The Hockey Hall of Fame, nestled in the corner of an underground mall in downtown Toronto, was an unexpected surprise for our family.
In all honesty, we’re not hockey people. My kids had a brief flirtation with it for a few months, then decided all the cool gear wasn’t worth the early morning hours and endless drills. But when I discovered that the Hockey Hall of Fame was just a few miles away from our hotel, I couldn’t resist a quick visit before heading back home.
I’m so glad we visited.
Filled with fabulous displays and interactive games (kids can try to score against a simulated goalkeeper), the Hockey HOF is well worth the entry fee. There’s a wonderful locker room devoted to the Montreal Canadiens and exhibit devoted to the gold medal winners in the Winter Olympics.
And best of all, you can have your photo taken next to the Stanley Cup.
As in, the real silver-stashed-in-a-vault-every-night-and-oh-my-gosh-it’s-huge Stanley Cup.
The one the hockey players hold over their heads when they win the championship? Nope. Not the real one.
Which makes sense considering the players are probably exhausted and could drop it on the ice.
(Ouch! And wouldn’t that be an ESPN Sportscenter moment?)
We got there right when the hall opened and spent a couple of hours, though we easily could have spent more if we hadn’t had a plane to catch. And if you’re a hockey family – plan on an entire day.
The Hockey HOF was a new edition to Frommer’s 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up, but we’ll still count it.
So 25 places visited, 475 to go.