For two years running, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto has been the place to be on Friday night. The ROM has dusted itself off and become more than a tourist attraction or a required field trip. With the birth of Friday Nights Live, this internationally renowned museum has become (dare we say it) cool.
Perhaps this isn't the first place you would look for a DJ, but it works — Photo courtesy of Fanny S Forsdik
Toronto's young adults scour to grab their tickets, which are now in high demand (perhaps just behind a One Direction concert). Past events have included first screenings of top documentaries, fashion shows from major designers and beats spun by world DJs.
There are also cocktails, wine and beer for sale to help the conversation flow and to encourage the lie that you go to the museum "all the time." (It's as good a pick-up line as any.)
Enter through the Michael Lee-Chin crystal, a modern exterior that was built in 2007 after being designed on a cocktail napkin. You may walk a faux red carpet after you present your ticket. Just go with it.
Once you're in swing of the evening with some cocktails behind you, the hope is that you realize that even without the florescent lights and glitz and glamour, the museum itself is amazing. There are six million items and 40 galleries. Once you're in for the night, these are all at your disposal to enjoy before 11 p.m.
Dress to impress, as party-goers come in their Friday best. Plus, the dinosaurs really care what you look like since they don't get out much.
James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs — Photo courtesy of Royal Ontario Museum
Pop-up bars and restaurants prey on your desire to nosh, with payment coming in the form of ROM bucks. One ROM buck is about $6 and can buy you a drink or a small food item, like rice balls or beef sliders. For more than one ROM buck, you can gain a bigger food item, like a gourmet grilled cheese. Who doesn't like using Monopoly money for cheesy food?
Every Friday night there is a theme, so it's best to check the museum website to see if it is what you are expecting. Themes sometimes match the ROM's current exhibits, such as when the night was called "Strictly Forbidden" and gave guests access to China's Forbidden City. Amazingly, cover is cheaper than ROM admission and around the $10 mark.
The fall season for ROM Friday nights will begin on Oct. 10, 2014. Keep your eyes peeled on the ROM's website, or follow them on Twitter @ROMToronto. There is even a hashtag: #FNLROM. Only the coolest museums have a hashtag.
Pretty cool place to spend a Friday night? — Photo courtesy of Royal Ontario Museum / Sam Javanrouh