I Loved visiting the R.O.M. (Royal Ontario Museum) when I was a kid. I’ve always been a big fan of history especially Dinosaurs and Mummies. This past weekend we got the opportunity to take our little guy for the first time and it was so much fun! Check out our two minute tour and top 10 reasons why the R.O.M. is the perfect place for a family outing (we’ve even included a few helpful tips!)
10. Great Value
One of the best things about the ROM is that the price for entry is very reasonable especially given the fact that it’s easy to spend 3+ hours wandering and interacting. If you’re interested they also have memberships that allow you to come as often as you’d like and provides additional benefits (like free coat check!) TIP: If you plan to visit more than once definitely upgrade to a Membership!
9. Easy Access
We don’t live right in the city and driving down (especially in not great weather) can be a huge pain. Luckily the ROM is situated right at their own themed subway stop and you only have to go outside for about 30 seconds to get from the subway to the entrance. TIP: The Main entrance is off of Bloor street where the line moves faster.
8. Great Food Options
This is a BIG one for me. I hate having to carry around an entire lunch everywhere we go (although you are welcome to bring your own food if you like) and I also hate when the only food options are deep fried or crazy expensive. I was so pleasantly surprised that the ROM had fresh made to order food (like sandwiches & salads) at a very reasonable price. They also had the traditional fun foods like burgers and pizza but having the healthy options especially for kids is a HUGE bonus. TIP: You can get lunch for a family of three for under $30!
7. Well Laid out, Easy to Navigate & Accessible!
I love when places have a good flow. There is nothing more frustrating than hitting a dead end or constantly getting turned around. The ROM’s flow is so easy to follow and the layout makes sense. The floors are broken up into categories that go together and you never run into a dead end. Plus, there is elevator access to every floor and ramps that take you throughout the exhibits. This makes a HUGE difference! TIP: Be sure to grab a map, it makes navigating so much easier!
6. Special Exhibitions
The ROM is well known for bringing in some amazing special exhibitions that are always informative and fun. When we visited the Vikings Exhibit was on (and is on until April 2018) and we really enjoyed checking it out although it was the busiest place in the entire Museum. TIP: If you’re planning on visiting make sure you do this first rather than waiting until the end of your visit like we did.
5. The Bat Cave
This is one of my favourite parts of the ROM and has been since I was a kid. The Bat Cave is exactly what it sounds like, a replica exhibit of what a real bat cave is like that you actually get to walk through. This is such a fun interactive exhibit and even though my little guy found it a bit scary, he loved it. TIP: Let your little one go through twice, the first time they will just be adjusting to being in the dark (somewhat scary) atmosphere the second time they will get to really enjoy it.
4. Interactive Learning Spots
The ROM has really found ways to engage with their younger visitors and this includes great touch and learn areas where kids can dig for dino bones, try on armour, feel real snake skin and even climb inside a teepee. These areas help to give kids a bit of a play outlet as well as some hands on learning which, as we all know, really helps the message sink in. TIP: Be prepared to spend quite a bit of time here, there are lots of activities for your kids to explore and there is something for every age group. Don’t be afraid to ask an employee any questions, there are lots of them around!
Mummies are cool, no two ways about it, but the way they are displayed at the ROM makes it nice and easy for kids to get a super close look. Plus, the replica tomb (that you can touch) is a really neat spot for kids to check out, just remember to duck if you’re over 5’5 or you might hit your head! TIP: We found this area to be the quietest so it’s a good place to visit if some of the other exhibits are crowded.
2. Fish, Birds & Animals
The animal exhibits at the ROM are awesome. They range from real live fish (we found Dory!) to lifelike replicas of sharks & whales and even taxidermy of various animals and birds. My little guy loved seeing all of the fish, animals and birds and he learned so much. TIP: Look up!! There are so many exhibits hanging from the ceiling in this area, you don’t want your kiddos to miss any.
We saved the best for last, the Dinosaur exhibit at the ROM is AMAZING! We spent an hour in this spot alone. There are so many different dino & prehistoric exhibits to check out and my little guy even got a chance to see a T-Rex tooth and take an interactive picture with a chomping T-Rex. This is a spot not to be missed if your little one is a dino enthusiast and if your kiddo isn’t into dinos yet they will be after checking out this exhibit. TIP: Don’t rush through this section, there is a TON to see and lots of fun info to be gathered, make sure to take your time.
Well there you have it, 10 reasons why the ROM is a must do activity next time you visit Toronto with your kiddos. And, if you live here remember to take the time to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.