I‘ve been meaning to get back to the Cumberland Village Heritage Museum for years now. We went way back in the day, maybe four or five years ago, and I remember really liking it, but we just never got around to making the return trek. We actually started heading out there with a picnic last summer, or was it the summer before, but we got sidetracked by the beach at Petrie Island and never did end up going.
Right about the time I was thinking this would be a great summer for a return visit, the fine folks at the city of Ottawa department of museums and heritage got in touch with an inquiry about blog ads. I love it when a plan comes together! You’ll see their shiny new ad in the sidebar over there on the right, and I’ll tell you a little more about them in an upcoming post. For now, this is the post I would have written regardless of whether they were one of my new bloggy sponsors or not, because I really did love our sunny summer afternoon spent at the Cumberland Museum.
Have you been? In their own words, the Cumberland Village Heritage Museum offers “an immersive, fun, and educational experience that showcases life in the 1920s and 30s with dozens of heritage and true-to-the-era reproduction buildings â€“ including a working sawmill and blacksmith forge â€“ heritage breed farm animals, people in costume, vintage tractor-pulled wagon rides, and so much more.”
The first thing I loved about it is that you can get a family admission for less than $20, and they have no rigid definitions on how many kids comprise a family. Yay!
The second thing I loved, and the things the kids loved most of all, were the quirky games spread out all over the lawn, from a gigantic Sorry board and Chinese checkers to putt putt to a bowling alley to an old fashioned bean bag toss. They had retro wooden scooters, go-carts and wagons, too. The kids thought it was all fabulous!
The third thing I loved was the kids dressing up in firefighter costumes. Tristan said he wants a pair of these boots for school: “I won’t even need snow pants in the winter!”
The fourth thing I loved was that everything was laid back and low key and relaxed. You could poke around at your own pace, and even on a summer Sunday afternoon, we almost had the place to ourselves.
The fifth thing we loved, and we loved it a lot, was the steam-powered miniature trains that were run every second Sunday afternoon through the summer. Riding on the trains is free with museum admission, and the gentlemen who own and run the trains are more than happy to talk about their hobby. We made several loops and Beloved was a little too interested in the trains as a hobby for my (pocketbook’s) comfort. 😉
The sixth thing we loved were the animals. Guard geese, horses, cows and piglets. And Lucas milked a wooden cow – that’s something you don’t see every day.
The seventh thing we loved were the old fashioned play structures – swinging ropes and see-saws.
The eighth thing we loved was the tractors!
The ninth thing we loved is how delightfully accessible and touchable everything is. You can climb on just about everything at the Cumberland Museum, and there are polite and humourous signs letting you know when you cannot. I’m seriously thinking of getting the slogan on the yellow sign printed on a t-shirt for Beloved.: “I’m old and tired, please don’t climb on me.” 😉
Oh no! I”m already at 10 and there are so many other thing we loved – learning about history by touring the buildings, the gorgeous grounds and pretty flowers, the helpful docents, the curio and curiousities… way more than enough things to keep a gaggle of boys out of mischief for an entire afternoon.
You know what else is cool? They have lots of special events and programming including an upcoming drive-in movie night featuring The Wizard of Oz.
The Cumberland Village Heritage Museum is truly one of Ottawa’s hidden treasures. I’m glad we remembered to go back, and the boys have already said they’re looking forward to a return visit soon. It was a timely reminder for me too, that working with Ottawa’s heritage and museum network is a perfect complement to the blog. Want to know more? Visit them on their Facebook page. 🙂
If you go:
The Cumberland Village Heritage Museum is at 2940 Old Montreal Rd in Cumberland, just 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa. Admission fees: Adults – $7, Seniors and Students – $5, Families (two adults 2 adults and all of your children under 18 years) – $18, Annual Family Membership $35 (2 adults and all of your children under 18 years). Group rates available upon request. Additional fees may be applicable to some special events and programs.
Disclosure: I have entered into an advertising agreement with the City of Ottawa’s department of museums and heritage. However, this idea for this post pre-dates that agreement and my opinions – and enthusiasm for the museum – are completely my own.