March Break at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) is popular. Very popular. In fact, when we arrived an hour after opening, the ticket line outside stretched well past the “30 minutes to admission” sign posted on the sidewalk.

Once inside, however, there’s more than enough room for everyone. This was the first time we’ve taken our girls (ages 7 and almost 5) and the first time I’ve been there in almost 30 years. It was a fantastic day!

There was a neat “Passport to the World” March Break program taking place where kids could complete activities in various galleries and get their passports stamped, but our kids just wanted to roam.

Some of the highlights:

The Mummies

Animals of any kind (there were several touchable versions as well;
here Maggie attempts a roar)

Replica Tomb

A dig for dinosaur bones  (in what you will later see referred to as “the sandbox”)
 with safety goggles and paintbrushes:
Trying on costumes, like this Chinese Court Robe
Hanging out in a tipi (I’m not used to this spelling but I’m going to
assume the ROM knows these things)
Dinosaur bones (before Maggie’s interest waned). Display ends March 17th.
Moonwalking Photo Op

When I asked my girls for their favourite parts of the day:

Maggie: “I liked the Bat Cave because it was creepy and I wanted to run because I thought there was a real snake inside. I really liked the sandbox because you got to dig and dig and dig until you found the bones. I liked seeing the queen and the knight {Medieval Times live presentation} but I didn’t like that we had to go before it was over.”

Frannie: “I liked the Bat Cave because it was kind of freaky but also cool because I got to be scared and I had a chance to see what it’s like with bats and I felt kind of like I was a bat. I also liked the dinosaurs and the tipi, because my sister and I could pretend we were Aboriginal People.”

A couple of my personal highlights (unfortunately I never made it to “Textiles and Costumes” on Level 4, which I had hoped to see):

“An Egyptian Woman Prepares for a Banquet” (On a related note, who knew that
Egyptian women enjoyed the same social and legal status as men?)

While Celtic artifacts aren’t heavily represented at the museum, I did come across these treasures from our family’s ancestors: Irish gold. Wouldn’t mind finding some of this at the end of the rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day!

I was also impressed by the very thorough recycling station in the Food Studio, and the presence of a nursing station set up near the kids’ Discovery Gallery.

Final Tips:

  • Young kids enjoy the hands-on experiences best. If you have your heart set on checking out the look-but-don’t-touch artifact cases, alternate them with more active displays, or divide and conquer if you have another adult to trade off with. By the end of the day, even the most amazing items can lose their appeal, as demonstrated by this conversation with my four year old:

Maggie: When can we go to the other room? This is boring!
Me: Uh, when you say “boring”, are you referring to this authentic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton?
Maggie: Yeah! Can we go back to the sandbox now?

T Rex. I know, yawn.
  • You can buy your tickets online to avoid long waits to purchase admission.
  • Consider arriving later in the day if your kids’ schedules can handle it. The lobby was almost empty when we left at 2:30 (open til 5:30 6 days a week), and I know there are big discounts for Fridays after 4:30 (open til 8:30).

Note to teachers: there are way too many curriculum connections at the ROM to list, but since listing is one of my favourite pastimes: Plants, Animals, Habitats and Communities, Medieval Times, Ancient Civilizations, First Nations Peoples, Space, and that’s only scratching the surface.

Disclosure: My family received admission for review purposes. Opinions, as always, are my own. Oh, and we didn’t have to wait in line to get in. (Wouldn’t have felt like full disclosure without mentioning that.)

1 comment on “Family Fun at the Royal Ontario Museum”

  1. Looks fun. I was pleased that you put your tipi disclaimer in there…was a litte concerned when I first read it!
    And your girls are adorable.

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