Looking for budget-friendly summer stay-cation ideas? Day trips can get pricey quickly – with admission fees, meals, transportation/parking/gas you’ve probably spent a hundred bucks when all is said and done. But with the help of Toronto Public Library and their sponsors, you and your family can visit some of our fine city’s major arts and culture institutions for FREE. Yep. Free.
The Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) is an ingenious program offered through all TPL branches. Here’s the deal: every week library branches distribute a limited number of family attraction passes to folks with a valid adult library card. These passes cover the cost of admission for up to two adults and 2-5 kids (stipulations vary per venue – read about them here). Ask for the MAP booklet the next time you’re visiting the Weston Public Library. Inside you’ll find the conditions for each venue, examples of available activities for the kiddies and recommendations for library resources that you can borrow to maximize your experience. No children? No problem. Make it a date night (afternoon?) or head down with your best bud. High-fives to the TPL and participating venues!
I have hotlinked all of the participating venues below. Click on the venue and you should be sent directly to their website. I think it’s important to note that the venues donate the tickets in the spirit of making arts/culture accessible to everyone!
- AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario
- Bata Shoe Museum
- Black Creek Pioneer Village
- Casa Loma
- City of Toronto Historic Museums:
- Colborne Lodge in High Park
- Fort York National Historic Site
- Gibson House Museum
- Mackenzie House
- Montgomery’s Inn
- Scarborough Museum
- Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens
- Todmorden Mills Heritage Site
- Gardiner Ceramics Museum
- Museum of Inuit Art
- Ontario Science Centre
- ROM – Royal Ontario Museum
- Textile Museum of Canada
- Toronto Zoo
Please note that the Weston Public Library is a priority neighbourhood branch and therefore has access passes to all of the places above. This is not the case at all library locations. Weston Library also currently distributes the passes alloted to the temporarily-closed-for-construction Mount Dennis branch.
Passes are in high demand, so plan accordingly. The Zoo and Science Centre passes are very popular – six Zoo passes are available at the WPL starting Saturday upon opening at 9am – they’re often gone by 10am.