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“Great place to burn off energy ”

Ontario Science Centre
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and up
Toronto CityPASS
Ranked #37 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 older children, Activities for young children
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great place to burn off energy ”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013 via mobile

We are always looking for little gems that are quiet and fun places to go to on week ends with our 6 and 2yr old. The science centre is in a good location (not hard to get to if you have a car). Parking is 10$ - but we have a membership so it is free. We just moved to a Toronto from Calgary where we visited the Telus Spark on a regular basis. So this is our "new" Science Centre. As well, we travel a lot so we get to utilize our membership in places all over Canada and the USA (with all the options for shows and fun centres, the membership pays for itself quite quickly). The lobby is on the main floor - we haven't seen any movies here yet but they have a good selection of times and titles. Yes the entire place seems like a concrete cell block with 6 levels of exhibits that are clearly marked on each level. The place is HUGE...but the area we spend most of our time is the kids zone...what a fun place. I like that it is divided into 2 areas. The water area could use more plastic aprons and more foot stools. But other than that both spaces are incredible fun for kids to explore. The Marketplace is by far our kids' favourite to visit every time. There are a lot of chairs and tables on this floor and it is easy to sit and have a snack or lunch without having to line up and buy something from the cafe. There are ample elevators and the place is spacious for strollers and running toddlers. We haven't eaten at the cafeteria or visited the gift shop yet. I appreciate that the gift shop is tucked away so we can spend our money on the membership rather than the numerous souvenirs my kids whine for me to buy. Thank you for keeping the sanity in our family. The hours of operation are excellent. We are looking at registering our daughter for a day camp in the summer. There is always someone in a lab coat close by in case you need directions or help. The place is clean but is showing its age. I am guessing it feels brighter in summer --- this is a good place to visit with kids of all ages - we look forward to many more visits this year :^)

1 Thank Barebums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Amherst, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“OK for kids - but not adults/teens unless there is a special exhibit”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

My husband and I visited in November 2013 and were disappointed and spent about an hour here and left. We went here a few years back to see a Titanic exhibit - which was great...and the standing exhibits at the center were just an extra. But to go JUST to see the standing exhibits - so not worth it. Tie your visit to a special exhibit you want to see. That was not the case when we visited there in November 2013.
To our surprise - many of these standing exhibits from our first visit were STILL THERE!
When we were there - there were school kids (middle school) running around like a bunch of fools. Hard to enjoy the exhibits ourselves.
If you have young kids - this might be fun. But, not really for adults or teens - unless there is an exhibit of interest.

Visited November 2013
Thank Joelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
58 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great for Families to let loose and have Fun !!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

Took our 6 yr Old , she had a blast. Hubby and I had not been there since Grade School (25 yrs ago ) Was disappointed to know that School teachers didn't get in free anymore or there was not a discount for them. We had a extra ticket ( child ) from a deal we had from WagJag Jaunt which incl Hotel and 4 tickets. I had heard the conversation of the Hubby and Wife both teachers who had 3 kids. I asked them if they didn't mind we could have their oldest stand in line with us so they wouldn't have to pay for him. They were very appreciated that we offered them our extra ticket. If it wasn't for School Teachers there would not be the interest for kids to go. Maybe the Science Center should offer at least half price for Teachers. Just a thought after all they fuel our kids with knowledge. It was nice to let loose and be a kid again !!

Visited November 2013
1 Thank makingendsmeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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

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