International Hockey Hall Of Fame

Ages 6 & up
Destination: Toronto, Canada

Hockey may be played around the world, but let's face it -- the ice-rink version of this game belongs heart and soul to Canada.

So it's fitting that the shrine to this sport should be in downtown Toronto, in a wonderfully ornate old bank building not far from the CN Tower. It won't be hard to find -- just look outside for the bronze sculpture depicting a handful of eager young players, all helmeted and suited up, clutching their hockey sticks and ready to scramble over the boards onto the ice.

There's nothing hallowed or mystical about this brash, intensely physical game, and appropriately enough, once you're inside, its Hall of Fame is an up-to-date space of slick black granite, grids of frosted glass, and bright stainless steel. NHL Legends is the section celebrating such great individual players of the past as Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzsky, Gordie Howe, and Mario Lemieux. They are also honored in the wood-paneled Great Hall's official Hall of Fame portraits -- appropriately close to a glittering silver horde of trophies, most prominent among them being the original Stanley Cup, displayed in its own special steel vault.

Professional NHL hockey isn't the whole story of this game, either, as you'll be reminded in the Hometown Hockey exhibit, a multimedia tribute to dozens of smaller grass-roots leagues.

Historical displays are one thing, but kids may have more fun with the museum's host of interactive exhibits -- trivia kiosks, a simulated rink for virtual shootouts, broadcast booths where you can try calling various historic games, two theaters showing clips of famous moments on ice, and a lounge where you can sink into a chair and listen to tapes of great broadcasts.

Information: Brookfield Place, 30 Yonge St. (tel. 416/360-7765;

Nearest Airport: Pearson International, Toronto.

Accommodations: Delta Chelsea, 33 Gerrard St. West (tel. 800/890-3222 or 416/595-1975; Hotel Victoria, 56 Yonge St. (tel. 800/363-8228 or 416/363-1666;