Living in Toronto we are spoiled with the great variety of activities for kids. For Christmas this year we received a Family Membership to the Royal Ontario Museum - the ROM.
It's great fun.
There is a ton to look at:
animals and insects;
dinosaurs and fossils;
ancient cultural treasures and clothing;
gemstones and natural wonders;
and don't forget the knights (did I mention we are in to those right now?).
We've been a few times, but have yet to see the whole place.
As for many of these types of attractions, I highly recommend the family membership. It only takes a few visits to pay it off, it acts as a motivational destination when you just can't think of something to do, and it provides the freedom to leave.
We've all been there.
That says Don't Touch!
You know that place where we've shelled out the exorbitant entry fee, but the kids just aren't having it. Instead of taking in the beauty and the wonder (why aren't you learning?!?), they are in full-on meltdown mode. One is screaming, the other is tearing the place up. If yfou have a third they are already lost somewhere. There are the disapproving looks from the other patrons, the ones you just want to stick your tongue out at, or some other lessmoreappropriate gesture.
As a parent, you're either exhausterd or frustrated or have just plain had it. Most likely all three. That's the beauty of the membership. You can call it. Pack 'em up and head her home. No harm, no foul. Try again another day. There is no sunk cost, no sticking it out, no need to "get your money's worth". Did I mention I was a fan of this approach?
We trained like LEGO ninjas in the Ninjago exhibit. We built race cars, and raced them down ramps. We played in the playground with giant foam bricks and danced with the LEGO Friends. It was a nice balance for two very different boys of different ages.
Kai & Ollie
The big guy was thrilled to be able to trade some of his minifigures having recently gotten five of the same character in the most recent minifigure series (what are the odds of that?!).
The staff were great. They loved the LEGO as much as the kids and were quick to share their excitement. There is a good variety of activities. The cafe could be improved - there's not much beyond pizza and sandwhiches, but you're not their for the food.
And of course you have run the gauntlet of the retail store as you exit, but to be expected. They do have a great selection of LEGO products.
The big guy was keen to attend the Master Builder Academy. He clearly views this as a trial run for his post-secondary endaevours given how his current career of choice is Master Builder. In the Academy we built our very own aliens.
Concentration of a Master Builder
We had such a good time that when it came time to ask the big guy what he wanted to do for his brithday the answer was easy: LEGOland!