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Baby Matters

Hurry! The Museum is Closing Soon!

September 1st, 20151 Comment

By Delaine Dew 

I don’t know whether it’s nostalgia, a reluctance to change, or something else but I get sad when I am reminded of the upcoming move of the Royal Alberta Museum from its Glenora location to downtown Edmonton.  I realize that RAM staff and many others are excited about the move and the potential it has for a re-discovery of the treasure that is the museum, and I am confident that it will end up being quite spectacular.  However, I feel like I am losing an old friend forever – a friend I have had since I was very little, and a friend that my little girl has had since she was 3 months old and has gotten to know very well.

RAM is ramping down in September, 2015 and will only be open Friday to Sunday from 9-5 until it officially closes its doors in December, 2015.  So that doesn’t leave us with much time to visit, explore and say our goodbyes.  Although our friend will come back (re-opening is slated for late 2017 or early 2018), I wonder if it will be like elementary school again, where your good friend leaves for the summer and comes back a different, shiny new person “too cool” for your old nerdy ways….cough cough.  Clearly I am way too attached to the RAM in her current state, and will have to get over my wariness, but for now, I think we should all try to take in as much of the RAM as we can, before she moves on.

There really is nothing like it in Edmonton – the museum on top of the hill, surrounded by gardens, sculptures, nature and the beautiful Government House.  Honestly, if you are not keen on the museum itself, fix a picnic lunch for you and your little one and just have a picnic on the museum grounds – it’s beautiful and no one is going to force you inside to look at exhibits…except me.

If you are at all like me, and have been visiting the RAM since before you can remember, you have likely taken your little one there already, and if your little one is new to this world, you might be wondering what age is appropriate for museum-going.  I have been taking my little girl to the museum since she was around 3 months old, and would wrap her up in my moby wrap in such way that she could easily see everything.  I carried her around and let her stare at the animals in the Wild Alberta exhibit, the shiny rocks and crawly bugs in the Natural History exhibit, and sometimes the dinosaur exhibit.  Time has really flown by because now she is the one leading me around the museum to her favourite exhibits – the dinosaurs having fast become her most favoured exhibit of them all.

The RAM also has several free daily drop-in programs for kids, which range from story time, crafts, animal encounters, or learning sessions best suited for the older kids.  The last drop-in we partook in was butterfly day, where we made a butterfly antennae “crown” that my little one wore for the remainder of the day.  That reminds me, I think I still have those antennae somewhere in the back of my car…Anyway, starting September 8 the museum transitions into reduced operations.   They will be open to the general public on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.  If you are planning to go, I suggest checking the website out first to see if there are any drop-ins being provided, or if any galleries on your to-do list are already in transit and unavailable for viewing (insert heavily saddened sigh here).  The website is www.royalalbertamuseum.ca.

If you are sticking around the museum and are hungry, the Museum Café has a surprisingly good menu and snacks available for purchase, but it closes on September 8th.  Good news is that the new museum is supposed to have a really great café with an outdoor courtyard patio, so I’ll keep that in mind when I am met with the closed doors of the current Museum Café.

I think what I am going to miss most of all is the building itself.  Like I said, I have been visiting the museum since I was very young and it holds so many memories for me.  From school trips, to family trips, to museum sleepovers (did anyone else get to go to those?  I think they were called “Museum After Dark”), introducing my little girl to the museum, to mommy-daughter dates, to the Time Travelers’ Lecture series at the Museum Theatre, to all the great moments I have had there.  It’s going to be really hard to let go, and very hard to see our favourite exhibits closed and in transit until 2017 or 2018.

 

So if you haven’t visited my old friend RAM in a while, or have yet to take your little one, I hope you drop by soon, before she leaves us for a while.  I think we’ll rekindle our friendship rather quickly once RAM is back in action at her new location, and that the RAM will prove to be an inspiring place for both old and new museum goers.  I just hope she’s not “too cool” for me.


Delaine is a mom to a beautiful little girl, a wife and lawyer in Edmonton. She enjoys running, reading, watching bad TV with her husband and most importantly, being a mom. Delaine recently started a blog “Moms of 1” (www.momsof1.com) with a friend of hers and is having fun blogging and connecting with other moms.

Tags: Babies, yeg

Reader Comments (1)

Mama S. said on October 28, 2015

I feel exactly the same way as you! So, so sad. But yet a little bit excited in a museum-nerd way about how awesome the new museum could be. But it just won't feel the same. Mixed emotions for sure! Last Friday I took pictures of nearly every inch of the RAM, so when I feel sad over the next two-ish years I can still visit ;)

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