Friday, October 25, 2013

Hockey Hall of Fame - Toronto

Ok, first up, confession time:

Even more shocking, neither does my husband!  Interesting fact:  I have been to one hockey game in my life and it was the year the Leafs were in the playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings.  My husband has been to one game in his life and it was the same game (not together, I guess I should mention).  Kismet! Anyhoo, my kids have never seen a hockey game!  They have a vague notion of it, they know you play it on skates and there are sticks involved but that is about it.  Since I am Canadian, I apologize.  Having said that I took my kids and a few other kids to the Hockey Hall of Fame one afternoon and despite my complete lack of understanding of anything that was happening around me we had a good time.  

Are goalies freakishly big?  Apparently, if these shin pads are anything to go by.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has lots of exhibits of jerseys and equipment and pictures of (I assume) great hockey players from days gone by, in fact, according to their website they have the largest collection of hockey memorobilia in the world.  For hockey buffs I would imagine that would be pretty interesting.  I will say that they do a pretty good job of including women hockey players and hockey from other parts of the world which I hadn't expected.  
My daughter trying her hand at slap shots.  I think that is what they are called.  Anyway, she actually managed to score a goal so she was happy.  I did not manage to get a goal, sorry!

My kids liked the interactive exhibits the best.  They have a few hockey themed video games that the kids liked to play, plus Foosball (is it still Foosball if it is hockey themed?)  The shootout section was the most popular with all of the kids I took (o.k., and me!).  They liked taking shots at the animated goalie and they liked blocking shots in the goalie simulator. 
Like any good Canadian family we have read The Hockey Sweater, so Maruice Richard is the one hockey player's name she actually recognized.  Well, and Tim Horton's of course.
The dressing room was fun for the kids too.  They liked trying on the giant hockey equipment and goofing around.  The highlight for most kids though will probably be the Stanley Cup.  You can have your picture taken with the Stanley Cup by a professional photographer (for a fee) or you can snap your own for free.  The atmosphere in the room where they keep the Cup is one of hushed reverence, I must say.  As we entered the room I said to the kids who were with me, "O.k., let's go take your picture with the Stanley Cup!" and my daughter turned to me, excited, and said "Sure!  What is the Stanley Cup?"  You could hear the astonished gasps from everyone else in the room down the hall I am sure.  Anyhoo! 
My kids posing with the Stanley Cups.  Yeah sports!

There is a gift shop!  If you have hockey mad kids you can find just about anything hockey related you might desire there. 
My daughter managed to find the one and only non hockey related thing in the gift shop. 
The kids who were with me who like hockey loved the Hockey Hall of Fame but even my kids liked it well enough to spend the afternoon there without complaint so if you have hockey mad kids I suspect it would be a hit.
Things to keep in mind:
  • It will cost about between $50 and $60 for a family of four to get into the museum.
  • It is right downtown, by Union Station.  I would recommend taking transit rather than driving.  If you are coming from the suburbs, you can take the GO train. 
  • Getting to the museum is easy enough, getting into the museum is much trickier.  You would think you go in the door that is at the front of the museum that faces the corner of Yonge and Front Streets but you would be wrong.  You actually have to go inside the little plaza a few doors down and wander around until you find someone who can point you in the right direction.  Here is a map of the plaza but trust me it won't help.  You'll find it though, eventually.
  • There are no restaurants or even a coffee shop (no Tim Horton's!) in the Hockey Hall of Fame and you are not allowed to bring in food or drinks.  There are a couple of vending machines but that is it.  There is a Marche restaurant right outside the museum though.  


  1. Thanks for the tip about how to get into the museum. I wouldn't have figured it out otherwise.