We’re excited for the upcoming Family Day Weekend in the city and there’s no shortage of things to do. While we know that that there are plenty of skating rinks and ski hills to enjoy but if you’ve got kids who prefer indoor activities that explores more arts & culture, here is our list of our most highly recommended arts & culture events happening in Toronto!
ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM has plenty of features to take in this weekend!
Chinese New Year celebrations kick off with plenty to do this Family Day weekend at the ROM with hands-on activities for kids including art activities, calligraphy, tai chi, music and dance demonstrations and lion dance performances. Explore a few interesting artifacts that will be brought out from the vaults.
Douglas Coupland‘s incredible exhibit has opened as well. Located on the fourth floor of the ROM and great for tweens and teens to explore, this contemporary artist’s first major survey of work. The exhibition explore a diverse range of media with thought provoking issues that we are all experiencing today. It takes a look at the 21st century condition and how also technology’s presence affects our thinking…or should. If you visit this exhibition, be sure to also stop into Holt Renfrew Men store on Bloor Street to visit Coupland’s “GUMHEAD”—the kids get a kick out of sticking their own chewed up gum onto the sculpture (gum machines on location). Kinda gross but I like the idea that we’re just “sticking it to the man”—that’s my interpretation but never mind, it’s fun for the kids. A collaborative effort on this exhibition is located at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Arts (MOCCA) at Queen Street West. This arm of the exhibition is worth checking out to complete the circle of the thought process.
The ROM’s World Photography of the Year Exhibit is a stunning look at this year’s finalists and award-winning entries to the world renowned nature photography competition. Entries from around the world were submitted by novice and professional photographers. What’s even more fascinating is the entries from kids! Several interactive components are here for families to learn more about the images captured.
ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO brings back KGO! On Monday, February 16, kids and families will take over the AGO once again and turning it into the K(ids)GO! Tons of exciting hands-on projects from craft making, drawings, and spaces even for the littles art lovers! The new Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition has just opened so the day will be filed with music and art activities inspired by the artist including influences of music and social issues. Visit Walker Court for beat-boxing, breakdance and hip hop performances with UNITY Charity, crate your own graffiti signature in “tag art making, join in kid-friendly gallery tours, chill out in the several nooks and take in a family friendly film in Jackman Hall. Visit the brand new Kids’ Gallery Pets and Me exhibition – a space designed especially for kids and families to learn and experience art first-hand. In the current exhibition families will see paintings, sculptures and photos of children and pets from a centuries ago and from far away places. The Kids’ Gallery includes books, hands-on art stations for budding artists should they be inspired by the exhibit works.
BATA SHOES MUSEUM invites families to the Artist Studio on Monday, February 16 from 10 am to 4 pm for a day of arts and crafts with a shoe-theme. Sculpt, paint and draw creations to take home. Play iSpy throughout the museum’s galleries and try on unique footwear!
GARDINER MUSEUM hosts a hands-on fun day at their clay table. Explore the collections in the ceramics museum with scavenger hunts, and other fun activities. Older kids may be interested in the newest exhibition, Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise presented by the Smithsonian. It’s an interesting look at how the arts have created an inspirational journey for women in the deep south (U.S.) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who have achieved independence through their craft
TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX includes hits from the very popular TIFF Kids International Film Festival as well as fun family activities. Learn how “Foley” sound effects are created in film and make pick from a variety of props to make your own movie sound effects. Learn stop-motion animation with skilled animators and take in several international screenings.
THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD is a terrific musical theatre production now on stage with Mirvish at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. It’s not the story of Robin Hood that you are use to (our review here: Heart of Robin Hood is Action Packed Fun!) but it’s much more! By popular demand, the show is extended until March 1st.
BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA has a special Family Day screening of the Hot Docs 2014 Audience Award Winner The BAckward Class, on Monday at 4pm – admission is free for 16 years and under. The film features the Dalit students of Shanti Bavan school in Bangalore, India who prepare to make history by becoming the first from the “untouchable” caste to take high school graduation exams.
YOUNG PEOPLE’S THEATRE will present a special performance of Snow Angel. The play is all about the magic of winter wiht a special show at 2 pm on Monday, February 16th. There will also be a scavenger hunt, backstage tours and mask making workshops (rsvp required).