Canada is turning 150 next year (2017) and to celebrate several of the most popular museums across the country will be hosting various monumental festivals, grand openings or reopenings, special exhibits, and free event days!
This is a huge deal for the country filled with Parliamentary history, absolutely breathtaking architecture, and diverse and unique culture and cuisine everywhere you go, which is why we suggest making 2017 your year to see Canada!
When it comes to truly seeing this gorgeous country beyond just the popular tourist spots, a great place to start would be at any of the world-renowned educational institutions and museums throughout the major cities, each museum a really excellent way to immerse yourself into the culture, history, natural environment, and education of the area.
Canadian War Museum -
The Canadian War Museum, located in the capital city of Ottawa, is an excellent place for any travelers interested in the country's military history, war history in general, or education on militia and weaponry. This museum offers 45-minute workshops for students, as well as 1-hour tours and orientation programs around the campus. Explore all the various war art, hands-on artifacts, and personal stories that each do their part in explaining the human experience at war. Currently, the most popular exhibits include Deadly Skies, 100 Days of Battle and War and Media.
National Gallery of Canada -
Musee Des Beaux-Arts du Canada, or the National Gallery of Canada, is one of the world's most respected art institutes, renown for its excellent collections, scholarship, and 'distinct ability to engage its audience'. This gallery is staged to reopen in May of 2017 after a multi-million dollar revamps and revitalization project, providing guests again with an amazing National Gallery, several learning workshops for students grades 1-6, and several options for group tours. Enjoy the onsite cafe, adult art classes, and exhibits on such things as Signs and Symbols and Seeing Stories.
Ontario Science Center -
If you are near Toronto you will have to stop at the Ontario Science Center, the ‘absolute must stop full of integrity, education, and fun’. This entire establishment provides guests with truly thought-provoking experiences in both science and technology from the past 45 years, a unique experience with exciting programs and Imax films. There are several daily demonstrations, self-guided tours, and feature films in the 310 seat, 44 speaker Omni Imax dome, not to mention an onsite cafe, catered lunch option, and huge performance space for dance, band, choir, and orchestra groups. Be sure to check out the new Wild Weather (October 2016) and Machine Inside (February 2017) exhibits during your visit!
Canadian Museum of Nature -
The Canadian Museum of Nature is located back in Ottawa, Ontario, on McLeod Street. This massive and gorgeous complex allows guests to explore the natural history of the area, with several different mammals, dinosaur fossils, gems and minerals, gardens and even live animals inside. You can even see a blue whale skeleton inside! Not only will you be learning about all those cool natural subjects, but you will be inside an architecturally amazing historic castle downtown within an old Parliament district, an experience in of itself. Enjoy a behind the scenes guided tour, 3D movie, workshop, performance opportunity, or the nature cafe, or perhaps stick around for the Museum After Hours program complete with a taco dinner and tons of learning opportunities. The highly anticipated Arctic Gallery will be opening in June of next year (2017), as well.
Canadian Museum of History -
Welcome to the Canadian Museum of History, the popular local museum located in the Hull area of Gatineau, Quebec, directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. History, architecture, and culture abound await you at this destination, the entire establishment the perfect spot for travelers to learn a little, or a lot, more about Canada, Quebec, and the Parliament in general. This museum sees over 1.2 million visitors each year, making it the country’s most-visited museum. With it’s beginning seen back in 1856, it is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a truly highly respected center of educational excellence, excelling in history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies both within and outside Canada!
Canadian Children’s Museum - This museum is technically a part of the Canadian Museum of History, though we like it so much we think it deserves a special mention. The Canadian Children’s Museum is THE place to go with younger children while here, the museum featuring several interesting films on local culture, nature, and science, as well as hands-on 45-minute workshops and tours. You can enjoy lessons on architecture and history as well, as you walk around and explore the building, complete with fun exhibitions such as Gold Rush, Napoleon and Paris, and Dreamworks Animations.