BootsSometimes you just want to take the kids where there are no kids.

This never felt more true when we spent a calm and quiet (outside of our group that is) morning enjoying the Weekend Family Fun activities at the Bata Shoe Museum.

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.”

327 Bloor Street West