Learning and fun really can go hand in hand. Trust us.
Get hands-on with history this winter at these seven kid-friendly heritage destinations in Hamilton.
1. Westfield Heritage Village
Unplug and slow down at this living history museum that brings early Canadian history to life. Costumed interpreters lead live demonstrations on everything from butter churning to blacksmithing across 35 historic buildings.
Don’t Miss: Reward the kids with a stop at the general store for some old-fashioned candy or a bottle of soda!
Winter Highlights: Indulge everyone’s sweet tooth with old-fashioned way at the Maple Syrup Festival running every Sunday in March (with some additional days in March Break)
2. Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The sky's the limit at the Canada's largest flying museum, home to more than 40 military planes and flight simulators. Let the little ones see, touch and even climb aboard aircraft that helped to shape our history.
Don’t Miss: Experience the adrenaline of an air combat flying mission in an F-18 Hornet flight simulator in the museum’s Air Combat Zone Jet Fighter simulator.
3. Dundurn Castle
Visit the iconic Hamilton attraction for a first-hand account of what life was like for a young family member during the 19th Century. Sophia was the daughter of prominent political and business leader, Sir Allan MacNab, and kept a diary about her life. Learn about her pets, hobbies and relationships. The whole family will love touring the estate’s many rooms.
Don't Miss: Visit the on-site Military Museum for a self-guided experience with dress-up and other hands on activities for the kids who will get an up-close and interactive sense of life as a soldier during the War of 1812 and First World War.
4. Whitehern Historic House & Garden
Take a guided tour of this gorgeous downtown historic home where the kids can ask questions and compare their lives to the six McQuesten children who grew up there. Then enjoy a visit to the beautiful garden!
Don't Miss: Whitehern is considered one of the most intact historic homes in Canada! Many of the family's original belongings have been preserved, from fine china to photographs and even kids' toys. It's all here and it's all very authentic.
5. Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology
This National Historic Site showcases the city’s proud industrial history and houses many treasures, two 70-ton, Canadian built steam engines, believed to be the oldest surviving ones of their kind.
Don’t Miss: Kids and kids-at-heart will love the model trains, toys and many hands-on workshops offered year-round at the museum.
Winter Highlights: Visiting during March Break? The museum is hosting a week-long activity centre all about the science behind amusement parks. Finally, a chance to design their own miniature theme park rides!
6. Rock Garden at Royal Botanical Gardens
This National Historic Site is a must-see. Shaped as ‘bowl’ this garden oasis has winding paths, gorgeous flowers, and of course – plenty of rocks to climb and jump off. This natural playground is an open-air museum, filled with natural wonders year-round.
Don't Miss: After you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the gardens, treat the family to something delicious at the Rock Garden Cafe with a stunning bird’s eye view of the garden’s lower bowl.
Winter Highlight: The RBG’s winter exhibit Wildlife Rescue is packed with hands-on, interactive stations to explore the threatened and endangered animals from around the world. Every day is filled with family activities and weekends feature live animal guests from local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres.
7. Hamilton Children's Museum
Housed in an 1875 farmhouse in Gage Park, this small but beloved museum provides hands-on learning across several exhibit rooms that include a ship and galley kitchen and craft room.
Don't Miss: Before or after your visit, be sure to leave time to explore surrounding Gage Park, home to peaceful paths, a gorgeous iconic fountain and the indoor Tropical Greenhouse.
Winter Highlight: Winter events include regular “games nights”, perfect for enjoying with the family. If you’re visiting Hamilton during the March Break with any Harry Potter fans, be sure to check out a week’s worth of hands on activities at the “Magical World of Wizarding“.