ROM Celebrates Family Day with Free Admission as Zuul Returns

Crowd-favourite ankylosaur specimen is back to headline special weekend programming

Kid and Zuul at ROM

TORONTO, February 8, 2024 – With enhanced programming and a much-anticipated return of a celebrated dino, Canada’s leading museum is preparing to host an unforgettable ROM Family Day Weekend experience, as presented by BASF Canada. And, to close the weekend on a very special note, admission for all visitors will be completely free on Family Day (Monday, February 19), including full access to all regularly surcharged special exhibitions. ROM’s Family Day Weekend runs Saturday, February 17 to Monday, February 19.

All weekend long, guests can experience the majesty of Zuul, ROM’s world-famous ankylosaur – just back from a triumphant tour to Japan. For just a few weeks, visitors can once again come face to face with “The Destroyer of Shins” — a gnarly horned armoured dinosaur with a sledgehammer-like tail. Zuul is remarkable for being recognized as one of the most complete skeletons of its kind ever uncovered. Along with Zuul, ROM will be presenting exciting activities, engaging workshops, and diverse exhibitions. Activities are included with admission, making this long weekend an ideal opportunity to create lasting memories through the wonders of art, culture, and nature.

“From the newly returned Zuul to perennial visitor favourite Wildlife Photographer of the Year, ROM promises to be the perfect Family Day destination,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO.

During Family Day Weekend, Museum guests can enjoy a host of daily programming from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. Surrounding the popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, visitors are invited to learn the Anishnabemowin names of animals featured in the show’s spectacular photographs or try their hand at photojournalism with the kid-friendly cameras supplied in ROM’s Earth Rangers Studio. In ROM’s hands-on learning hub, MakerSpace, kids can discover the world of chemistry through fun experiments, including slime-making sessions in the BASF Kids’ Lab: Playful Polymers.

“Our Kids’ Lab program is designed to encourage fun and scientific exploration from a young age. Through Kids’ Lab, young museum visitors will discover the joys of STEM and be able to take the fun home with a special activity booklet,” says Apala Mukherjee, President of BASF Canada.

ROM’s youngest visitors will enjoy WonderWorks — where play meets learning — a permanent Museum space that invites children to experiment and connect in an interactive and fun environment. Guests can enjoy additional hands-on activities in the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity, a space featuring touchable specimens and interactive displays reflecting the Museum's deep collections and research

Special Exhibitions on during Family Day Weekend

Please note, feature exhibitions Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery are surcharged.

  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the world-renowned annual nature photography competition and exhibition, presenting a new set of 100 images celebrating artistic composition, technical excellence, and breathtaking views of the natural world.
  • Noelle Hamlyn: Lifers displays over twenty repurposed and retailored life jackets, hand-crafted by Canadian visual artist Noelle Hamlyn, as it examines the impact of textiles and fashion on the planet's water quality.
  • Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery  is a thought-provoking exhibition that explores cultural and natural responses to life and death and asks big questions including: “What if I don’t want to die?”, “What will happen to my body?” and “What will happen to my ‘self’?”.

ROM Membership

The Guild of Immortals is exclusively for Young Members (Seekers) to explore the Museum. Seekers will receive a handbook containing five themed sections to earn five stamps per section by completing handbook activities or by visiting the Museum. Seekers will receive a special sticker for each section they complete. Young Members can register online to receive the monthly Guild of Immortals eNewsletter. Guild of Immortals station is located Level 2.

Admissions information:

The Museum is open daily on Family Day weekend, February 17 to 19 from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Last entry to special exhibitions Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery and Wildlife Photographer of the Year is at 4:30 pm.  For free admission on Monday, February 19, access will be via the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Entrance on Bloor St.