Have you ever been to Friday Night Live at the ROM? Whether it is your first time or your tenth, you are in for a real treat! Each Friday Night Live evening has a theme such as photography, the Forbidden City, fashion, or indigenous art. An eclectic selection of live music, DJs, interactive exhibits, drinks, food and dancing are at the centre of these festivities, along with activities in keeping with the theme.
I have attended quite a few of these – my all-time favourite is the Halloween FNL – the best Halloween party I ever attended. This past Friday, we went to town with the best cottage night ever: May Two Four: Cottage at the ROM. No mosquitoes but plenty of buzzz!
FNL is a wicked deal! An evening out with drinking, dancing and entertainment plus entrance to the regular galleries is only $12/adult, $10/students. It is thrilling to wander around the sprawling natural history galleries at night, admiring the dinosaur bones and the cultural exhibitions. I equate going to the galleries as a daytime activity so I still find it is a novelty to attend at night when the lighting is trippy and the imagination is set loose. Hit the galleries until 11 and rock the dance floor until midnight.
The downstairs galleries were buzzing with music and people so, after a while, we ascended to a quieter corner for a break from it all. First, we found ourselves a colourful cottage country retreat. We imagined ourselves breathing fresh air and listening to loons on the lake.
We didn’t have to endure a long traffic jam drive out of the city. We didn’t have to get the cottage open and ready for the season. The bar was already open and the party started, just like that. If only going to the cottage could be so easy! We invited a few friends to join us – such a shame to keep this to ourselves.
Meanwhile, cottage comedy flick favourites were projected on the walls above the dinosaur bones. We imagined ourselves sitting at the cottage while pterodactyls graced the skies. Actually, scientist question whether they could fly, but it was a night to either question everything or to let your dreams run wild. Just have fun with it.
We then wandered off to explore the world cultures galleries, which were wonderfully quiet since the merrymakers stayed on the main level. At the Egyptian gallery, we met the Scopify Guy, the ROM superhero who can scopify objects at the touch of an iPad.
The man in tights demonstrated how to investigate the Royal Ontario Museum’s collection in ways never possible before. We x-rayed a cat mummy, animated a dino, and skinned a dodo.
Buy some ROM bucks and snack on the delicious food such as the Latin food at Gourmet Gringos or the Quebec three-cheese with mushrooms and spinach at HotBunzz, which is a flavour adventure inspired by international cuisine and stuffed inside a bun. Amazing! We loved Randy’s Roti and doubles. The food is delicious!
Make sure you get your food early in the evening before they sell out. Waiting too long left me wishing I had acted quickly on my ice cream sandwich craving – they looked so good, but were sold out by the time I gave in to my craving. There are no refunds on ROM bucks, but the tickets are good throughout the season.
Up in the Glass Room we got to kick back on comfy couches and listen to the beautiful voice of Andrew Austin. Sitting around with drinks, listening to the reflective singer in the intimate room gives a cozy, gather-around-the-campfire feel. This is the first time I heard Austin sing and immediately became a fan. What a great way to find a new talent. I added him to my weekend playlist. Check out Andrew Austin’s youTube channel.
DJ Jason Palma, co-owner of Toronto’s vinyl institution, Play de Record, keeps the music rolling between the live music sets. I love being able to escape from the high energy dance floor to the soothing sounds of a guitar in the Glass Room Lounge or the jazzy tunes in the Gem Room.
So we missed learning about prehistoric and modern-day bugs and critters than can be found at the cottage and taking an Iconic Wild Wonders Whirlwind tour. The reality is there is so much to do that we never manage to do it all in one evening. It just means we’ll have to go back soon.
Check out what all the buzzzz is about! This season’s Friday Night Live at the ROM runs to June 27, 2014.
May 23 Museum Confidential
May 30 Strictly Forbidden
June 6 Beats
June 13 Indigenous Now
June 20 Sun Burn
June 27 ROM Proud
Visit the Friday Night Live at the ROM for more information.
For other fun ROM activities, take a peak at Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt.
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C6