March Break 2008 at the ROM

Museum-wide fun, frolic and adventure, all included free with admission, from March 8 to 16

Where else can kids discover dinosaur bones, watch a mediaeval tournament and decode ancient hieroglyphs all in the same place? The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), is THE destination for fun this March Break with a cornucopia of activities, performances and hands-on learning from March 8 to 16, 2008. Sail the HMS Beagle, explore the Galapagos Islands or discover the secrets in Darwin’s Study in the Darwin Activity Area within Darwin: The Evolution Revolution, a fascinating new exhibition exploring of the life and work of Charles Darwin, opening to the public on March 8 and running until August 4, 2008.

The Earth Rangers’ Animal Adventure is performed four times daily from March 8 to 16, featuring live animals from around the world. Kids can learn why the survival of certain wildlife is threatened and discover simple actions we can take everyday to protect these magnificent creatures. For those with a hankering for history, try your hand at calligraphy, learn about crime and punishment and even practice archery in the Mediaeval Fair, presented by the ROM’s Friends of the Mediaeval Studies Society (FMSS) and the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA). Also watch presentations of mediaeval dancing and fashion, trebuchets, fencing and music.

Two special events  merit special mention. On March 15 only starting at 11:00 am, witness armoured knights as they engage in combat in a recreated 14th century Mediaeval Tournament. Marvel at the authentic entrance procession in mediaeval regalia, as well as the spine-tingling display of combat techniques, as trained warriors attempt to best their opponents using a variety of weapons. The bouts will continue throughout the afternoon, including unarmoured fencing matches displaying arming sword and longsword skills. This programming is presented by the AEMMA. Be sure to arrive early, seating is limited.

Craving culture? On March 13 at 12:30 and 3:30 pm, the ROM presents Wise Monkey and Foolish Crocodile, a classic South-Asian fable told through drama and dance presented by the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company. Be sure the visit the new Sir Christopher Ondaatje Gallery of South Asia and Wirth Gallery of the Middle East to experience 5,000 years of history from these parts of the world. Kids inspired by traditional native beadwork in the Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples can make their own bead creations to take home.

Mummies (and daddies) will love the Ancient Egypt exploration area. Kids can decipher a secret message coded in hieroglyphs, assume a traditional Egyptian name and inscribe an amulet with a hieroglyphic symbol to bring good fortune. On March 10 to 14 from 11:00 am to noon and from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, meet a ROM curator and learn about objects pulled from the vaults of the ROM’s Egyptian collection.

The ROM’s celebration of all things dinosaurs continues in our Dino Fun area with a display of touchable fossils, dino IQ tests, activity sheets and episodes of Harry and His Bucket full of Dinosaurs. Make this ROM visit picture-perfect and stop by the Sony® Cyber-shot® Shooting Gallery, presented in cooperation with Sony of Canada Ltd. Children will learn how the ROM’s professional photographers take high-quality digital photographs of the Museum’s collections then hone their own photography skills using a Sony® Cyber-shot® camera. They’ll even receive a quality print of their own photograph in a keepsake folder to take home.

Who says at museums you can look but not touch?! The ROM encourages hands-on learning all year long in the CIBC Discovery Gallery, presenting kid-friendly objects from the ROM’s collections. This “mini-museum” includes a Hadrosaur wall display, a Dinosaur Dig for aspiring Palaeontologists, and an Egyptian coffin for budding Egyptologists. Children can play dress-up in the costume area, complete with mirrors, replica clothing and armour, or make their way to the Close to Home area and try on a real buffalo robe or spend time in a kids-size tipi. There’s also a special area for pre-schoolers with museum-style puzzles and toys. If bugs make you bug-eyed, the Keenan Family Hands-On Biodiversity gallery offers unique environment exhibits and the chance to examine real specimens (like living bugs, fish and bees) for a first-hand look at the living world around us.

All the above programming is included with the price of general admission to the ROM and is available to all Museum visitors. For the best value, consider a ROM Family Membership - just $119 for two adults and four children (17 years and under) which includes a year of unlimited free admission to the Museum and a lot more. For more information on ROM Memberships, visit www.rom.on.ca/members or call 416.586.5700.

Hungry kids and parents alike can refuel at Food Studio, the ROM’s fresh market eatery. Find healthy options and an earth-friendly environment, child-sized portions as well as special dino-themed selections.

If families prefer to bring their own food, be sure to visit the Brown Bag Lunch Room, located on Level B1 of the Weston Family Wing, beside the ROMkids Store. This space comes complete with large tables and light beverage and snack service.

For more information visit www.rom.on.ca or call 416.586.8000.

All programming is subject to change.

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm

Friday: 10:00 am - 9:30 pm

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm - March Break Extended Hours

Admission Rates*:

Adult $20

Student/Senior (with ID) $17

Child (5 to 14 years) $14

Infant (4 years and under) FREE

Members FREE

*Enjoy half-price admission Friday nights starting at 4:30 pm, presented by Sun Life Financial.

Sony and Cyber-shot are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation.