Special Events and Programs

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Preschool Picnics at the Museum

Fridays in August from 10 am to 11:30 am

Introduce your little ones to the wonders of museums at an early age! Preschool Picnics encourage imaginative learning through role playing as Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk (and others!), making fossils to learn about natural history, doing “chores” like pioneer children would have done, and playing matching games to learn about big vs. little to help them understand the world around them. A small picnic lunch is provided. Ages 3 – 5. Cost: $8/participant.

Can You Dig It?

Wednesdays in August from 1 pm to 3 pm

Unearth Ottawa’s best kept secrets by digging into our outdoor, hands-on archaeology program! Each one of these weekly programs focuses on a different aspect of archaeology, and delves into the past by having children participate in archaeological digs to discover buried artefacts. Topics range from how to set up a digging grid, to artifact dating techniques, to making a time capsule.  Ages 6 – 12. Cost: $6/participant.

History Detectives

Thursdays in August from 1 pm to 3 pm

Do you have an aspiring Sherlock Holmes at home? Our History Detectives series of weekly programs presents a different mystery to solve by collecting a series of clues, studying evidence, and carrying out investigative work to crack the case! Helping children develop deductive reasoning skills and teaching them about the history of the Estate becomes fun with cases like: The Case of the Lost Lumber, the Missing Tea Biscuits, the Case of the Train Delay, and more! Ages 6 – 12. Cost: $6/participant. 

Harvest Day

Sunday, September 14 from 10 am to 4 pm

Our estate was once well-known for its deep roots in agricultural activities – from subsistence farming to large-scale commercial farming to market gardening. Our Harvest Day celebrates this tradition of farm-to-table lifestyles with a large-scale board game about planting crops and a mini-canal activity about how food used to get transported.  Families will participate in dairying demonstrations like making cheese, butter, and ice cream and even try their hand at cow-milking. With a petting zoo and relay races, this event is a day full of fun for the whole family! Cost: $6/person, $10/pair, $16/family.

Culture Days

Satuday and Sunday, September 27 and 28 from 11 am to 5 pm

Celebrate Ottawa’s rich culture by taking part in this grassroots, province-wide event. The museum will be open for self-guided tours to learn about the history of the site, settlement in Billings Bridge, and the trades that helped them prosper. Admission to the exhibition, use of our family-friendly Experience Backpacks, and access to our activity room in Sally’s Kitchen are included. Cost: Free admission.

Spirits of the Times: Murder with a Twist

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, October 16, 17, and 18 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm

Autumn, 1914: war in Europe has broken out, and Canada has been pulled into the fight. But the razzle dazzle socialites at Chatsworth House are more concerned with their hidden gold reserves, secret trysts, and defending their reputations from scathing gossip - until a murder rattles the biggest event of the year.  Join the Ottawa StoryTellers for an entertaining evening of mystery and intrigue while touring the Estate.  Cost: $15/person. Advance purchase recommended.

Edwardian Séances

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 24, 25, and 26 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm

Your senses will be in overdrive during these popular events as you look, listen, and feel for changes in the environment that signal a presence from the beyond. Psychic Connie Adams leads a size-restricted group of participants through a traditional séance in one of Ottawa’s oldest wood-framed houses. Sign up soon as our séances are super popular and sell out fast! Cost: $30/person. Registration required. Adults only, please.

Halloween Party

Sunday, October 26 from 10 am to 4 pm

Child-sized scale models of some of Ottawa’s most iconic landmarks - like Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall - set the scene for some truly epic trick-or-treating! But the fun doesn’t end there. Wear your costume and create your own legendary monster using our large-scale mix -’n’-match book and then use a Nerf gun to capture some of these fiends for further investigation! Have your face painted and be the star of our costume parade! Cost: $6/person, $10/pair, $16/family.

Christmas Tea at the Estate

Sunday, December 7 and 14 from 11 am to 4 pm

The holidays are the perfect time for indulgences, wouldn’t you agree? Our Christmas Tea this year introduces you to the imported decadences of the Victorian era when such treats and toys were hard to come by. With carollers, ornament-making workshops, and traditional Victorian Christmas decorations, you can spend a Sunday treating yourself during this hectic time of the year. Cost: Admission to the museum is free with tea service purchase. Regular tea room prices apply: $12.50 per person for our 3-tier service. Reservations are strongly recommended. A limited number of walk-ins will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Edwardian Séance

Friday, December 19 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm

Séances aren’t just for Halloween! They were actually very popular at Christmas during the Victorian and Edwardian eras as a way to connect, during this very special time of the year, with a loved one who had passed. Sign up soon as our séances are super popular and sell out fast! Cost: $30/person. Registration required. Adults only, please.