It was a chilly Friday evening in January when I wandered through Yorkville, rolling my Rimowa suitcase through slush and sleet in search of the Royal Ontario Museum. I arrived just as the doors opened at 9pm, greeted by a gaggle of hipsters who appeared as though they were readying to trek Peru’s Inca Trail or the treacherous slopes of Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro.
I must disclose I’m a grump when it comes to camping. I went on many a canoe trip in Muskoka as a wee one and lady luck never smiled on me. My memories of sleeping with Mother Nature feature torrential rains, uninspired meals that smelled like soot and the inevitable back breaking sleep where I squirmed over rude roots. When I heard that the ROM was launching an indoor urban camping experience for adults centred around celebrating dinos the Jurassic Park fangirl made my bleating heart swoon.
The Royal Ontario Museum’s new Adult Sleepover series is bound to be a sell out experience. Their second sleepover is being planned for September (mark your calendars) and will be art focussed and include access to the museum’s special exhibits. Capacity is likely to be capped at 150-200 participants to ensure the ROM Adult Sleepover always offers guests an intimate and exclusive experience. There’s something magical about cozying up in a sleeping bag in a room full of adults dressed in cute onesies while sipping an Old Fashioned and nibbling on buttered popcorn. It’s the sort of unique one-of-a-kind experience I expect will woo foreign tourists who might just plan their entire visit to the city around the event. You’re bound to see Harajuku girls from Tokyo, Brazilian beauties and French fashionistas gushing over Toronto’s newest unforgettable experience while mix and mingling with the city’s who’s who.
ROM Adult Sleepover Dinos in the Dark
1) Setup in the Sleeping Zone: whisk your way under towering brontosaurus and claim your campsite! Guests are encouraged to bring yoga matts or inflatable mattresses to ensure their night is a comfy one. My crew casually set up shop underneath a 70 million year old Hadrosaur, as you do…
2) Dinner and Drinks: after setting up our sleep space we marched up to the second floor where DJ James Redi spun dance-tastic beats while Daniel et Daniel served up gourmet grilled cheese, petite sausages and kettle chips for munchie mavens. You can quench your thirst at the bar with a sloppy sip of wine, ice cold Peroni or Old Fashioned cocktail. I couldn’t help but smirk after realizing I was feeling my oats while nibbling on crudités under soaring pterodactyl.
3) Crawling the Walls: adults with a heart of gold, releasing their inner child.
4) Boarding a Spaceship: that moment when you’re a little bit drunk wandering around a museum in a silken kimono at 2am and it feels as though you’re about to launch to outer space. Late night fashion lewks on fleek.
5) Fondling Fossils: ROM experts were on hand to educate as our eager hands lurched at ancient touchable bones. Another favourite teachable moment included a meet and greet with Dino Hunter Wendy Sloboda who discovered the site of the Wendiceratops, the newest edition to the ROM’s dinosaur collection.
6) Crystal Worship: our sud-sloshed eve continued in a fantastical gallery filled with jaw dropping gems, crystals and out-of-this-world rocks.
7) Dinosaur Selfie: enjoying a Millennial moment with iPhone 6S while surrounded by a zoo of impressive fossilized dino skeletons.
8) Night at the Museum: at the stroke of midnight we popped into our pyjamas to enjoy a screening of Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum.
9) Essential Late Night Snacking: Dr. David Evans finished off the eve by offering up an “around the campfire” moment where he chatted about discovering the world’s largest dino nesting site in South Africa while we sipped on hot chocolate and nibbled on smores inspired brownies and addictive caramel corn. Lights out at 2am!
10) Breakfast of Champions: the following morning I woke at 7am and found myself surrounded by a room of groggy zombies. The hangover may hit hard but breakfast certainly refuels and refreshes. We staggered downstairs to enjoy a continental brunch featuring coffee, juice, yogurt, fresh fruit, waffles, breakfast burrito, bacon and scrambled eggs.
11) Dino Balloon Love: after breakfast we spotted artist Mark Verge’s yellow masterpiece which he had tirelessly created overnight. Gawking at a dino sculpture made entirely of balloons!
12) Dino Yoga: before heading home guests enjoy a therapeutic early morning yoga session which took place in front of calming seated Buddha. Stretch out the kinks in your back while diligently downward dogging.