In the summer, the pace slows down and life takes on another rhythm. It’s time for a refreshing change of scenery, to explore and have fun as a family! What is the ideal environment in which to experience these moments that break up the daily routine? At museums, in all of their diversity!
Take part in the discovery game
Museums offer unique activities, to be experienced at your own rhythm. Feel free to stroll, observe, experiment, and exchange. Your program will follow the theme of your choice: rock-paper-scissors or science-history-arts. There’s something to satisfy everyone’s passions, everywhere in Québec.
No prerequisites or specific knowledge are required to go to a museum. All that’s necessary is a bit of curiosity and enough audacity to open the door! So embark on an exploratory journey with your eyes wide open and a zest for sharing your impressions, your loves at first sight, your questions…
To bring along in your backpack: here are some suggestions to make your visits as a family more enjoyable, in addition to tips for getting in on the action.
Explore your universe, near and far
At science and technology museums, a myriad of experiences awaits budding scientists of all ages. From outer space to the earth’s ecosystems, the fundamental laws of physics, and very specialized biomedical research, you’ll find answers to the questions that most concern you, and to those the children ask you.
Learn how to recognize animals, stars, rocks, minerals, and fossils. Actively observe the surrounding diversity. Engross yourself in technology (old and new), and put known or unknown scientific or technical principles to the test. Contemplate the significance of innovations that have enabled the development of machines, remedies, and major discoveries.
Museum websites are mines of information that will help you prepare your family visit. Have a look at the themes addressed in the various exhibitions, and discuss what they mean to you. Exchanges will then be that much richer both during and after the visit.
Musée Armand-Frappier. CC BY-NC-SA / Photo: Sophie Poliquin
Share the history of the past
History museums often welcome you in iconic locations that have witnessed significant events or ancestral lifestyles, such as old residences, windmills or watermills, military forts, industrial locations, and memorial sites. All of these invite you to take a fascinating trip back in time!
Surrounded by objects from another period, imagine yourself living at that time in history. Have fun identifying whatever treasures from the past have been showcased, and finding their current equivalents. Become acquainted with illustrious men and women. While visiting the different spaces, use the information provided by the museum to feed your discussions. What do you retain of the creations, innovations, and ideas of the past that have helped forge who we are today?
Feel free to share your personal stories with your children or grandchildren… They may even surprise you with their own anecdotes! A great way to make individual stories resonate within the larger context of history!
Maison Alphonse-Desjardins. CC BY-NC-SA / Photo : Claude Côté
Cut some paths to new horizons
A visit to an art museum opens the heart and spirit to creation, within multi-faceted universes. Art from here and elsewhere, ancient or contemporary art, architecture and design, cinema and photography, applied arts, music… Expand your palette of knowledge and references through exposure to a variety of artistic genres.
Share your impressions and perceptions while moving from one artwork to another. Which works are your favourites? Which ones really strike a chord with you? And which ones intrigue you, or are unsettling?
When faced with paintings that have denser content, challenge yourself to pinpoint fun or surprising details. Why not strike a pose, alongside the sculptures that are exhibited? If not directly at the museum, let the works inspire you when you get back home! Pick up a paintbrush, camera, or piece of clay to express your own ideas and emotions.
Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke. CC BY-NC-SA /Photo: Steve Ouellet
Stir up the curiosity of the entire family by adding visits to one, two, three — or more — museums to your list of summer activities. Something to ignite a little flame and bring about common interests to cultivate together. Enriching discussions will emerge from these exchanges. And who knows, perhaps these visit-experiences could even become traditions or essentials… like children’s games!