Here's a novel idea though. Now I have two teens. Both have studied ancient egypt, dinosaurs and art in school. Both have an understanding of the environmental and ecological challenges that face our planet. And both have spent enough time with mum to know a thing or two about photography, and birds, and First Nations Art and little tidbits of a whole bunch of other stuff. These kids are ready for a revisit for the teen version of the ROM!.
Teen version bonus: the ROM has totally tailored exhibits and galleries to all the stuff we love! I know, we might just fit that typical family profile but I like to think it's personal. Here's what the ROM has for us :-)
Dale Chihuly is an American sculptor and a genius with ice, water, glass and neon. His work has been exhibited in more than 200 museum collections around the world. And now the Royal Ontario Museum introduces us to eleven installations dominated by colour, light and texture. It's been raved about and snapped and shared in droves on social media (topping fourteen thousand images as reported by the ROM). After a visit to Chihuly's, now we can rave and snap and share too!
Teens and I take more pictures than I can count. We rave about our faves. We share. We also hone our low-light photo technique, compare composition, and argue over the challenges of structural integrity. Thanks ROM for knowing our passions and expanding our horizons!
Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples
As a Canadian, First Nations history, art, and culture are a lifeblood to understanding our world as it is today. School has provided some inisight, and a family trip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for the 'Inuit Traditions' and the 'Norval Morrisseau” exhibits was a great way to find out more (you can read about our trip here)
ROM's First Peoples Gallery was a great way to go a step further. Morisseau's beautiful work is given a cultural context. The over one thousand artifacts and thoughtful curation weave a richer story of culture, tradition and history. My son ponders a little and recognizes - our insights today are just another step - another piece of the puzzle. Thanks ROM - now we have more questions - a good problem to have!
James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs
Wonder and fascination come from the weirdest places! I watched Jurassic Park, the movie with my daughter just days ago. About five minutes in the questions were already threatening to derail our movie-watching: 'How can you clone dinosaurs from mosquitos in amber?', 'Can you tell from the dna what the dinosaur will be?', 'How do people know what they looked like', same question for 'what they ate', 'how they sounded', and why the actress stuck her arm in a giant pile of dino-poop?.
Ok, I'm no expert, so the ROM answered at least some of those for me. And for a moment, standing in the shadow of the mighty T Rex, Anika forgot all her other questions and remembered to just stare way, way up in awe. More questions pending!
Gallery of Birds
With more than one hundred specimens, the ROM's Gallery of Birds is one of the most comprehensive bird collections in Canada. With a major love of birds, a few amazing birding trips, and countless hours watching the bird feeders under our belts, myself and kids were ready for the museum version of birding.
MIghty seabirds with enormous wingspans and colourful tropical birds were a great compliment to the locals we usually encounter. But all those birds in flight takes the cake. It felt like immersion in a flock. You could almost feel the lift of their wings!
So there's more of course - the Bat Cave, the beautiful and heartbreaking Blue Whale Story (opening March 11 2017), the ROM Cafe (yes, my ravenous teens are ravenous teens even at the ROM). Looking forward to the another revisit and thanks to the ROM for knowing exactly what would fascinate and inspire my teens to ask more questions!
For more information: Royal Ontario Museum, Tickets and Hours
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All photos by the author except for the last 7 images shown below - courtesy of the ROM