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Summer – and the long summer holidays – is not too far off, and so planning some interesting family activities is sure to be on most people’s to do lists. Fortunately for those of us living in the Waterloo Region there is always a lot going on. Including the chance to visit one (or more) of our area’s museums. Here’s a look at some of our personal favourites.
Waterloo Region Museum, Kitchener
The Waterloo Region Museum is made up of two exhibit halls. One focuses on regional history and the other hosts travelling exhibits from all over the world.
The main exhibit gallery traces the 12,000 year human history of Waterloo Region, from First Nation’s peoples, to the European immigration and settlement boom at the start of the 1800s, to the area’s manufacturing heydays of the 1900s, to the high tech sector boom of recent years.
In the ‘travelling’ gallery you’ll find something different every time you visit. For example, right now, until April 30 2017, a pack of wild dinosaurs have taken over, as a part of the Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family exhibit.
Doon Heritage Village, Kitchener
The Doon Heritage Village is open seasonally, from May 1st to December 23rd. It’s a 60 acre site, created as an extension of the Waterloo Region Museum that is a literal living snapshot of life in the area in the year 1914.
1914 was a time of of great change. More and more new immigrants were arriving in Canada, and therefore in our area, industry was booming, the railway had just arrived and agriculture was expanding. On the downside, the outbreak of World War 1 in August of 1914 changed everything again.
The village is staffed by professional reenators and many of the buildings are reconstructions of original structures. There are guided tours available and all kinds of extra activities for the whole family to enjoy while they explore the village and gain a better understanding of just what life was like here over 100 years ago
Sometimes the very best museum visits are those that allow visitors to get hands on and interactive while exploring and learning about a wide variety of things and this is exactly what THEMUSEUM offers.
Aside from viewing all of the amazing art and science exhibits, you can also get creative at the Virtual Graffiti Wall exhibit, create a stop motion cartoon at the Animation Station, dance along the giant Walking Piano, take a stroll through the Living Wall (which consists only of plant life) and much more. As the museum offers so much it’s a great family day out, no matter how different each family member’s personal interests might be.
Castle Kilbride Museum, Baden
Just a short drive away for most people living in the Waterloo region, the Castle Kilbride Museum is housed within a grandiose Victorian era home that once belonged to James Livingston, a local flax industrialist, politician and entrepreneur. He designed and built the home himself, dubbing it Castle Kilbride after his hometown, East Kilbride in Scotland.
After 110 years in residence, the Livingston family sold the family seat in 1988, and today it houses a collection of Victoriana that offers its visitors a unique glimpse at one of Canada’s ‘golden ages’. The unique trompe l’oeil paintings throughout the home are particularly fascinating and a trip to the castle really is like taking a personal trip into the past