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5 Fun Family Sleepovers in Toronto

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Why not skip the hotel one night and sleep somewhere more unusual during your next family vacation? Since the release of the first Night at the Museum movie starring Ben Stiller, unique sleepovers have been springing up everywhere. These creative overnight outings allow kids to learn while having fun, and parents don’t have to vacuum up the popcorn afterward. Here are five fun family sleepovers in Toronto.

5 Fun Family Sleepovers in Toronto

Royal Ontario Museum

Pint-sized paleontologists will get a kick out of spending the night at the Royal Ontario Museum (a.k.a. the ROM) and exploring after it has closed to the public for the night. Sleepover guests gain special behind-the scenes access to some of the museum’s galleries and get a chance to chat with ROM experts. Expect arts and crafts, a PJ karaoke party, and a late night snack of pizza and popcorn while watching a movie before bedtime, typically one of the Night at the Museum movies. Kids must be aged 5 or older to participate and there must be at least one adult for every five children. The ROM sleepovers are great for families, birthday parties or other group events and sell out very quickly.

toronto ontario science centre sleepover

Sleeping over at the Ontario Science Centre (Photo Credit: Ontario Science Centre)

Ontario Science Centre

Book a sleepover at the Ontario Science Centre for a fun indoor camping experience combined with learning through hands-on science activities. Girl Guides and Scouts can even earn badges for participating in this overnight program. The current sleepover theme, Bio Beats, includes a visit to the centre’s new exhibition hall, the AstraZeneca Human Edge, where visitors learn how the human body works through interactive experiences. The sleepover also includes a pajama dance party with a DJ and screening of one an IMAX films on the centre’s giant dome screen.

Toronto Zoo African Savanna giraffes

Campers learning about giraffes at the Toronto Zoo (Photo credit: Toronto Zoo)

Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo‘s Serengeti Bush Camp experience provides an incredible opportunity to experience what it’s like to camp in the African Savanna in the heart of Toronto. The Zoomobile transfers campers to and from the Serengeti Bush Camp where overnight guests gain behind-the-scenes access to parts of the zoo that daytime visitors never see. Campers embark on walking tours of the African Savanna and the Rainforest Pavilion before sitting around a fire to roast s’mores and tell stories. Participants even get to sleep outside in authentic African bush tents made from heavy, water-proof canvas set on raised platforms just as if they were really camping out in the Serengeti.

Toronto Zoo Serengeti Bush Camp sleepover campfire

Enjoying the evening campfire at the Serengeti Bush Camp (Photo credit: Toronto Zoo)

The Serengeti Bush Camp is open all summer, beginning during the Victoria Day weekend in May through Labour Day. The program is designed for children age 6 and older, but there are a few special days of the season set aside for families with children age 2-6, as well as adults-only camps.

Toronto Ripley's Aquarium of Canada Dangerous Lagoon shark

Sleepover guests spend the night with sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (Photo credit: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada)

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

At the recently-opened Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, families can Sleepover with the Sharks. This overnight adventure includes hands-on activities in the Aquarium classroom, a scavenger hunt, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium. After a bedtime snack, participants settle into sleeping bags on the floor of the shark tunnel where they can fall asleep while watching sharks and other fish swim overhead…and hopefully have sweet dreams anyway!

Toronto Botanical Garden campers

Young campers playing at the Toronto Botanical Garden (Photo credit: Toronto Botanical Garden)

Toronto Botanical Garden

Nature-loving families can bed down near a bed of flowers at the Toronto Botanical Garden. The Night Critter Sleepover takes place in the Teaching Garden as part of the TBGKids program. Parents and kids go on a bat hunt, make raccoon masks and play other games before dining on pizza. The evening is capped off with stories by the campfire and roasted marshmallows. Guests must be age 5 or older and bring their own tent.

Read about another unique sleepover option, the Roar N Snore at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park now.

Would you consider booking a family sleepover in Toronto or elsewhere? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

About Lisa Goodmurphy, The Spunky Travel Mama

Lisa Goodmurphy is a lawyer turned family travel writer and a mom of two daughters. She grew up in small town Northern Ontario and now resides near Toronto, Canada. Badly bitten by the travel bug years ago, she considers herself fortunate that her family is equally enthusiastic about her mission to explore the world—one trip at a time. Lisa shares her travel adventures on the blog that she founded in 2011 and now contributes to many online media publications as well. You can read about her family’s travels on her blog, Gone with the Family, on Google+ or on Twitter as @GoneWithFamily.

  1. Ellen Lanin says

    I am impressed by the opportunities these organizations offer children. They take on a lot of responsibilities.

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