2019 is an exciting year for the Ontario Science Centre located in Toronto, Ontario as they are marking a milestone of 50 years! This year is the best time to visit the Toronto Science Centre as they have a thrilling line up of events, activities, shows and displays to explore and discover. Activities to engage the whole family are hard to find at an affordable price, however the Science Centre Museum in Toronto more then delivers as it is an affordable day trip with kids. The Science Centre offers activities and shows that not only engage children but also engage hard to please teens. Today’s education system focuses on teaching children to be 21st century learners that are able to engage in communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration and the Science Centre offers activities to help children and teens develop these skills. Ontario Science Center is an Interactive Science Museum that allows you to engage your senses when exploring and discovering as you are able to see, hear, and touch many of the interactive displays. Visitors are encouraged to be dreamers, thinkers and doers of Science and Science Communication.
About Ontario Science Centre
A global leader in lifelong learning, the Ontario Science Centre encourages visitors of all ages to question, explore, be curious and creative and discover the amazing world of Science through hands on displays and demonstrations. The Science Centre is a Science and Technology museum that inspires passion for the adventure of discovery and sparks children and youth innovation. The future of our society and our planet will be shaped by science, technology and innovation so it is essential to provide children with opportunities to explore, learn and collaborate thus why the Science Centre makes for a great family day trip or school field trip.
The Ontario Science Centre opened it’s door back in 1969, and will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary on Sept. 26, 2019. This is such a milestone that the Ontario Science Centre has decided to celebrate all year long making 2019 the best year to visit as there will be so many new things to explore in addition to their permanent features! It is a significant cultural and tourist attraction that has been part of Toronto’s landscape for decades offering science experiences for all ages to explore and enjoy.
What to do at the Ontario Science Centre?
The Ontario Science Centre offers hand on exhibits to engage thought provoking experiences in science, technology and innovation for all guests. The Ontario Science Centre is fun for all ages as there are over 500 interactive experiences located in the eight halls, multiple live science demonstrations, in addition to the Planetarium and Ontario Science Centre Omnimax.
Find out more about the exhibits you can explore:
Learn all about the ultimate source of Power – Energy! The show will investigate and experiment to teach guests all about the different types of renewable and non renewable energy, and will even explore the iconic Van de Graaff generator.
Ontario Science Centre Imax – Level 2
Catch a thrilling film on a giant dome screen, while listening to an amazing state of the art sound system. There is an additional cost for IMAX tickets. Current Films include: Pandas, Great Bear Rainforest, Journey to Space, Oceans: Our Blue Planet and Super Dogs (Coming April 2019)
KidSpark – Level 4
Children aged 8 and under can explore KidSpark’s engaging science activities WITH their caregivers. Children are able to enjoy science in a learn through play space that is built especially for our youngest scientists. Activities like: Scavenger Hunts, Animal Encounters, and Sensory Stimulation: For a Full List of Events. Full Review of KidSpark.
The Planetarium and Space – Level 4
Explore everything science including meteorites, cosmic rays, black holes, space ships and rockets, and state of the art planetarium. The Planatarium offers a fantastic voyage to the Moon, Solar System and beyond through their two shows:
Show times vary daily. Please check boards on Levels 4 for Daily Showtimes.
Eyes on the Skies (ages 0-5): For children 5 years and under WITH their caregivers. Learn about the nighttime sky through singing, connect-the-stars constellations and a journey to the moon!
The Sky Tonight (age 5+): Discover what’s visible in the sky tonight and learn about upcoming celestial events
The AstraZeneca Human Edge – Level 6
This exhibit hall focuses on exploring the Human Body through five lenses: In the Beginning, Mind and Body Limits, Personal Limits, Pushing Past the Limits and Other Limits. Explore all that the body can accomplish and how your body handles danger and limits!
Cohon Family Nature Escape – Level 6
Explore the Science Centre’s amazing backyard from Late Spring until Fall and explore the forest that is home to a Baltimore Oriole nest, and large local tree species.
The Living Earth – Level 6
Explore the rain forest and try to spot the poison dart frogs. Check out amazing natural science experiences: touch a tornado, crawl through a cave, and check out a coral reef.
Science Arcade – Level 6
Engage your scenes as you navigate a distorted room, test your reaction, and test out a bike generator and much more.
This is just a highlight of some of the incredible demonstrations and exhibits you can explore while visiting the Ontario Science Centre!
Ontario Science Centre Map and Guide
New in 2019 to Ontario Science Centre Exhibits:
Jan 2019: Inventorium: A play based learning hands on interactions, that is a collaborative art and science maker space. Examples of Activities include: design and code a punch card to create a loom, create a frame from the Canadian woodland leaves and bark, solve design and build challenges, design ideas for products of innovation, and create a mini loom or laser cut a coaster to take home.
March 2019: Celebration Way: Kick off your visit with Celebration Way and explore how several fields of science, from human biology to space exploration, have changed since 1969. What do the Beatles have in common with medical imaging? Is your microwave a robot? Explore these questions and more throughout your Science Centre visit
May 2019: Astronaut and Women in Space – Discover what it takes to be an astronaut and blast off into space!
Sept 2019: The Mind: In House Science Centre Creation
When to Visit Ontario Science Centre:
The best time to visit the Science Centre is during the morning before it gets busy, and avoid holidays and school breaks if possible. The Ontario Science Centre hours are:
Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Science Centre is huge, so you can spend an entire day exploring and still come back to explore more on your next visit.
How much will it cost to Visit the Ontario Science Centre?
Ontario Science Centre Admission Prices: Buy Online and Skip the Line
Ontario Science Centre Discount Tickets and Ways to Save
I found this coupon, Courtesy of Attractions Ontario
Best Value! Get a Ontario Science Centre Discount Code for Membership
We visited last Sunday for 3 hours and definetly could spend lots more time exploring so we are super happy to have a Membership this year. Thumper loved playing in Kidspark and I think she will enjoy it even more once she starts walking in the next couple months.
Ontario Science Centre offers a different adventure each visit as there are lots of temporary exhibitions, IMAX films, special events, science demonstrations in addition to the permanent exhibits. You can easily spend multiple days visiting something new and exciting with the kids and the membership pays for itself in just 2 visits! A single visit for a family of 2 Adults and 2 Kids is $70, for just $55 you can get UNLIMITED ACCESS FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!
Members of the Ontario Science Centre enjoy:
- FREE admission to permanent and select temporary exhibitions
- Includes Ontario Science Centre Parking Coupons
- FREE subscription to the exclusive Members’ monthly email newsletter filled with news and information on coming attractions, your benefits, offers and invitations.
- No reservation fees when booking IMAX® Film and Special Exhibition tickets in advance by phone
- Ontario Science Centre ticket prices reduced for guests of members
- Ontario Science Centre Discount of 10% DISCOUNT at the restaurants
- The Ontario Science Centre belongs to both Canadian and International reciprocal admission programs. This means that our members can visit over 300 exciting science centres and museums all over the world – FREE! For more details: https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/Members/Join/Travel/
Science Centre Museum Coupons and Cheap Deals
- Ontario Science Centre Deals: Tourists should consider the CITY PASS – SAVE 37% of Toronto’s Top 5 Attractions (CityPASS is valid for 9 consecutive days starting with the first day of use, so there’s no need to rush; you’ll have plenty of time to experience Toronto at your own pace.) This is also a great option for families who want to explore Toronto during March Break or Summer Vacation! CityPASS Admission Includes
- CN Tower
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- Casa Loma
- Royal Ontario Museum
- Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre
How to get to Ontario Science Centre?
Ontario Science Centre Directions and Location:
The Ontario Science Centre is accessible by bus, car, bike or public transit. Go Transit offers many options that connect with City of Toronto routes. For full details on transportation options.
Ontario Science Centre
770 Don Mills Road (at the corner of Eglinton Avenue East)
416-696-1000 (toll free: 1-888-696-1110)
Parking is $10.00
What about Amenities and Accessibility at Ontario Science Centre?
Amenities and Accessibility are huge factors for me when deciding on family day trips as with a young child of just about 1, and a grandparent in a wheelchair I have certain features that I look for when researching day trip destinations.
Ontario Science Centre Free Admission:
The Ontario Science Centre believes that everyone should have access to visit and learn about science and therefore participates in the Toronto Public Library’s Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) program, sponsored by Sun Life Financial. “Borrow” a pass for up to 2 adults and 2 children from 32 select Toronto Public Library branches. Restrictions apply. For more information, please visit: torontopubliclibrary.ca/museum-arts-passes/
Wheelchairs and Strollers:
The entire Science Museum Ontario is wheelchair friendly and accessible for all to enjoy as it has elevators to move between levels, and has Accessible, Family and Special Needs/All-Gender washrooms which are available throughout the centre. Wheelchair parking is also available.
A limited number of wheelchairs and strollers are available to visitors for free at the Level 2 Ticket Desk.
For those families with children with special needs such as Autism, visiting a place such as the Ontario Science Centre can be super overwhelming due to the crowds, noise and over stimulation. The Toronto Science Centre has prepared a Social Story to help prepare those with sensory needs prepare for their visit. The My Visit to the Ontario Science Centre Social Story teaches about waiting in line to safety rules and noises to expect at the museum. The centre also offers a quiet zone for reflection and calm down time.
The Science Centre is committed to being an inclusive, accessible and engaging cultural attraction for all. Service animals are welcome as long as they are accompanied by a person with disabilities. Please note: Admission waived for a Support Person accompanying a person with a disability.
Baby Care Room: Includes changing tables and an area to allow you to nurse baby in private.
Brown Bag Lunch Area: Save money and bring a lunch from home and enjoy your meal in the RBC Foundation Lunch Room, Level 2 or one of the Two Brown Bag Lunch Areas.
Free Wireless Charging Station and Free Wifi: The entire Science Centre offers free WIFI and there are multiple charging stations if you need to charge your phone.
Ontario Science Centre Food Options by Level
- Lobby Cafe: offers sandwiches, salads, snacks and Tim Hortons
- Maker Bean Cafe: offers specialty tea and coffee blends
Terrace Grill: Offers char-grilled burgers, hot dogs, chicken and corn. Enjoy an ice cold lemonade in the natural outdoor setting. (Open July – Sept)
KidSpark Cafe: Kid friendly food including: snacks, hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, hot dogs and pizza.
Vallley Restaurant: Offers many options to meet everyone’s taste buds including: burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, chicken tenders, fries, salads, pizza, pasta and so much more!
Gift Shop: Don’t forget to stop to take some science home with you!
Don’t forget the Science Centre also offers Sleepovers, Day Camps, Weekend Workshops and Birthday Parties in addition to your regular visit!
You may be interested in other Greater Toronto Area Day Trips:
Pin for Later
Disclaimer: I received a yearly membership to the Ontario Science Centre as compensation for this post, however the opinions are my own.
1 thought on “Ontario Science Centre: A Day Trip Guide”
I love the sound of this science centre. And I just know my son would love it too. We always enjoy visiting places that are both educational and hands-on fun!