• Stephanie Hinds

4 ways to get outside this spring


You can open your eyes now. Winter is over. At least, it seems that way. As we put away our winter coats, hats, mittens, boots and scarves, albeit reluctantly, we start pulling out the spring and summer clothes, some of us (me), buying new ones entirely. I think it's safe to say spring is here. And since it's arrived, it's time to step outside. We've exhausted every Netflix series there is and watched everything we ever recorded on our PVR.

Nothing forces you outside like being on maternity leave as the weather gets warmer. Especially after spending the winter in your living room with a baby who somehow manages to always need more space. And as much as I had plans on going to the Ontario Science Centre and the extremely popular Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the AGO, I realized that super packed places weren't stroller friendly or baby friendly. So I started looking at more low-key ideas. Here are five low-key things you can do in Toronto.

1. Visit the Aga Khan Museum

After being greeted by a frantic mom as she was leaving the Ontario Science Centre urging me not to even bother going in there, I scoured my mind for an alternative. That's when I remembered driving past the Aga Khan Museum on the DVP, just a six minute drive from the OSC. When I got there, I couldn't believe how quiet and relaxing the space was. There was tons of room for my stroller and I, lots of room to walk through without being interrupted by smelly, loud teenagers and the staff was so friendly, offering to hold doors and picking up whatever it was that I was dropping.

But more importantly, the history this place had on display was amazing. This museum is North America's only museum dedicated solely to Islamic arts. You'll find amazing pieces of history ranging from art, religious materials, textiles and clothing.

2. See the cherry blossoms in High Park

For some reason, despite living in Toronto for 26 years, this was the first year I made it out to High Park to see the annual Cherry Blossom bloom. Last night, my phone alerted me that the trees would be in bloom early this week, and while the visit was chaotic (stroller life ain't easy), it really was worth it. Perfect time and perfect reason to take a stroll in the park!

3. Discover Markham

Last week, I decided to take a detour after having lunch and drove through Unionville's Main Street. If you want to know anything about Unionville, it's where part of Gilmore Girls was shot. So yeah. But Markham has some amazing, local attractions that include a theatre and an art gallery. Skip the line up and the drive to get to the AGO and stay local instead, basking in the glory that is an oldm quaint town with tons of charm and character. Just like Stars Hollow!

4. Visit Downtown Whitby

I know you're wondering a) if this is a thing and b) if it is, why it's even on this list. But I can assure you, Downtown Whitby is actually quite quaint. You'll find tons of shops and boutiques worthy of a visit. The entire Main Street strip is worth a walkthrough, and you'll find tons of places for dining, baked goods, antiques, clothes, gift shops and furniture. It's a beautiful part of town! And with summer coming up, be sure to check out the weekly farmer's market!

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