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“Looking shabby, but still fun for kids”

Ontario Science Centre
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and up
Toronto CityPASS
Ranked #38 of 501 things to do in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Ontario Science Centre has welcomed more than 50 million visitors since it opened in 1969, implementing an interactive approach now adopted by science centres around the world. Today, the Science Centre is an international leader in free-choice science learning and a key contributor to Ontario’s education and innovation ecosystem, offering lifelong learning through hands-on, engaging experiences. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. As a publicly assisted organization, the Science Centre relies on generous individuals, corporations and foundations who share a commitment to science and education for additional operating support.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
127 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Looking shabby, but still fun for kids”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

To me it is a dirty, loud, expensive place with too many broken exhibits. To my 5 year-old it is a mecca of activity. That said, I don't think she learned very much about science. We missed all of the shows, and I found the labeling of items/ activities lacking. We had to answer many of her questions with, "I don't know what that is," or "I don't know why that happens," or even, "We can google it when we get home." Kind of misses the point.

I like that there is an entire enclosed area for young kids, but wished that some of the things in the other areas of the Centre were more little-kid-friendly. For example: bicycles are too high for little legs to peddle, paper airplane instructions are hard for little ones to follow, some exhibits are too high for shorties to even see. I was shocked at how many things I recognized as completely unchanged from my own childhood visits, and even more so by how many things were broken.

In short, I wish it was better, but it is what it is.

Tips: Bring your own food/ snacks if possible since the facilities there are expensive and not the best. Parking is $10, so if you like to walk, you might want to look for other options in the area. Try to get there early as it gets busy (and loud). Have a look for coupons online-- Attractions Ontario, for example, often has discounts. Some credit cards also offer a 20% discount on entry.

Visited October 2013
Thank SJinTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
76 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

It is an educational space, but I wish it was guest friendly with guides that explain what things are instead of just exploring and not really knowing what the things are.
The IMAX movies are costly so we don't watch as much as we like to. Using of lockers cost money and food inside the Ontario Science center is costly.

Visited October 2013
Thank Createwithmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“Most of the museum is outdated or very worn out”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

I've done a copy/paste of some of another review cause our experience was the same.

From the outside the buiding is a bit of old and a bit of new. The old parts look quite dated now.
The museum is aimed primarily at children and there were hundreds running around, screaming and playing.
VERY NOISY. We went on a weekend.
A lot of the exhibit was either shut, broken or being renovated. I feel if had we been paying the normal amount I would be asking for my money back.
The exhibit was very limited and the space section was really outdated.
Overall a really poor experience. I guess had we taken a child it may have been a slightly better experience.

We had just seen the Panda pavillion at the Zoo in the morning.
THAT ONE is really worth seing!
Don't bother with the Scince center if you're short of time.
I'd go back only if they make major renovations.
We didn't stay long.

Visited October 2013
Thank helene g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“For kids, needs updating”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

As a kid I loved going to the science centre. Not sure how much I learned about science but it sure was fun. As an adult however, I see that not much has changed. I would still take my kids there as parts of it are like an amusement park. Who knows, maybe a bit of science will creep in by accident. Needs updating, go for your kids, not adults.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank Saar G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exmouth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“NOT in the city!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

Although it was on the 'guest map' of Toronto it was quite a distance from Toronto City Centre. We walked for an hour, then hailed a taxi which cost $25 If you know your way round it would be cheaper to get the underground and bus or drive there, but once we got there we really enjoyed our visit, playing with all the hands on experiments..

Visited October 2013
Thank Marina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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