The possibilities are endless when it comes to planning a trip to the local museums around Chatham-Kent. With rotating exhibits, local heritage, hands-on and interactive experiences and engaging programs, there is never a shortage of things to discover.
Take a self-guided tour and rediscover the town's 1860s oil boom. Showcasing remnants of this important place in history, an interactive tour illustrates how the discovery of oil turned Bothwell into the largest community outside of Toronto almost overnight.
Parents and kids love the newest addition to the Chatham-Kent Museum. The Imagination Station, located on the second floor of the museum, allows guests to create, explore and discover in a hands-on and interactive setting.
The museum itself showcases artifacts from events of national and international significance such as the War of 1812, the Underground Railroad, and the global discovery of oil. Admission is by donation and hours vary and are available on the Chatham-Kent Arts and Culture website.
*Not all areas of the museum may be open to the public. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday and registration is required.
A visit to the
Milner Heritage House will not disappoint. From May to September, step back into the early 1900s as you view the stunning restored home that depicts their turn-of-the century lifestyle and the collection of art by Emma Milner herself. It was also here that Robert Milner started a modest buggy and sleigh manufacturing business and by the 1890s Milner Carriage Works was one of the largest vehicle producers in southern Ontario. Admission is by donation and the museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
In the heart of the charming town of Ridgetown lies a restored 1875 Victorian home now known as the Ridge House Museum. Visitors are encouraged to tour this typical Gothic revival home and take in the preserved artifacts and specimen significant to the area represented by Ridgetown and the former Howard Township. Families will love the
Discovery Den, where kids can let their imagination run wild in a brand new interactive and hands-on creative space. From light-up tables and dress-up clothes to magnet and Lego walls, there's lots to entertain the young and young at heart. The museum is open seasonally (March to September), with admission by donation.
With more than 85,000 artifacts spanning the history of Wallaceburg, there is always something new to see. Discover artefacts detailing the rise of the Dominion Sugar Company, Wallaceburg Brass Company and Sydenham Glass Company or investigate the supernatural events of the Baldoon Mystery. The Von Ayres Cultural Centre consists of the Wallaceburg & District Historical Society, the Frank Murdock Sports Hall of Fame, the Wallaceburg Little Theatre and the Wallaceburg and District Arts Council. Drama, musical events, fine arts displays, drama camps, cabarets, art camps and Tae Kwon Do classes are all presented throughout the year. Don't miss out on the annual transformation of the museum into a Haunted Mansion at Halloween!
*The Museum is open by appointment only. Call 519-627-8962 to book.
Step inside an antique Canadian National Baggage Car, and back in time into the Chatham Railway Museum. Railway artifacts and interactive displays give visitors an up-close-and-personal experience of railway culture. The museum is open for the summer season (June to August) and is closed Sundays and Mondays. During the off-season, tours are available by appointment on the
Chatham Railroad Museum website. Annually, watch out for the
William Glassco Railroad Fun Day, featuring tours, model displays, activities, games and more. The Museum is located across from the VIA Rail station in Chatham.