Monday, April 28, 2014

Royal Ontario Museum: Our Adventure through the Wonders of the World in Toronto



**Disclosure: My family received complimentary passes to the Royal Ontario Museum for the purpose of creating an accurate review. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wow! Just wow! I really did not know what to expect as we entered the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto during our Spring Break trip but I know that I could never have imagined what a treasure trove the awaited us inside. The Royal Ontario Museum has an impressive collection in its Gallery of Gems and Gold. In fact, you will feel like you have walked into the Queen's vault when entering. Upon reflection, I feel that the entire museum was like a vault of gems to us. The gems certainly were not isolated to the one gallery!

Before taking a look at the wonders of the museum, there are some quick things to keep in mind before visiting. Here are some tips we learned during our visit:
  • ROM has late hours on Friday evenings. There is also a discount on tickets after 4:30PM. We visited on a Friday afternoon/evening and actually found the experience pleasant--not too crowded at all!
  • The museum is expansive and holds vast collections. Be prepared to spend most of the day there or find a way to split up your trip.
  • There is a cafe to make it easier to spend the day in the museum and have salads, sandwiches, etc., for a bite.
  • Grab a map--it is easy to get turned around. Plus, you will be able to find the restrooms easier.
  • Take the stairs! It may be tempting to stick to the elevators but the stairwells themselves are sites to be seen with real totem poles and beautiful ceilings. 

The adventure:

There is really nothing like being lost in a museum--well, as long as you are not truly lost! The ROM sports gallery after gallery--certainly with plenty of curiosities to leave everyone smiling. Every corner of the world as well as every niche of nature is represented. We began our journey by exploring the galleries of art from Korea, China and Japan. We were definitely captivated by all of statues, bronze work, porcelain and more.



The ROM's tour of the world does not end with exploring Asia. We also found galleries highlighting Rome, Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, Africa and more. There are special galleries dedicated to the First Peoples and Canada as well. Add in the European rooms that give you a peek into different homes in Europe and you will have a nice world tour!


Another of our favorite galleries contained the Earth's Treasures. With amazing mineral specimens and dazzling gems, we spent some time looking at Earth's gifts. This gallery also seemed to be a great favorite among other patrons as many clicked photographs throughout the gallery. Look at this HUGE specimen of gypsum. How did they keep that intact to transport to the gallery?


That awe factor:

With so much to look at, how can one pick a favorite? I have to say that our family collectively dropped our jaws when we entered the dinosaur gallery. What child--err, adult--has not dreamed of roaming the Earth with the dinosaurs? The ROM has an impressive gallery with entire dinosaur skeletons literally standing and flying around you. This gallery is certainly a favorite for photo stops--especially with this family.


Communing with nature:

Dinosaurs, rocks and minerals are not the only ways that the ROM brings nature to its visitors. The museum also sports vibrant galleries with specimens that let families get up close and person with nature. Shared with this exploration of nature is a mission to emphasize the importance of conservation.


Interactive elements:

The museum has a special section where kids can get particularly hands-on. In this Discovery Gallery, kids can investigate specimens, try on costumes and more. Threaded throughout the museum we found other hands-on opportunities with interactive exhibits that enhanced learning. Plus, you can also make a game out of trying to identify specimens before reading signs. We found this particularly fun in the Gallery of Birds!


Reflecting on our visit:

We packed in quite a bit of learning and exploring during our afternoon at the museum. The breadth of the exhibits was amazing and the ROM is certainly an attraction worthy of future visits. Treasures and awe moments await at every corner at the Royal Ontario Museum!

For more on our visit to The Royal Ontario Museum, please check my review over at Trekaroo!

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