Kid-Friendly Museums in Ontario
Whether your child is a train enthusiast, history buff, or of a fan of magic tricks, you’ll want to visit these Ontario museums with your kids.
Spark your curiosity with an indoor adventure at the Ontario Science Centre. Explore the wonders of science and innovation through exciting exhibitions, hands-on learning activities and amazing live demonstrations. Plus, catch a larger-than-life film in Ontario’s only IMAX® Dome theatre.
Location: 770 Don Mills Road, North York
After two years of endless screentime, kids are hungry for adventure, and ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) has plenty of that. With an exciting line-up of exhibitions and interactive galleries, there are lots for visitors of all ages to enjoy and discover. Home to more than 13 million objects spanning art, culture, and nature, ROM is an epic ode to life—and the most-visited museum in Canada. Experience one of the world’s great museums, in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Location: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto
Spend a day at Muskoka Museum, Muskoka Pioneer Village, Rotary Village Station and Portage Flyer Train. Discover the history of Huntsville and the Indigenous people at the museum. Next, take a 30-minute train ride along the Muskoka River to Fairy Lake Station aboard the vintage Portage Flyer Train. Get the inside story from the train’s conductor about the type of maintenance that keeps the train running. Costumed tour guides at the Pioneer Village help recreate the way of life in the area over 100 years ago. There are so many enjoyable activities to do. Everyone can put aside the electrical devices to try their hand at creating candles the old fashion way. Find out about cattail dolls, then learn how to make them, or experience churning butter and sample a scone or bannock. A highlight for many kids is to meet Abigail the donkey and the other animals at the farm.
Location: 88 Brunel Road, Huntsville
The recipient of the internationally recognized SafeTravels Stamp for a safe and clean environment, Kitchener’s THEMUSEUM is the ideal blend between exciting family-friendly exhibits and a true learning experience. The museum is filled with all sorts of tools to sharpen young minds. Your young ones will be excited about learning. Tots over 3 years old can learn about science through interactive demonstrations. Kids will feel empowered participating in workshops like the introduction to 3D printing and the possibilities they can create with the knowledge and experience. Seasonal programs are also available. Check the daily programming schedule for available activities.
Location: 10 King Street West, Kitchener
Treat the railway enthusiasts in your family to a full day exploring the Toronto Railway Museum, located minutes from the CN Tower in Toronto’s historic Roundhouse Park. Beyond learning about the history of Canadian railroads, you can also take an exciting ride on the mini-train with your little ones. Check out the big locomotives that were responsible for developing much of Ontario, learn about the people who built the railroads, and explore the inside of a historic train car at this kid-friendly museum. Be sure to visit the gift shop, which is filled with fun train-themed toys and figurines, so your family can remember your day at the roundhouse.
Location: 255 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto
As Northern Ontario's most popular tourist attraction, Science North consists of two snowflake-shaped buildings located on the southwestern shore of Ramsey Lake, just south of the city's downtown core. Kids and adults will love the variety of interactive exhibits offered, including a 3D IMAX with Laser theatre, a Planetarium and F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery. With the variety of different stimulating learning opportunities present, you’ll have a hard time fitting everything in.
Location: 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury
Located North of Barrie, there are several historic buildings to visit along with the exhibits at Simcoe County Museum. You can engage with the immersive exhibits, like the reconstruction of actual stores of Barrie’s Main Street from the early 20th century. Stroll this faux main street and pore over the detailed storefronts and shops. You can even explore the replica of the Wendat longhouse, a traditional Indigenous home. Outside the museum are ten historical buildings that were restored or relocated. Visit the old jail, the Anglican church or even the old fashion bread oven where you can see how pioneers baked over 100 years ago. The exhibits at the museum are designed for interactive education, making it fun to learn about the area’s fascinating history.
Location: 1151 Highway 26, Minesing
The home of the Crazy Kitchen, ZOOM Children's Innovation Zone and the Exploratek maker studio has a lot up its sleeves when it comes to showcasing new tech innovations, paying homage to the pioneers and cool science demonstrations that everyone will love. It’s a place to take the kids where they will see the world from a new perspective. For example, the Hidden Worlds exhibition allows kids to get a closer look at things around them using microscopes and other technology. There’s a mixture of sound, light and vision and so many delightful discoveries that will keep you returning.
Location: 1867 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa
If your child likes dinosaurs take them to the Stones ‘n Bones Museum to see the wide variety of dinosaur bones and fossils on display. The pictures and descriptions from books come to life when you see the exhibits up close in real life. Marvel at the dramatic difference between the various types of dinosaur eggs. Get your questions answered by the friendly and knowledgeable staff and the extensive detailed displays. Learn how animals from Canada and around the world survive in the wild. And discover the amazing life of marine and aquatic animals, insects, butterflies and spiders.
Location: 223 Christina Street North, Sarnia
Rooted in the philosophy of K.I.D.S (Kreate, Investigate, Discover and Solve), Niagara Children’s Museum is the ideal place to bring your child to foster growth.
Three spacious floors filled with educational fun are available for your child to explore and expand their minds. Funded by the Niagara Falls Art Gallery, the Niagara Children’s Museum entertains kids as young as three with activities that will keep them occupied for hours. Programs such as art classes open the door to discovering new hobbies and encourage kids to roll up their sleeves and enjoy painting, drawing and making sculptures.
Location: 8058 Oakwood Drive, Niagara Falls
Is it real or is it an optical illusion? Use your senses to navigate through perplexing brain-teasing installations that defy logic. The Museum of Illusions is jam-packed with an assortment of activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. Take photos of your kids walking on the ceiling in the upside-down room or get lost in the mind-bending infinity room that plays optical tricks on you as you walk through. Tickets are available online for timed entry.
Location: 132 Front Street East, Toronto
It’s a child’s paradise at London Regional Children’s Museum where playtime is the main attraction. Kids interact with activities that introduce them to science, history, technology and nature, through play in a fun environment. Not only do the kids see the exhibits, but they are encouraged to touch and explore the exhibits and use their imagination interacting with the exhibits. Some activities have included architectural digs, interact with a one-room schoolhouse from long ago. Kids can pretend they are piloting a spacecraft, or they can learn about weather and mechanical energy. The possibilities are endless.
Location: 21 Wharncliffe Road S, London
Cruise around Lake Muskoka on the RMS Segwun, the oldest operating steamship in North America or the Wenonah II, which was built in 2002 to resemble the older steamship from the turn of the 19th century. At the Discovery Centre, learn about steamships and other types of boats from engaging exhibits. Special features like Watershed Wonders have state-of-the-art technology to learn about aquatic lifeform. The KidZone offers activities influenced by STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) learning. Year-round programs mean that there’s always something new and exciting to discover.
A variety of events, programs and entertainment are available at Pickering Museum Village. Take a walking tour with costumed guides dressed in attire from the 1800s to learn about the heritage buildings. Enjoy a hands-on workshop to learn how to make ice cream the old-fashion way. Young artists can explore their creativity as apprentice carriage painters. Budding gardeners can learn about gardening. There are so many things to do at Durham’s largest history museum.
Location: 2365 Concession Road 6, Greenwood
Learn something new and fascinating about steam power technology and the industrial revolution in Canada. Tours are available for all ages. Interactive exhibits are entertaining and engaging. Keep an eye out for the Golden Horseshoe Live Steamer Days, a popular summer attraction. It's an opportunity to hop on board a miniature steam train for an enjoyable ride around the property.
Location: 900 Woodward Avenue, Hamilton
There’s a lot to learn about steam locomotive logging at the train museum that was inducted into the North American Hall of Fame in 2016. There are various exhibits to see, including the exclusive full-size Shay locomotive and a baggage car with a HO scale model train layout and a caboose. Kids will want to ride on the miniature steam locomotive at the back of the museum. Watch Facebook and Instagram for the schedule of the Story Station, an interactive and entertaining program for young children that involves stories and songs about the history of railroads.
Location: 131 Queen Street, Komoka
Set in a cozy 1885 log house, this functioning workshop is a great museum for families to visit. Younger kids can play their part in woodworking activities too. In the past kids have even participated in making Adirondack Chairs. Whether you’re taking a class to learn how to create something out of wood, or you’re simply visiting to enjoy the live music and museum exhibits, this scenic spot is a great place for kids of all ages.
Location: 2993 Highway 2 East, Kingston
Last updated: November 17, 2022