Skip the LineWhen you walk in through the front doors of the Royal Ontario Museum, one of the first things you'll usually see is a large line of people snaking away from the admission desk. But if you have a membership card and photo I.D. with you, you get to walk right past all that. A quick I.D. check and membership card scan from the admissions people, and you're inside. And even if you do need to stop by the admissions desk for help with something, there's a separate (always much shorter) line for members only.
Save on Stuff
Love the ROM Museum Store and the ROMkids Store? Members regularly save 10% when shopping at the Royal Ontario Museum, and can save up to 20% during specials throughout the year. They even help you do the math, by putting both the regular price and the ROM Members price on tags throughout the shops. ROM Members also enjoy a discount at the Gardiner Museum's shop, just across Queen's Park from the ROM.
If you get peckish during your ROM visit, members also save 10% on most items in the ROM's two restaurants, the cafeteria-style Food Studio Café and the c5 Restaurant Lounge.
Read Up on the ROM
If you're the kind of person who's considering a ROM membership, you're probably interested in behind-the-scenes details about the work the ROM is doing. That's where the ROM Magazine is a great membership perk. This quarterly printed magazine, along with a "Let's ROM" program booklet, is mailed out to all members except for Student Members, who can purchase it for $5 at the desk (anyone can get a ROM Magazine subscription). All ROM Members also receive monthly newsletters and special bulletins by email, to keep them up to date on everything taking place at the ROM and to let them know about special opportunities for members.
Attend Members-Only Events
The ROM regularly offers special lectures, tours, and exhibition previews which are only open to members. There are other events for which members receive a discount, and for which members are allowed to register before anyone else. The e-newsletters help Members stay in the know about these special opportunities, but if you'd like to have a look at the kind of thing members can expect, visit the Activities and Programs section of the ROM website and browse the calendar of events, selecting "Members Events" as the event type.
Go Other Places for Free
Along with ROM Membership comes reciprocal admission to some other museums and galleries. The list of other places you can go for free gets longer with different levels of ROM Membership, but at the very least you should be able to head to some Canadian institutions such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum of Canadian History in Montreal, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. Check the Membership page on the ROM website for the current list.
Also, throughout the year there are ROM Member exchange days with other Toronto museums and galleries, when your ROM Membership will be honoured at places like the AGO and the Gardiner Museum on a specific day.
Okay, admittedly this is all part of that biggest perk, the unlimited general admission. But if you're on the fence about getting a ROM Membership, consider this: the Royal Ontario Museum is a very big place. Trying to see it all in one day makes for a very long visit, and a lot of rushing about. If you live in the City of Toronto or visit on a regular basis and can get to the ROM without too much trouble, you'll probably find it's a much more pleasant experience to explore the museum at your leisure, an exhibit or two at a time. You can read the details about the pieces, take the time to discuss and reflect, and return to your favourites. While a one-day marathon visit could be more memorable as an event, many shorter visits let you really take in what the ROM has to offer.
To learn more about the Royal Ontario Museum and its Membership programs, visit the official museum website at www.rom.on.ca