Local museums offer accessible family fun

The kids are back in school, but there are still plenty of weekends for family fun. The City of Ottawa Museums and Historic Sites have several activities planned for children of all ages.

“We’re calling it ‘fall fun for the whole family,’” says Jennifer Maybank, audience development officer for the City of Ottawa Museums and Historic Sites, “and a number of city locations have exciting programs lined up.”

Following a theme of rural life and farming, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site and Fairfields Heritage House will all have numerous hands-on activities. “Harvesting was a big time on farms in those early days,” says Maybank, “so kids and their parents will get a chance to see how much work was involved.” ‘Fall into Harvest’ at Cumberland Heritage Museum takes place on September 1, 2, 8 and 9. Families can enjoy a corn boil, watch a canning and preserving demonstration using produce from the farm, learn a themed craft and wander a corn maze. In the afternoons, catch the vintage agricultural machines. “Kids will find these fascinating,” says Maybank. “They’re pretty cool, but they’ll also be weather permitting.” 

At Pinhey’s Point – Horaceville – programs will take place on a smaller scale on Saturdays only throughout September. “Every Saturday will feature a different theme,” says Maybank.  Visitors will learn about pickling and canning, preparing a garden for the winter, planting bulbs and how to save and store seeds. “It really is a beautiful setting,” says Maybank, “so we encourage people to stroll around or take a tour of the house.” Over at Fairfields Heritage House, you can enjoy the Fairfields Heritage Harvest on September 15. Discover the history of the Bell Family along with a celebration of local farming. The Bells were Holstein dairy farmers,” says Maybank, “so a butter churning demonstration seems appropriate.” She says children will enjoy the petting zoo from Big Sky Ranch as well.

Halloween themed events are always popular. At Billings Estate National Historic Site, come dressed as your favourite fairy tale character. Cumberland Museum’s ‘Halloween Hijinks’ will focus on Halloween celebrations from the 1920s and 1930s, while the Nepean Museum features a Pumpkin Party for younger children on October 27. Fairfields Heritage House will be ready for trick and treaters on Halloween night, October 31. For times and more information on the City of Ottawa Museums and Historic sites, visit www.ottawa.ca/museums.