The Canadian Museum of Nature is known at our house as "the castle." Every time we pass the stately structure on the 417, my girls catch a glimpse and cry "the castle, the castle!"
Although it does not house any royals (of the human kind,) the Museum of Nature takes children on a wild ride through natural history, with world-class galleries featuring dinosaurs, mammals, birds, dazzling minerals and rocks, live invertebrates, and a water gallery with a 19 metre-long blue whale skeleton!
The 100 year-old museum building is 4 stories high, and children love to climb the stairs or ride the giant elevators. Each floor has permanent exhibits, as well as special exhibits that are open for months at a time (one of our favourites was Bugs Outside the Box, and we're excited to check out Reptiles).
In the fossil gallery, travel back in time to meet the dinosaurs
The water gallery holds a skeleton of the largest animal in the world, and is a family favourite.
The beautiful dioramas in the Mammal Gallery create life-like scenes of animals' habitats.
The Bird Gallery is my daughters' favourite
That's where they get to play "veterinarian" to all the sick birds. While they're distracted, I get to sneak over and read a bit about some of my favourite birds.
Bug-loving kids will love Nature Live, where they can view live insects and participate in scientific activities.
And that's just the beginning! There is the Stone Wall Gallery, Earth Gallery, Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year, and 3D movies. There are also the super popular adult programs, such as Nature Nocturne (with themes such as Chinese New Year or Halloween), and special brunches on New Year's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter.
So if you are looking for an experiential gift for your children (or pssst, grandparents! This makes a great gift for you and the kiddos too!) look no further than a yearly membership to "the castle."
And don't forget!! You have TWO MORE DAYS to enter our Holiday Giveaway, where you get a chance to win a yearly membership to the Canadian Museum of Nature!