Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Goofing around at the AGO
You may think that the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is only for adults but there are actually tons of things for kids to do at the Gallery.   There is a whole kids area on the bottom floor that has costumes to try on, arts and crafts to make, different building materials and much more.

Making crafts at the AGO

 They also have things like the poetry wall

Creating at the poetry wall.

 And drawing stations in various places throughout the Gallery.

Creating a masterpiece to hang on the wall at the AGO.

Not all of the exhibits are appropriate for kids, you might want to steer clear of Rubens "Massacre of the Innocents" for instance, but some exhibits are more kid friendly than they might at first appear.  The current exhibit of early Renaissance art would be one such exhibit.  My kids loved looking at the beautiful illuminated manuscripts and the video on how they made paints hundreds of years ago was very well done.

There is a great collection of very elaborate model ships near the kids area.  I am not sure why it is in the AGO but it is fun to look at.

The Thomson Collection of Model Ships.
The Henry Moore sculpture exhibit is also usually popular with kids.

A sculpture by Henry Moore.
Sadly, the Floor Burger is currently on loan to the MOMA so my kids will have to wait a while to experience that one.  Anyone who went to the AGO as a kid remembers the Floor Burger and being equally amused and baffled by it.

My beloved Floor Burger.
The AGO also has the benefit of a really good gift shop featuring kids stuff (as well as the regular gift shop on the main level) which is a great place to pick up interesting birthday presents.  The AGO is also right in the heart of Chinatown and easily accessible by public transit so if the kids do get bored at the AGO, you can always go wander around Chinatown to keep them entertained.

You can visit the main galleries for free if you go on Wednesday night. If your kids do like the AGO, a good idea is to get the membership.  We qualified for the out of town membership (since we live in Kitchener) and it cost less than going twice.  You can take up to four kids with you each time so you can take some of your kids' friends too.

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