If you’re looking to educate and entertain your kids on a family weekend, Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) is the answer.
The Museum (240 McLeod Street, Ottawa ON) is Canada’s national natural history museum with roots dating back more than 150 years. It is critically acclaimed in the scientific community for its exciting and break-through research. The collections inside are made up of over 10 million specimens including plants, animals, minerals and fossils.
For 2013, there are many new highlights. You can learn more about our planet, explore the hidden world of ants, check out the thought-provoking photos of Edward Burtynsky or celebrate the centennial anniversary of the first Canadian Arctic Expedition.
And why is this family weekend more than it seems?
Uh huh, you read that right, the fun isn’t just for kids. Ottawa’s Museum of Nature is launching a new monthly series called, Nature Nocturne. While I originally thought that this was something where you learned about how to identify a monarch butterfly, it’s actually a whole lot cooler.
Believe it or not, the Museum will turn into a cool lounge where you can dance until midnight while a DJ spins music. While you’re having a good time, you can check the various displays and meet artists throughout the night. The fun begins on January 25 and will take place on the last Friday of every month (meaning you can kick off your weekend a little early). It’s described as the perfect family date and romantic getaway hybrid.
What to do?
“We have a top-notch line-up for visitors to explore, connect with, and be inspired by our natural world,” says Meg Beckel, CEO and President of the Canadian Museum of Nature. “In addition, we are launching new programmes for both adults and children that reflect the museum’s role as not only a national visitor destination, but also as a community gathering place.”
In November, the CMN re-opened its Vale Earth Gallery. Available to see 365-days of the year, the exhibit offers a collection of 1000 rocks and minerals and provides many hands-on activities that reveal the relevance of geology to everyday life. What could be cooler than that? I’ll tell you. You can make granite from magma, build a volcano and check out a limestone cave.
Starting in June, the “Oil” exhibit will feature photographs by renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. The over 50 pics depict the impact of petroleum’s development on people, cities and the environment presenting both a disturbing and thought-provoking message.
The summer will also see the opening of “Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants” from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
In 2013, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Canadian Arctic Expedition, the museum will launch Extraordinary Arctic, a year-long programme of events and activities starting in January with a few evening events to explore hot topics and trends during Ottawa’s world-famous Winterlude festival.
The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa. Until May 1, the museum is open Saturdays and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A surcharge applies for entry into some of the exhibitions.
For more details about our featured CMN weekend trip, including fees and hours, visit nature.ca.