A day trip to the Pickering Museum Village should absolutely be on your must-do list this summer. Their drive-thru mystery experience was so much fun and well organized, and their summer and fall lineup already has us booking another visit.
A few weekends ago we were treated to a day at Pickering Museum Village to experience their kid’s programming. We didn’t know what to expect as this would be our first visit to the Village, but we loved our time there so much we think you’ll love a visit too! Here’s what we did, and what you can plan to do this summer at Pickering Museum Village.
Drive-Thru Mystery Tour
The first activity we signed up for was the drive-thru mystery tour called “Izzy and the Mystery at the Mill”. We received a clue tracking worksheet and an MP4 player that played an audio recording that was like an old-time radio program and it was very nostalgic. Drive from stop to stop as the recording plays and gives you clues in the dialogue. Track those clues on your worksheet and use them to solve the mystery. The entire tour runs approx. 50 minutes and had us engaged the entire time. Each stop had something to read or clues, and the actors who played some of the characters in the recording were such a great touch. All of us love it, even my husband who is hard to impress!
History Detective Walking Tour
Our next activity was the walking tour that had us solving questions about how life was lived in the era of Pickering Museum Village. We had a clue sheet and toured old buildings to solve the puzzles. We scoped out the schoolhouse, the church, and the rustic home, which was possibly our favourite because we saw how the settler’s resourcefulness was put to the test every day to just live their very modest life. There was lots of great info shared by our tour guides who were fully dressed in period-appropriate attire. They much have been hot in all those layers! We also learned where the old adage “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” came from – ew! Makes me very thankful for my modern bed. Spend some time in each building asking the guides question, they had answers to everything we wanted to know about, and then some!
Making Ice Cream The Old-Fashioned Way
Our last stop of the day was definitely the sweetest. The staff at Pickering Museum Village taught us how to make ice cream the way they did in “old-people times” as my kid referred to it. The recipe was simple, I’ll link one version here, and the process took some elbow grease! If you wanted ice cream, you needed to earn it back in the day! But while we had to shake a whole lot, it was definitely a great way to cool down on a hot day. Plus – ice cream is your reward!
We had a great time at the museum. The entire day was very well up together and the staff was wonderful. They definitely added sparkle to the village and never left character. This is such a fun way to learn about the history of Pickering and the surrounding areas. The hands-on and in-person exhibits gave us lots of opportunities to see and experience how settlers lived and worked in the “old days”.
Summer Programs at Pickering Museum Village
The Museum has a ton of events, tours and programs that happen all through the year, so be sure to check their website here for a current lineup, but here are a few that have piqued our interest for Summer and Fall.
Anne in Pickering ~ People from all over the world have fallen in love with L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. Pickering Museum Village has been the film location for movies and television shows about the books. What were adoption and views on education for women really like for Canadians like Anne? We’ll explore parts of the books and screen adaptations alongside real life in this 45-minute tour. You can also choose the 2-hour tour that includes an Anne-inspired lunch and tea blended by you!
Kids in the Village – Unleash your creativity at Kids in the Village. Make a craft under the guidance of Museum Guides. Learn about the history and have fun along the way! Kids in the Village features a different 45 minute craft each week. After the craft, explore the museum’s new interactive barn exhibit where you can milk a replica cow, groom a display horse, and prepare for the local fair.
Friday Night Ice Cream – Looking for something fun to do on Friday night? Gather some friends, family or your date and learn how to make a delicious ice cream recipe from scratch with our costumed interpreters. Enjoy your own creation afterwards! Each session is 45 minutes and a new ice cream recipe will be featured each week.
Fall Programs To Add To Your Calendar
Pickering Fairy Tour – Pickering’s picturesque forest, village, and gardens are home to not only some incredible natural creatures, but also some magical creatures. Locate and visit a series of whimsical fairy, elf, and gnome homes scattered in the village and forest and learn about the history and folklore of the magical creatures of the forest. Pickering’s Fairy Tour is an opportunity to see their world up close. This event runs during the day in October and is lit up evenings in November.