Museums make for a great day trip. Everyone from children to adults loves museums, for they introduce new knowledge, have interactive displays to stimulate our natural curiosity, and are the perfect day trip especially on winter days when going outside is out of the question. They provide an atmosphere of learning, while preserving different aspects of existence of human and animal life, plants, art, and all sorts of other things!
The city of Kitchener-Waterloo has several museums; in just the past decade, Kitchener-Waterloo has gained two new museums, as well. Today we review the museums that rank for the best day trip.
Waterloo Region Museum
10 Huron Road, Kitchener
This museum is located in Doon, which is in the south side of Kitchener. It is the largest community museum in Ontario! The main gallery is specific to the history of Waterloo, from 12 000 years ago to the present day. You will find information on First Nations peoples and everything to the European settlement in the 1800s, as well as the industrial advances on the 1900s (Kitchener is well known for being a factory town in the last couple of centuries, heavily reliant upon manufacturing for its economy), all the way to the past few years and the technological boom. Here you will discover all the ways and reasons different people have immigrated to Canada.
This makes it a great trip especially for those who are new to the area so they can learn more about its history. It has a second gallery featuring rotating exhibits from local artists and travelling exhibits from around the world. It is part of Doon Heritage Village, a 60-acre living history village, which is open from May to December 22. The village focuses on 1914. There are historic buildings, farm animals and fun activities for all ages. Admission includes access to the museum as well as Doon Heritage Village.
Hours: Monday – Friday 9:30AM – 5:00PM
Saturday 11:00AM – 5:00PM
Sunday 11:00AM – 5:00PM
Schneider Haus National Historic Site
466 Queen Street South, Kitchener
The Schneider Haus National Historic Site was originally a house built 1816 by Joseph Schneider, one of the Pennsylvanian German Mennonites who settled in Waterloo County in the early 1800s. It is the oldest dwelling in Kitchener that is still standing. Inside the museum is a recreation of life in Ontario in the 1850s. The site spans not only the original house but other buildings that recreate daily life from those years. It has served as a living history museum since 1981. Staff reenact daily duties of the time period. There are hands-on activities, workshops, events and gallery exhibits.
Hours: Monday – Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday – Saturday 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Sunday 1:00PM – 5:00PM
10 King Street West, Kitchener
This museum is rather unlike the others on the list. There is nothing behind glass, and there are no artifacts. It is rather a museum featuring a curated collection of ideas and things to explore. It is highly interactive and has many levels with different themes. Permanent exhibitions include a virtual graffiti wall where you can spray paint the wall with the click of a button. There are geo-terraces and fish tanks, a living wall, an urban streetscape project with iconic features of Waterloo Region, a water table where you can direct the water, a walking piano you dance upon to play, shadow play, and several other interactive exhibits for all ages to enjoy. The Museum also has rotating artist exhibits. There is a restaurant below called B@ THEMUSEUM. It is located in the heart of downtown, so many other things are close by.
Hours: Monday-Tuesday CLOSED
Thursday – Sunday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Earth Sciences Museum
200 University Ave. West, Waterloo
This museum is part of the University of Waterloo, so it is close to other amenities like restaurants and shops. It is located of course in the building where students study earth sciences and the like. Here you will find halls and halls of historic artifacts like rock and dinosaur bones. The displays are somewhat interactive and very beautiful. It does not have its own building; it is in the middle of classrooms and a cafeteria so you will have to wander around. Admission is free.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30AM-4:30PM
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
101 Queen Street North, Kitchener
KWAG focuses on contemporary culture, as a non-profit organization that is open to the public and free of charge. Their vision is to connect people and ideas through art, with rotating exhibits as well as permanent exhibits. It is the leading art gallery of the region, by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting visual arts in hopes of inspiring and appreciating visual arts.
Hours: Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 9:30AM – 6:00PM
Wednesday: 9:30AM – 7:30PM
Thursday: 9:30AM – 9:00PM
Friday: 9:30AM – 8:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM