Nepean Museum

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About us

The Nepean Museum is a space where kids and families can learn and explore together. The exhibition gallery showcases Nepean’s history through a series of changing exhibits. With many fun hands-on events, programs and exhibitions, you’ll find lots to discover together.

Hours and admission

Hours of operation:

Wednesday - Sunday
10 am to 5 pm

*Please note that the museum will be closed from Wednesday, September 28 through Sunday, October 2 as we complete regular maintenance on our permanent exhibition. Thank you for your understanding.

Book your visit online.

Admission:

Admission is by donation.

*Special pricing may apply for programs and events.

Programs and special events

MakerStudio Activities

Sundays: October 16 and 30; November 13 and 27.
Drop in between the hours of 10:30 am and 12:30 pm.
Children and adults (ages 3 and up).
Admission is by donation.

Engage with objects from the museum’s collection in guided activities that will inspire visitors of all ages to think creatively about Nepean’s material history.

October 16 – Make your own loom
October 30 – Creative construction
November 13 – Decoding secret messages
November 27 – Traditional wooden toys

Note: These activities are delivered in English.

History Hackers

Sundays: October 9 and 23; November 6 and 20.
10:30 am to 12 pm.
Ages 6 to 9.
Cost: $12 per child.
Advance registration is strongly encouraged.

A summer favourite returns for the fall season! Explore how Nepean’s material past transformed over time through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (S.T.E.A.M.). Discover a different theme each week and get inspired by unique objects from the museum’s collection.

Notes:

  • This program is delivered in English only.
  • Please pack a peanut-free snack and water for your child.
  • Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Sessions with insufficient registration may be cancelled. If an alternative cannot be offered, a refund will be issued.
  • Museum staff will assist participants with any assembly including sewing, hot glue, etc., and safety glasses will be worn. Most sessions will include some use of electronics (e.g. circuits, iPad, iPhone, etc.). Some electronic equipment may produce buzzing noises or small flashing lights. A community room will be available as a quiet zone if a break from noises or activities is needed.
  • If you have questions or concerns regarding accessibility, please contact the museum by phone at 613-580-9638 or by email at museums@ottawa.ca Additional information about accessibility can be found on the museum web page.

How to register:

Registration is completed using Service Ottawa’s online system with the barcodes listed below. You can also find the program by navigating to “Activity Search”, clicking on “Advanced Search”, and using the keyword “Nepean”.

Sunday, October 9 – Let’s navigate
Barcode: 1636879
Learn to navigate using a map then become a cartographer yourself while re-creating and re-imagining what a map can be. 

Sunday, October 23 – Secret codes
Barcode: 1636880
Discover how communication technology has evolved as you master Morse code and make your own invisible ink. 

Sunday, November 6 – E-weaving
Barcode: 1636881
Give a new spin to a traditional skill while making your own woven bookmark using recycled fabrics and electronic components.

Sunday, November 20 – Build your own homestead
Barcode: 1636882
Try your hand at the construction skills and tools used by settlers while building a model homestead of your own.

Makers at the Museum: Birch bark quilled earrings

Sunday, October 16 from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Ages 16 and up.
Cost: $75 per person.

Advance registration is required. The deadline to register is October 9.  

Led by a facilitator from FabLab Onaki, participants in this workshop will use digital fabrication tools to craft a pair of earrings from traditional materials, including birch bark and porcupine quills. Light refreshments will be served. FabLab Onaki is the first Indigenous FabLab in Canada. Adapting the Digital Fabrication Laboratory model developed by MIT, FabLab Onaki integrates the traditional values of the First Peoples and places practical and experimental approaches at the heart of learning. “Onaki” means “roots” in Anishinabeg.

How to register:

Registration for this workshop is completed using Service Ottawa’s online system with the barcode listed below. You can also find the program listing by navigating to “Activity Search”, clicking on “Advanced Search”, and using the keyword “Nepean”.

Barcode: 1636997

Notes:

  • This workshop is presented in English.
  • Advance registration is required and the deadline to register is Sunday, October 9. Workshops with insufficient registration may be cancelled. If an alternative cannot be offered, a refund will be issued.
  • Please note that the final design may vary from the finished product pictured in marketing materials.
  • Visit the Ottawa Hand in Hand web page for information on available financial supports to facilitate participation in recreation and culture programs.
  • If you have questions or concerns regarding accessibility, please contact the museum by phone at 613-580-9638 or by email at museums@ottawa.ca. Additional information about accessibility can be found on the museum web page.

Makers at the Museum: Dream Catcher

Sunday, October 23 from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Ages 16 and up.
Cost: $75 per person.

Advance registration is required. The deadline to register is October 16.  

Learn to build a dream catcher with facilitators from FabLab Onaki. Participants in this workshop will use digital fabrication tools and traditional materials, including sinew, red willow twigs, and goose feathers, to complete their dream catcher. Light refreshments will be served. FabLab Onaki is the first Indigenous FabLab in Canada. Adapting the Digital Fabrication Laboratory model developed by MIT, FabLab Onaki integrates the traditional values of the First Peoples and places practical and experimental approaches at the heart of learning. “Onaki” means “roots” in Anishinabeg.

How to register:

Registration for this workshop is completed using Service Ottawa’s online system with the barcode listed below. You can also find the program listing by navigating to “Activity Search”, clicking on “Advanced Search”, and using the keyword “Nepean”.

Barcode: 1637001
Notes:

  • This workshop is presented in English.
  • Advance registration is required and the deadline to register is Sunday, October 16. Workshops with insufficient registration may be cancelled. If an alternative cannot be offered, a refund will be issued.
  • Please note that the final design may vary from the finished project pictured in marketing materials.
  • Visit the Ottawa Hand in Hand web page for information on available financial supports to facilitate participation in recreation and culture programs.
  • If you have questions or concerns regarding accessibility, please contact the museum by phone at 613-580-9638 or by email at museums@ottawa.ca. Additional information about accessibility can be found on the museum web page.

Tales of the Magical Museum

September 16, September 23, October 7, and October 14 from 4:30 pm to 6 pm.
Ages 9 to 12.
Cost: $28.80 per child.
Advance registration is required.

Tales of the Magical Museum returns with a brand new quest! Discover the magic of Nepean Museum in this four-part collaborative storytelling adventure similar to roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. Along the way you’ll meet colourful characters, collect objects and solve compelling mysteries inspired by local history.

This program will feature a continuous narrative that will be explored over the four-part series. Registration is for the complete series.  No prior gameplay experience is needed to join the fun! 

Registration is completed using Service Ottawa’s online system. You can find the program listing by searching barcode 1636449 or completing an “advanced search” for the keyword Nepean Museum.

Notes:

  • This program is delivered in English only.
  • Please pack a peanut-free snack and water for your child.
  • If you have questions or concerns regarding accessibility, please contact the museum by phone at 613-580-9638 or by email at museums@ottawa.ca. Additional information about accessibility can be found on the museum web page.

Collections and exhibits

Virtual Exhibition - Cabinet of Curiosities 

Cabinets of curiosities displayed the strange and the scientific, the weird and the wonderful. Our team has gone through our collections and picked out the artefacts that appeal most to them to create our very own cabinet of curiosities. You can enjoy this exhibition from the comfort of your own home while learning the history of each artefact and why it stood out to our staff. Enter Cabinet of Curiosities here!

Permanent exhibition - Rural Roots and City Streets 

Nepean: Rural Roots and City Streets explores this essential piece of Ottawa’s history. Using dozens of photos, artefacts, and interactive elements, this new, permanent exhibition spans the full history of Nepean from its use by Algonguin peoples from time immemorial, up until Nepean’s amalgamation with Ottawa at the turn of the 21st Century.

Our volunteers

The City of Ottawa Museums are committed to offering residents meaningful and rewarding volunteer experiences.

Heritage volunteers play an invaluable role in preserving our unique heritage and in providing museum visitors of all ages with opportunities to appreciate our shared story.

Thank you to all our volunteer team members for their continued support.

The museums are not currently accepting new volunteers. If you have any questions about the volunteer program or would like to be notified when volunteering resumes, please contact heritagevolunteers@ottawa.ca.

Rentals

We are regularly updating our rental program according to public health guidelines. For more information, please contact our Customer Service Booking Clerk. Call 613-580-9638 or email museums@ottawa.ca.

Please note: rentals must comply with all conditions of use in place for managing risks associated with COVID-19.

Update (March 1, 2022): Renters of City facilities may choose to request proof of vaccination. In such cases, the Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate (QR code), confirming you have received two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine, is the only option accepted for proof of vaccination.

Accessibility

Work with us to shape your experience. Contact the museum before your visit to discuss your needs. Information about accessibility at the facility, programs, and services is available upon request.

The accessibility features of this facility are detailed below. While the City of Ottawa is constantly working to improve access, please note that not all parts of every facility are necessarily 'accessible for all' as facilities were built to meet accessibility standards of their time.

Parking

  • 3 designated parking spaces
  • Accessible path of travel from the parking lot to entrance
  • 20 metres from parking space to the door

Entrance/Exit

  • 2 accessible entrances
  • Entrances marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility
  • Ramp
  • Wide door for wheelchair passage
  • Automatic door opener
  • Direct access to the main floor, lobby, elevator

Interior 

  • All public spaces on accessible path of travel
  • Ramps or elevators to all levels
  • Accessible seating available

Reception desks

  • Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair
  • Swipe access from seated position

Signage

  • Large lettering

Washrooms

  • Located on lower level
  • Automatic door opener
  • Large stalls to allow transfers
  • Universal (gender-neutral)

Elevator/Lift

  • Access to all floors
  • One-wheelchair lift
  • Located between the two entrances

Telephone

  • Volume control
  • Accessible path

Museums/Galleries/Archives

  • All exhibition spaces are accessible
  • Captioned videos
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Good visibility for patrons in wheelchairs
  • Interpretative labels/panels in large font 

Learn more about Inclusive Recreation and accessible services.