Some of the world’s biggest and baddest spiders have been hanging out in Toronto and we finally got a peek into their worlds – all 400 of them. The live and preserved specimens are the stars of Spiders: Fear and Fascination exhibition on display until January 6, 2019 at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Whether you’re creeped out by or really haven’t put too much thought into the lives of eight-legged arachnids (not to be confused by six-legged insects), you’ll end up leaving the exhibition with loads of new information and appreciation for these animals. There are lots and lots of labels so if you have a keen kid in TOw, enjoy – you’ll have an extra special time examining and learning all the live and preserved creatures. Some of the show-stoppers include: the dangerous live Brazilian Wandering Spider (one of the most dangerous), the Golliath birdeater (one of the world’s largest tarantulas – pictured above – it eats frogs and lizards!), and the top ten spiders you’ll find in Toronto. Us mamas also learn some interesting facts that mother spiders often leave their spiderlings to fend for themselves; while in some species, the dying mother becomes the babes’ first meal. !!!

Most of the kids, however, will likely get gravitate to the interactive hands-on elements like the hungry hippo-style game (that demonstrates the different kinds of fangs and pincers), AR and touch screens activities, and a spider cave.

The best part for us was the ROM Spider Lab with its daily live specimen demos with expert Spider Wranglers – including venom milking which is happenening here with a scorpion. Try to plan your visit around this time – the schedule is posted in a photo in the TRIP TIPS at the end of this post.

There are a couple fun activities near the end – a massive Spider-Man comic book and a few digital versions to flip through. Save some time on the way out, kids can colour their own spider, scan it and watch it crawl over the projection across the wall.


Getting there: All the logistical info is found here.

Low-down: The ROM galleries plus the Spiders exhibition costs $32 for adults and $21 for kids 4 – 14. (3 and under are free.) Spiders is in the main exhibition space in the basement and is in English and in French.

ROM Spider Lab:

Mark your calendars:Zuul: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur– what will likely be a big hit for the kids – opens December 15, 2018.