is a pretty cool zoo with animals we’ve not seen before. ‘Yeah let’s stay longer’. And so we did, but it was pretty hot so unfortunately we couldn’t spend as long as we’d liked, the kids had a great little buggy for shade but none available in grown up sizes!

Toronto zoo is in its early stages of a $50million dollar ‘Wild for Life’ campaign that helps causes through research, education and conservation. In turn this will mean a much better experience for the animals and the visitors.

The new additions this year at the zoo are the rare white lions, not seen in the wild for over 15 years, also African penguins and baby polar bears. The kids loved the polar bears. There were videos showing alongside the enclosure of them as babies and how they have grown. The kids also loved the Sharks at Stingray Bay tent where you get to touch the stingrays and sharks (yes sharks).

A huge highlight for the zoo next Spring 2013, will be a Giant Panda conservation & breeding centre. The zoo is about an hour’s drive from downtown however do not let this put you off. It is absolutely worth the journey whether you are young or old. We loved it.

We then re-charged over lunch in time for one more excursion that day; a visit to the Ontario Science Centre. Now, I thought the London Science Museum was pretty great, but this centre has some really amazing interactive play for kids called KidSpark, a unique discovery playground for kids aged 8yrs and under. The venue also has daily science demos, shows IMAX(R) films daily and is home to Toronto’s only public planetarium.

A giant marble run at The Ontario Science Museum

Our kids did not want to leave, and if we had not had plans for the rest of the holiday, we would have been back here every day! The kids had such a brilliant time, there were in tears when we had to leave (at closing time). If there is one place you go with kids in Toronto, make it this one.

The Ontario Science Museum

Put your message in the canister, then bounce on the seat at the very end to make the message travel down the tube. Pretty funny to watch children (& grown-ups…ahem) bouncing with such determination to push the message along.

Kids’ supermarket at The Ontario Science Museum

They also had this amazing toy supermarket set up, about the size of my local Tesco Express! Aisles with shelves of play-food, fruit and vegetables that kids could wheel their trollies around and pretend they were really shopping then even take everything to the till once they were done. It was heaven to my little girl, she was in her element here. And as you can see, she even found a friend at the till to ring up her bill of groceries. Museum staff would re-stack the shelves constantly. Genius.

Music Studio at the Ontario Science Museum

Arthur rocking out. They had a music studio set up with loads of guitars with different sounds and you could watch yourself on screen…well, just rocking out really.

It had been an action packed trip until this point and we were not even a full 2 days in yet. Watch out for my next post where I will tell you our next steps on our trip including our visit to the Shops at Don Mills, dinner at Glow restaurant. What we discovered at the ROM and our fun meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Not forgetting our amazing day at Centre Island on the beach and enjoying the theme park. Take me back….

 

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