It looks as though Old Man Winter has finally hit Toronto. While kids love the snow, sometimes its just too cold to go outside. You don’t want your kids stuck inside the whole day, it will drive them and yourself absolutely squirrely. I find when the weather is inhospitable for outdoor adventures, its best to find an indoor adventure, outside of your own home. I really enjoy the Royal Ontario Museum for a day out.
It is great for both adults and children, and can be a great educational experience. It is open on the weekends from 10 – 5:30 and admission for adults is only $15 each, students 15 – 25 is $13.50, children 4 – 14 is $12 and children under 3 are free. Special exhibits are additional, but some are worthwhile to take a look at. We saw the water exhibit in the summer and there were some hands on things for parents and children alike to play with. When we choose to go the ROM, it’s only a $30 day out for the three of us. We like to bring our own lunch to cut down on the costs. I find their cafeteria, like most places, is overpriced. I would also stay away from the gift shop if you want to keep the price down. My husband bought our daughter a 2 foot high stuffed dinosaur for $40 the last time we went. The gift cost more than the three of us to get in for the entire day.
Located in downtown Toronto, it is easily accessible by transit. You can get off at Museum station and it is just a short walk outside. The entrance of the museum is architecturally stunning. Once you have paid admission, you will enter a large room where you then decide which direction you wish to start your tour. The entrance room is filled with dinosaur skeletons, armour, statues, paintings and an actual totem pole that seems to stretch on for the full height of the museum.
My daughters’ favourite part of the ROM has to be the dinosaur exhibit. She is more excited about seeing the dinosaur skeletons than she does about seeing Santa. We have to ensure she is holding one of our hands, because as you can see in the photo below, she loves to run to each exhibit, completely disregarding everyone else. Excitement takes over, and all the manners and good behaviour I have tried to instill fly out the window.
The ROM is also very stroller and kid friendly. There are elevators that access each floor and the hallways and aisles are wide enough for strollers. They have a children’s part of the museum where kids can play and learn at the same time as well as socialize with other children. It also gives Mom and Dad a well deserved rest. Sometimes they have people dressed up like dinosaurs walking around for the kids to talk to and it makes for a great photo opportunity for children that are not afraid. While my daughter loves Barney on TV, she was very leery of this dinosaur up close and personal.
My husbands favourite part is the bat cave, albeit my least favourite (I was raised in the country, I know what its like for real bats to swoop around your head.) Mine is the Canadian exhibit, especially the paintings during the wars. My hubby always sighs when I ask him to go into the Canadian exhibit. His argument; “Why do we have to look at the Canadian exhibit? We live here don’t we?” I love learning new and interesting things about my home and native land and getting to see and touch things from generations past. He enjoys looking at rats with wings.
I strongly recommend the Royal Ontario Museum for a fun family day out. It is relatively inexpensive and there is an exhibit for all tastes and cultures. There are things for both kids and parents, reasonable student prices, stroller and wheelchair friendly, easily accessible by transit and is open 7 days a week.