For eight weeks in both the spring and fall, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto opens on Friday evenings from 7pm -11pm for Friday Night Live. The ROM basically turns into a nightclub.
I am not really a fan of nightclubs, but this was so much better than an actual nightclub because all the exhibits are open and you can wander around and drink with the mummies and the dinosaurs.
I like to see a bar located directly underneath a T-Rex.
This is the fourth year the ROM has been doing this, but it was my first time going to the event. We had a good group of us in attendance!
Most of my best high school buds. Thanks Lisa and Brad for organizing this. I am so glad we went!
At $20 a ticket it’s pretty reasonably priced. Apparently when Friday Night Live started at the ROM a few years ago, only the first floor exhibits were open, and then the next year only the first and second floor exhibits. But now the entire museum is open for you to wander around. We even went in the batcave! I thought that was really awesome. There is also music around, with a big dance floor on the first level, with plenty of food stations and bars throughout the other levels. Friday Night Live is an absolute genius idea and we all had a really great night.
At the dinosaur exhibits, I liked that they told you which bones were actually ones they’d found, and which were reconstructions.
There was one dinosaur that was 100% real bones, but most of them were a mix of real and reconstructed models of real ones.
So let’s talk about the food… For $7 you can buy ROM Bucks, which gets you one food item or adult beverage (the last I had read they were $6 each, so I guess the prices have gone up recently). It’s a bit pricy for both, in my opinion, but at least the beer were tall boys.
And if you buy four food tickets you get a free one, so Evan and I bought four between us and got the deal. We actually shared all our food anyway, so we could both try more. And we kind of pre ate at home because we weren’t sure what to expect dinner-wise, and I read that the food line-ups can be quite long. We didn’t experience that though. The only long line-up I found was the ROM Bucks line. Everything else was pretty quick.
Food stations from Toronto food trucks are scattered on all four levels. We started with the curry, coconut, kale and chickpea steam buns from My Little Dumpling, which were pretty good but my picture did not turn out.
Evan and I arrived a bit earlier than the rest of the group and were waiting for everyone in the rock and minerals exhibit, where we stumbled across Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ.
While doing research for my Happy or Hungry Eats the World mission I read that it’s difficult to find authentic Hawaiian food in Toronto, so that had to happen. I don’t think I’ve ever tried Spam before, and Evan was telling me recently that he really likes it, so Spam Musabi it was!
Spam on a block of rice, wrapped in dried seaweed. It was actually very good. I think I might like Spam.
Once we found everyone we went to the Caribbean food booth in the dinosaur area. Evan and I got the doubles.
Which are a traditional street food in Trinidad and Tobago, curried chickpeas in two bara (fried flat bread). Evan lived in Trinidad for a couple of years and ate these all the time, and he said that these ones were an accurate representation of legit Trinidad doubles, but maybe ones that had been in the fridge overnight.
Some of the group went with the jerk chicken, so I tried some of that as well.
Delicious but the sauce was pretty spicy.
Right by the Ancient Egypt area we found a bakery booth, so we finished our eating with three cookies and three macarons (you could get three for one ticket).
Everything I tried was delicious, especially the freshly-baked cookies. I could have eaten those all night.
I would recommend the ROM at any time because it’s truly an amazing museum, but Friday Night Live kind of took everything to the next level. It was a really good time. We felt very cultured and sophisticated.
I really want to see the Pompeii exhibit which runs from now until January, so I am hoping to make it back there this year for that!
I also recommend buying your Friday Night Live tickets online in advance, because this is the lineup outside to get in if you don’t:
Not a big deal in the summer, but in the winter waiting outside in that would be freezing.