The Vikings are here! After months of anticipation, Vikings: Beyond the Legend, the first-ever feature exhibit at the new Royal Alberta Museum is open to the public. The remarkable collection (it’s the largest touring exhibition of Viking artifacts in the world.) is on loan from the National Museum of Denmark and will be open to the public from April 18 to October 20, 2019.
My four-year-old twins LOVE the new RAM, but I wasn’t sure how they’d feel about the Vikings exhibit. Would they be scared? Bored? Indifferent? It turns out I had nothing to fear – Vikings: Beyond the Legend is an exciting, interactive exhibit that visitors of all ages will love. We unearthed 9 ways to embrace our inner Vikings at the Royal Alberta Museum:
- Selfies! In this day and age it goes without saying that you can capture an impressive array of selfies in any exhibit as amazing as this one. Before you even set foot inside the feature pavilion, be sure to stop by the face cutout boards in the Museum’s lobby to see just how great you’d look as a Viking!
2. Dig a Viking grave – There are 11 interactive stations within Vikings for visitors to try out. The first one we came across was one that encouraged us to use a variety of tools to unearth bones and artifacts. My young archaeologists had to try this one several times, and used all four screens dedicated to the task, to ensure they left nothing uncovered!
3. Roskilde 6 – Of all the parts of the exhibit, the 37 metre long Roskilde 6 is arguably the most impressive. It’s the longest Viking warship ever found, and 25% of the original 1,000+ year old wooden planks make up the display.
4. Row their boat – Grab an oar and give rowing the Roskilde a go! My young warriors arms got tired pretty quickly, but they kept racing back to the benches to try again!
5. Build your own boat – You won’t believe the volume of resources you need to build your own Viking warship! See just what the construction process took centuries ago.
6. Slip into something less comfortable – Viking garb was a tad, well, heavy! The Viking Dress display area has woolen cloaks and dresses in a variety of sizes. It’s one of the spots in the exhibition where you can use the Museum’s equipment to snap a photo and send it to yourself. Suit up the whole family and snap a pic!
7. Play Viking games – Choose an opponent and try your hand at Hnefatafl, also known as Viking chess. Can your king escape the opposing soldiers?
8. What’s in a name? – Type your name into the computer, hit “carve” and your Rune name will magically appear before you in stone! This was my kids’ favourite part of the exhibit and we had to type in the names of just about everyone we know to see how they looked!
9. Leave your grog outside! – Just a few housekeeping details to mention before you visit. Food and grog aren’t welcome inside the exhibition. While many of the exhibits are hands-on, keep an eye out for signs that request no touching of some artifacts. Strobe lights are used within the exhibition. Photography is welcome and in fact there are a few stations where the museum has set up tablets so you can snap a photo and send it to yourself. (Share on social media and use the hashtag #yegvikings.) Best of all, visiting Vikings: Beyond the Legend is included with admission to the Royal Alberta Museum, so you can check it out along with all the other great Museum Galleries. (May we recommend our favourite, the Children’s Gallery, as your next stop?)
Vikings: Beyond the Legend:
When: April 18 – October 20, 2019
Where: Royal Alberta Museum, 9810 – 103 A Avenue NW, Edmonton
Cost: Included with Museum admission