Bats, mummies and dinosaurs may sound like spooky things to encounter at night, but for kids who love learning, they can make for some great sleepover friends.
Hands-on learning and sleepover fun melds together during ROMkids Sleepovers at the Royal Ontario Museum as kids get to stay up way past their bedtime to enjoy all the things the museum has to offer surrounded by their pyjama-clad friends.
With themed exhibits such as the Bat Cave, the dinosaur galleries and plenty of hands-on activities and crafts, the event is meant to give kids and parents a chance to explore the ROM like true VIPs.
“It’s an opportunity for kids and their caregivers to have a very private and exclusive experience in the museum. It’s a more personal exhibit and an opportunity that you don’t get on a regular visit,” said Jovanna Scorsone, program co-ordinator at the ROM.
The fun starts when doors open at 5 p.m., followed by a movie screening at 8 p.m. and access to museum galleries from 10 p.m. to midnight. Kids can touch specimens, dig in sand for dinosaur bones or just hang around the galleries with their little buddies. One adult (19 or older) can accompany up to five children who are five-years-old or older.
Last year, kids loved belting out their favourite tunes during P.J. Karaoke, which returns again this year, along with a midnight snack of pizza and munchies.
Things to bring: An inflatable mattress pad or something else to sleep on, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, pillows and slippers. There’s no dress code other than whatever kids find comfortable and warm to sleep in, though naturally pyjamas are always a popular choice.
Regular admission is $75 per person, but ROM members or groups of 10 or more pay only $67.50 per person. The price includes the midnight snack as well as breakfast and all-day admission to the ROM the next day.
Scorsone says the whole event is about letting kids experience the museum’s riches in a way that feels liberating and fun.
“It’s great watching kids arrive in their pyjamas all excited to be here. We want them to feel like they’re participating in the museum and to come away with more information about culture and natural history. A lot of these kids already love learning but we want them to feel like the museum is their playground,” she said.