It’s that time of the year again – the time when schools are out for two weeks, your house is full of sugary treats and your kids are bouncing off the walls!
So what do you do if you’re little angels don’t want to brave the cold and go play in the snow? Give them the gift of fun and learning!
How can YOU benefit from getting out to see museums?
1. You get out of the house – no mess to clean up, no dishes to do, no indoor floor hockey to monitor with breakables
2. Your kids are still learning – they’re not in school, but museums teach kids a lot of stuff they may not cover in schools, and are generally a more fun and interactive way of doing it.
3. You’re still learning! If you’re like me, a lifelong learning proponent, you’ll love the opportunity to discover something new and interesting with your kids AND your friends.
4. Discounts are EVERYWHERE. There is no better opportunity to visit museums than over the holidays. Almost every day of the holidays boasts discounted, half-price, or even free admissions to many institutions in your city.
Below are some of the museums, exhibits, and discounts you’ll find in major cities in Ontario this holiday season.
- The animal barns at the Canada Agriculture Museum are free for everyone from November 1st to February 28th
- The Canadian Museum of Nature has free admission on Saturdays from 9am to 12 pm and free admission at all times for children 3 and under. In addition, you can go to the library and take out the ‘nature card’ which allows for free general admission for a family if you wish to go on a day other than Saturday
- The Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization both have free admission Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm. The Children’s museum closes early on a few dates over the holidays. You can check out their hours here. Also note, Canadian veterans and up to three guests always get free admission as do members of the Canadian Forces
- The National Gallery of Canada offers free admission to the permanent collection Thursdays after 5pm and free admission to children 12 and under for all exhibits.
- The Canada Science and Technology Museum offers free admission on International Museum Day ( Monday May 18th this year) and on Canada Day (July 1st) in addition to free admission for children under the age of 4.
- Admission to the Royal Ontario Museum is free on Wednesdays after 4:30pm. The ROM has special half price holiday admissions (for general admission only) every day during the holidays from 4:30-8:30. They also have extended holiday hours and are hosting the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, so the Christmas holidays are an ideal opportunity to take your family to the ROM!
- The Mackenzie House on Bond Street has a special kids craft making program on for the holidays (from December 29th-Jan 3rd) for the following prices: Child: $3.33, Youth: $3.81, Adult: $5.71 and Senior: $3.81. (They’re not free, but still an fun and inexpensive afternoon out of the house!).
- The CBC Museum has FREE admission for everyone on weekdays from 9-5pm. They’re currently hosting the exhibit “Growing up with the CBC” (ie – bringing you back to your days of Mr. Dressup). I haven’t seen the exhibit yet, but if I were in Toronto for the holidays, I would definitely make a trip down there to check it out.
- It’s not a museum, but the Toronto Zoo has half price admissions for everyone,
for the entire holiday season!
If you know of any admissions discounts or special events in an Ontario city of the holiday break, leave a comment below! I’ve searched for a few, but I’m sure there are tons more opportunities for inexpensive mini-trips all over the province.
Residents of other provinces – don’t worry, there will be more posts as the week continues about museums and special holiday discounts in your province.
Remember, this holiday season you can give the gift of quality time, fun, and education to your family. Why not take advantage of it?