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While The Rooms is our province’s largest public cultural space, it’s much more than that. It’s a community space. A family-friendly neighborhood spot to take the kids when it’s raining outside, when you want to spark their curiosity and let their imaginations run free, or when you’re looking for a place for the whole family to escape, unwind and relax.

A gorgeous indoor shot of The Rooms looking down from one of the upper levels.

History, heritage, and artistic expression come together to tell the stories of who we are and how we came to be. From toddlers to teens, your kids will be entertained while learning about our province’s unique history and culture. What’s not to love about that?

To kick off your visit, we recommend picking up a Scavenger Hunt sheet when you check in at the front desk! It’s a fun and creative way to help children explore—and it’s appropriate for all ages. 

There are some specific items for kids to find on your visit, like a musical instrument and an object made of stone. But others, like an object that would feel soft to the touch, are more flexible and give children the opportunity to get creative and use their imaginations!

Be sure to take a walk past the Cabinets of Curiosity exhibit on level 2 before venturing upwards! These private-turned-public collections help tell the stories of our province. From postcards to buttons to tiny works of art, kids will love checking out these little treasures.

The Rooms’ activity kits are a great way to inspire curiosity and investigative skills in children. Make a family tree, sketch the view from the atrium, play a detective game, or create your own spring flowers in the family space on level 3!

You can choose to take these home or find a spot to sit down and create while you’re exploring The Rooms.

A mom and her young son are sitting at a table and working some crafts at The Rooms

While you may not initially think of exhibits as a family-friendly experience, we promise you, these are! The lovely team at The Rooms change up their exhibits from time to time which gives visitors the opportunity to see and experience something new. This spring and summer, we think your family may particularly enjoy the following exhibits.

A large globe like piece of art resembling a soccer ball glows blue. It is sitting in a large open exhibit space with art hanging on a far wall.

Helloland! Art, War and the Wireless Imagination is an exhibit that brings together artifacts, archival documents, historical paintings and the work of contemporary artists—each reflecting on the complicated legacies of wireless communication in Canada. But, we bet the kids will mostly love peeking around the “giant soccer ball” and watching its colours change.

Two children holding their dads' hands as they look at art on a wall in The Rooms.

There are few better places to tell a story about wireless communications and radio infrastructure than St. John’s. There’s plenty of time to check this one out as it will be available on level three until September 26, 2021.

The In The Making exhibit on Level 4 showcases the creative process of art from the world to the studio to the gallery. It focuses on where art actually begins and features three of our province’s most renowned and beloved artists: Billy Gauthier, Mary Pratt and David Blackwood.

Kids will love peeking behind the real wooden door that David Blackwood used for inspiration and touching the caribou antler, serpentine stone, and other materials on display next to Billy Gauthier’s amazing work.

No visit to The Rooms is complete without a visit to The Rooms Café and there are plenty of options for the whole family to enjoy, including a specific kids menu. This is also a great time to review your Scavenger Hunt to see what you have left to find!

The Café offers a delicious menu that emphasizes Newfoundland and Labrador’s food heritage, focusing on traditional fare with an eclectic twist. It also serves up an awe-inspiring view of the city, the harbour, and the narrows.

With cozy seating, tables designated for one person/bubble, and a large play mat for the kids, The Rooms’ Open Minds Space is the perfect spot to take a break—or to break into that activity kit you picked up earlier.

Relax and enjoy the view and maybe even sneak in a little bit of work. This is the perfect place for kids to unwind, read, colour, play, or dance off some energy!

If there’s anything at The Rooms for kids to get excited about it’s the amazing animal exhibit on level 3. It might be a good idea to leave this experience to the end of your visit because once the kids see this, it might be difficult to get them to explore anywhere else!

This truly feels like you’re walking through an outdoor experience. Kids will love seeing the lifelike birds, polar bear, giant squid, arctic hare, and numerous other animals that call our province home. This just might be the highlight of their trip!

It can be incredibly rewarding to see children’s reactions to the exhibits at The Rooms and to know that you are helping to expand their minds as they learn about our province’s unique history and culture.

Two little children running towards The Rooms on a spring or summer day.

So, pack up the kids (or set aside a few hours to escape by yourself!) and come enjoy all that The Rooms has to offer. We bet next time you visit, they’ll be running towards the doors!

Did you know that The Rooms offers free admission for kids 5 and under? Or that admission is free for all visitors from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on the first Wednesday of every month? You can find all the details on admission here.

We also recommend checking out the specific COVID-19 safety precautions that The Rooms has implemented before visiting.

Published: May 6, 2021