Greg Voisin Pottery.

It’s one of my favourite times of year – the One of a Kind Christmas Show. During its 11-day stay (Thursday, November 26 to Sunday, December 6, 2015) at Exhibition Place, thousands shop, eat, browse and buy from over 800 artisans  from across North America.

Every year I go once, if not twice. And every time, I look longingly at all those moms shopping with quiet babes, toddlers and husbands in TOw.

Not me. The mere mention of the word “shopping” to my boys (small and big) has them running away. For those of you in the same boat, there is hope. Here are some ways the One of A Kind Show helps you browse even with kids in TOw.


Getting there: The Enercare Centre (formerly known as Direct Energy Centre) is just past the Princes’ Gates off Lakeshore Ave W. and Strachan Ave. Accessible by transit and by car. There is parking indoor & outdoor,  ranging from $11 to $17 flat rates depending on day, time of day and lot. (There are free weekend shuttle buses.) Inside, stroller-friendly. The aisles can get busy with foot traffic and strollers. For easier maneuvring, try a carrier or bring an umbrella stroller.


Buzz Threads from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Low-down: Show hours (open late Tues, Dec. 3rd to 11 p.m.) and tickets (save $2 by buying online.) Kids 12-and-under are free. (Free re-admission.)

Plan your visit: Weekdays are usually less busy but with more stroller-traffic. Organize your route ahead of time with these gift guides and floor plans. Looking for kid-specific gear? Kids Clothing and Kids Toys & Furniture.

Bring ‘em and leave ‘em there: The Family Centre offers complimentary child-minding for kids 2-8 years-old. Staffed by Network Childcare, this service (weekdays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays 10am to 6 p.m.) is available on a first come, first serve basis with a 1.5-hour limit. More Complimentary Services.

Take a break: A Just for Mom area is a quiet space for diaper-changing plus a private room for feeding.

Snacks: There is some food for purchase. Bring your own snacks. You can eat outside in the hallway or there are some benches throughout.

License Plate art by Route 401.

License Plate art by Route 401.

Potty time: Yes, accessible bathrooms on-site.

Take a class: Deserres presents art-related activities for children eight-and-older. Available on a first come, first served basis. On Wed, Dec. 2nd from 7 to 8 p.m. you can Decorate Holiday Cookies with Jackie Long, Teeny Tiny Bakery. More classes.

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