Keep the Kids Entertained with a Trip to Outer Space this Holiday

Keep the Kids Entertained with a Trip to Outer Space this Holiday

The Royal Ontario Museum’s holiday programming offers a hands-on learning experience that’s out of this world

At the beginning of the holidays, the days stretch before us with such promise—at least once both school and work are wrapped up. It’s a relief not to be in a hurry to make lunches and drop the kids off at school. The children are happy to laze about in their pajamas. Heck, given the opportunity, the grown-ups are happy to laze about in pajamas, too.

But when the parties are over, the dinners are eaten and all the presents are unwrapped, there’s still—gulp—more than a week to keep everyone happily entertained in the middle of winter.

That’s when our fine city comes to the rescue with its great cultural destinations, chief among them the Royal Ontario Museum. It’s easy to take for granted an incredible resource like the ROM; we get caught up in our regular routines and may not find the time to get there between Gymboree or hockey tournaments on a regular weekend. But the holidays present the perfect opportunity to pay a visit to the ROM and take advantage of all the family entertainment it has to offer.

This year the Museum’s “Escape to Planet ROM” holiday programming will inspire visitors to explore Earth, our solar system and beyond. The activities and content will center around planetary science, with a focus on Earth and Mars.

Keep the Kids Entertained with a Trip to Outer Space this Holiday

This lineup is fantastic for any curious earthling, but especially for kids who have a thing for space exploration. I fondly remember my eldest son’s astronaut stage and the cardboard rocket ship he’d play in for hours. His younger brother will still gladly tell anybody who’ll listen how the earth was formed. Sound familiar?

As a mother of two boys who learn best by doing, I love the hands-on nature of this program. Thanks to the Canadian Space Agency, kids can check out a Mars Rover prototype, touch a real piece of Mars (actual Mars!) and test new space-themed videos games in the ROM Arcade (Smart for the Museum curators to bring in elements of gamification to the exhibit, right?)

Visitors can also walk on the moon (well, a meteorite, that is), try on simulated space suit gloves, watch space commander Scott Free defy gravity, get their photos taken by a robot named Rex, and make space inspired art.

Drop-in programs are included with admission and run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., so you may wish to plan your visit to capitalize on some of these. After all those days shopping, entertaining and cooking, it’s a relief to be able to sit back a bit while little ones watch a space puppet adventure or check out an augmented reality sandbox.

Keep the Kids Entertained with a Trip to Outer Space this Holiday

Of course while you’re there, there are museum classics to explore, too, like the collection of dinosaur  fossils, and the bat cave, a family favourite around here.

Keep the Kids Entertained with a Trip to Outer Space this Holiday

The holidays are also a great time to catch the museum’s special exhibition Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano before it closes January 3rd. My boys and I visited this exhibit a couple of months ago and found both the story and the objects preserved under the ashes really incredible. It’s well worth making it to the ROM just for this exhibit alone, especially since if they haven’t already, your kids will be learning about Pompeii in school.

If you’ve got out-of-town visitors, consider making your visit to the ROM on one of the days they’re with you. Of course your guests are primarily here to spend time with you, but it’s nice for them to go home knowing they saw something other than your living room. The Museum is even open on Boxing Day, and then every day until the kids are back in school with extended hours on December 27th through 30th and also on January 2nd.

Keep the Kids Enteratined with a Trip to Outer Space this HolidayHere’s another thing to think about: If you’re still shopping for holiday gifts, or there’s a grandparent still wondering what to put under the tree for your kids, consider a family membership to the ROM. This membership lets any two adults take any four children to the Museum, making it possible to bring a friend or relative and their children along with you as your guests. The ROM is offering a membership discount to our readers. Just enter promo code THENEW at checkout.

Also, we’re giving away a family membership to the ROM (value $149) to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment on this post to enter!

For more information on the ROM’s holiday programming, click here.

This is a sponsored post but opinions and experiences are my own.

Update: This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Elizabeth Friesen! Congratulations, Elizabeth!

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Brandie Weikle

About

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here.


'Keep the Kids Entertained with a Trip to Outer Space this Holiday' have 32 comments

  1. December 22, 2015 @ 2:44 pm Pearl Saban

    One is never too old to visit the ROM. Each visit for me brings back memories of childhood — family visits, school trip visits. Would love and hope to instill the same warmth for the ROM institution in my kids.

    Reply

  2. December 22, 2015 @ 2:44 pm Natalie

    Now the ROM has dinosaurs AND a cool space exhibit?! If anyone needs me I’ll be at the museum. Forever.

    Reply

  3. December 22, 2015 @ 2:45 pm Denis

    Cool! 🙂

    Reply

  4. December 22, 2015 @ 2:46 pm Laura

    I love the ROM. I’ve got one free day over my holiday vacation…and now I’m thinking a trip there would be the perfect thing to fill it!

    Reply

  5. December 22, 2015 @ 3:05 pm Dale

    Great article.

    I’d like to enter the contest, please. Thank you. Merry Christmas!

    Reply

  6. December 22, 2015 @ 3:32 pm Jennifer Lo

    We would love to win a family membership to the ROM! Thanks for the chance!

    Reply

  7. December 22, 2015 @ 3:37 pm Jenny

    Hi Brandie, I would love to win a family membership to the ROM! My little guys are really into anything related to space. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win!

    Reply

  8. December 22, 2015 @ 6:38 pm Tony

    Brandie, thanks for the opportunity for me to get my budding little astronauts into the ROM with a membership! Between the recent SpaceX historic landing and latest Earth-like planet discovery, “space” has been pretty much the dinner time conversation topic for the past week! Cheers!

    Reply

  9. December 23, 2015 @ 12:43 am AC

    Sounds amazing! I would love to take my family to this 🙂

    Reply

  10. December 26, 2015 @ 5:44 pm J. C. Lam

    Love this series. Inclusive and informative.

    Reply

  11. December 27, 2015 @ 4:53 pm Meghan K.

    Hi! Would love the opportunity. Thanks for the insight, from a divorced solo parent. X M.

    Reply

  12. December 27, 2015 @ 9:56 pm Catherine

    We love the ROM. My son has participated in the Tiny Tots program and Saturday Morning Club.

    Reply

  13. December 28, 2015 @ 12:06 am Tracey

    A family membership to the ROM is a great gift idea (and a great giveaway)!

    Reply

  14. December 28, 2015 @ 12:14 am Jody

    Escape to Planet ROM sounds like a wonderful hands-on program. Thanks.

    Reply

  15. December 28, 2015 @ 12:56 pm Baby

    Yeah! Let’s do this! I love going to the ROM!

    Reply

  16. December 28, 2015 @ 1:17 pm Heather Stover

    I have such fond memories of the times we spent at ROM when I was a kid. I love watching my kids experience that same feeling!

    Reply

  17. December 28, 2015 @ 1:40 pm JJ

    Fantastic article! We love love the ROM

    Reply

  18. December 28, 2015 @ 1:55 pm Anastasia Critikos

    Love! I adore the ROM and know that my family would feel the same. Lovely article.

    Reply

  19. December 29, 2015 @ 4:33 pm Jennifer

    Looks like some amazing programming at the ROM! Would love to win a membership.

    Reply

  20. December 29, 2015 @ 4:39 pm Kirsten G

    Fun! We’ve never been to the ROM, but would love the chance to go. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply

  21. December 30, 2015 @ 5:08 pm laura

    haven’t been to the rom in years, would love a membership

    Reply

  22. December 30, 2015 @ 5:24 pm Gen

    The ROM has always been one of my favourite spots in Toronto. Bringing my son towards the end of my mat leave was a wonderful experience. He wasn’t quite one, but was taking in everything we saw. He LOVED looking at the dinosaurs.

    Reply

  23. December 30, 2015 @ 10:29 pm naiddia p

    We have never been to the ROM. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Reply

  24. December 31, 2015 @ 12:02 am Elizabeth Friesen

    As a child, I had two things on my mind whenever I visited the ROM: 1) the mummy and 2) the dinosaurs! Now, my own children make a beeline to the very same exhibits I enjoyed as a child, plus so many more, in an absolutely gorgeous facility! We welcome every opportunity to visit the ROM!!! 😀

    Reply

  25. December 31, 2015 @ 1:25 am Anna Lee Boschetto

    Dinosaurs never get old! Living outside the downtown core, the ROM makes the perfect adventure day trip for me and my daughters who love science and exploration! Terrific giveaway, that keeps on giving!

    Reply

  26. December 31, 2015 @ 10:29 am Jamie

    I love the ROM. It’s one of our top family go-to spots in Toronto.

    Reply

  27. January 1, 2016 @ 2:50 pm Alayne Langford

    I have many wonderful memories of visiting the ROM with my 5, specifically when the Dinosaur exhibits first arrived! Now with 2 grandchildren and one on the way, I think that a family membership would be a wonderful way to share all of life’s secrets and mysteries with the little ones! Thank you! Happy New Year! 😊

    Reply

  28. January 1, 2016 @ 3:30 pm Maria P

    I would love to bring all 3 of my kids. The ROM is a fun filled and educational day for a famipy like mine.

    Reply

  29. January 1, 2016 @ 7:35 pm Brandee H

    Somehow I have never taken my son to the ROM. Reading your review though, we should go!! Sounds likethere isots for kids too!

    Reply

  30. January 2, 2016 @ 1:00 am em

    so many fun things to do at the Rom

    Reply

  31. January 2, 2016 @ 10:41 am muddasir

    Looks like a lot of cool things for the kids at ROM.

    Reply

  32. January 5, 2016 @ 8:26 am Annette C.

    Would love to visit the planetary science exhibit at the ROM.

    Now when I think of the ROM, I am reminded of the time of my niece’s marriage proposal at the ROM 🙂 …

    Reply


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