March Break 2009 at the ROM

With a fantastic line-up of family-friendly activities and extended hours, the ROM is the only place to be during March Break

Watching 14th century armoured knights battle it out in combat, deciphering a secret coded message in hieroglyphs and embarking on an imaginary adventure with live animals are all in a day’s fun, and free with admission, at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) this March Break from Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 22 2009. Visitors will be engaged and enchanted by the plethora of museum activities planned for the week, which also includes a peek into the afterlife with its newest exhibit, Out of the Vaults: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, on display for a limited time only.

The ROM extends its hours to 8:30 pm for the entire week (Saturday, March 14 to Saturday, March 21, 2009), and visitors will enjoy half-priced admission from 4:30 to 8:30 pm presented by Sun Life Financial. The Museum closes at 5:30 pm on Sunday, March 22.

March is Egypt Month at the ROM and kids are invited to visit the Ancient Egypt exploration area over March Break where from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm daily they can decipher secret hieroglyphic messages, assume a traditional Egyptian name and inscribe an amulet with a hieroglyphic symbol to bring good fortune. From March 16 to 20 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, ROM Egyptologists will reveal some of the extraordinary objects pulled from the Museum’s vaults, like the mummy of an ancient Egyptian baby, a coffin dating back to 950 B.C., and the Book of the Dead of Amen-em-hat, an ancient document created by relatives of the deceased to help them find their way safely in the after-life.

The Earth Rangers’ Animal Adventure, performed three times daily at 11:00 am, 12: 30 pm and 2:00 pm from March 14 to March 22, features live animals from around the world. Kids will learn why the survival of certain wildlife is threatened and discover simple actions to take daily to protect these precious creatures and their habitat.

If animals are not your thing, but mediaeval history is, then come along to the Mediaeval Fair from March 14-21, where you can try your hand at calligraphy and learn all about arms, armour, archery and what it was like to be punished as a criminal in the middle ages. Presentations will be given on mediaeval dancing, fashion, trebuchets, martial arts and music – you may even be asked to join in! For one day only, the ROM will host a Mediaeval Tournament. On March 21st. armoured knights engage in a reproduction of a 14th century tournament, where you’ll be amazed by the authentic entrance procession and a hair-raising display of armoured combat techniques as trained warriors test out their best weapons on their opponents.

What trip to the ROM is complete without a visit to see the dinosaurs? Children will dig in to dino fun from March 14 to 22 when they can don a pair of goggles and dig up dinosaur bones; touch real fossils, see how they measure up to a great big dinosaur and then test their dino IQ with activity sheets. And if they need a break, they can always sit back and watch episodes of Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs. The Shooting Gallery, presented in cooperation with Sony of Canada Ltd., will teach budding photographers how professionals take high quality digital images of the museum’s collections. They will be invited to use a Sony Cyber-shot® digital camera to take photos of their own, which they can bring home to admire later on.

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 $139 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 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 family value meals. If families prefer to bring their own food they can 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. The ROM Museum Store will also have plenty of Egyptian and Dino themed merchandise for the whole family to enjoy.

For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca/egyptmonth or call 416.586.8000. All programming is subject to change.

Last chance to view Mysteries of Ancient Ukraine: The Remarkable Trypilian Culture, 5400-2700 BC and The Nature of Diamonds, which close on Sunday, March 22, 2009.

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