We were likely the first guests when doors opened at 10 a.m. Immediate gratification: a small space next to the admissions desk just for kids. It wasn’t loaded with activities – a corner to try on shoes and tables for colouring and crafts – but enough to get the kids busy and smiling. We spent most of our time there watching them strut their stuff and make up stories inspired by a dozen or so wacky shoes (not just kid-sized as you’ll see in the pictures.)
Of course, the Museum’s primary focus is not a kid audience although there are tons of fascinating footwear that would impress the little guys. We had five-and-unders in TOw, so the attention span was next to nil when exploring the three floors of galleries. (The sweet spot is probably around 9-and-up, depending on your child.)
Getting there: Located on Bloor St. W at St. George. Driving, lots of paid street ($3/hr) and Green P parking in the area. TTC, couldn’t be easier with the St. George Station (Accessible) only steps away. Take west exit on St. George, not Bedford Rd.
Getting around: Three floors of galleries. Stairs and elevators. Free coat room on lower level.
Admission: Children five-and-under are free. Family rates available.
Snacks: No cafe or cafeteria. Lots of food options along Bloor.
Potty time: Baby change table. Washrooms in the lower level.
Kid-friendly: In addition to trying on shoes, there is a different craft on weekends that changes monthly. We were there for make-our-own shoe-themed bookmark. Lots of talking points in the galleries, plus a scavenger hunt. The Museum gives some ideas about what may appeal to the younger audience here. Some shoe-themed kids books in the store.
Kid programs: Definitely check out their special kids programming for March Break and summer camps.
Nearest park: And it’s a good one. Taddle Creek Park is off Bedford north of Bloor St. W. Super close to Tim Horton’s and Starbucks.
Funniest thing we heard: Upon seeing a photo a ballerina’s feet in pointe shoes, my five-year-old said “look mom, that person has a broken leg.”