Queen's Park area
Royal Ontario Museum - The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada's largest museum. The collection includes archaeology, natural history, and decorative arts.
Best bets: The ROM's Discovery Gallery is a hands-on mini-museum of things from the Museum's collections. Kids can use microscopes and ultraviolet lamps for self-directed exploration, try on armor or dig for dinosaurs. Don't miss the Hands-on Biodiversity interactive gallery, with hundreds of specimens you can handle and activity stations, including discovery boxes, touch tables, costumes, and "living displays," such as an active beehive. The Bat Cave is a big hit with kids too.
Queen's Park is home to the Parliament of Ontario. It's a great place to walk around, or go inside for a tour of the beautiful building.
On rainy days when you wish you were outdoors but can't be, try the Allan Gardens Conservatory. With its six greenhouses, you'll find hundreds of beautiful plants, including a "Palm House" that will almost make you think you're in the tropics.
Bata Shoe Museum - The Bata Shoe Museum is a fun stop starting with the architecture: the museum is made of limestone and glass at odd angles, making it a Toronto landmark. Inside are over 13,000 shoes spanning 4,500 years, from Egyptian sandals to First Nations moccasins, French men's high heels, Queen Victoria's ballroom slippers, samurai bear fur shoes, and so much more. Plenty of children's footwear, such as Chinese booties, kids can pick their favorites. Plan to spend lots of time here: after touring the collections kids will want to do shoe "dress up," check out the puppet theater, and try crafts.
Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre at Toronto police headquarters has a collection of weapons and tools for criminal investigation collected since 1946. There are historical and modern exhibits, and interactive displays. Besides the exhibits, kids can climb onto a motorcycle, "drive" a police car, or see what it feels like to sit on the wrong side of the bars in a jail cell.
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