It’s always exciting when the Canadian History Museum features new exhibits and learning opportunities for families in the Ottawa area, and this glimpse into the past will have your family talking long after you check it out. Medieval Europe – Power and Splendor will be on display until January 20th and we consider it a must-visit.
Featuring a look at over 200 historical treasures spanning Medieval Europe from the Roman times to the beginning of the Renaissance, this spectacular exhibit offers an educational and fascinating look at Medieval Europe. There are artifacts that possibly may never be seen again in North America, and many tell the stories of legend, history and of an era so many have long since studied, read about and have taken an interest in.
The armor displays are incredible, and if you go at the right time, there are volunteers ready to assist you to try on actual knight’s armour. Touch and feel the way chain mail, or a knight’s helmet and glove actually feel and imagine having to go into battle wearing a full set. You may be surprised by how heavy the chain mail is, or how difficult it would have been for knights to even dress. Get your questions ready for the volunteers and learn even more than you expected.
As you explore each section of the Medieval Europe Exhibit you will find more and more to read, discover and learn about. In particular, you’ll want to take time to check out the interactive screens that are available as different moments in history are recounted and highlighted before your eyes. Every artifact on display captures the history, conflict and moments of everyday life hundreds of years ago. There are so many conversations you’ll want to have after learning about the pieces on display, characters from history and how the Medieval era is more than what we see in the movies.
Kids will love the Medieval Imagination centre. Located in the Children’s Museum, the Medieval-themed playroom encourages your kids to dress up as a knight, king or queen using the costumes, or build a castle with the giant foam blocks. This is where their imagination can shine as kids aged 3-12 play, build and pretend to be a member of Medieval society. This may be the perfect place for parents to sit and rest while the kids burn off a little extra energy.
Want to really step into history and immerse yourself in all things Medieval? The Medieval Ball is happening on Saturday, October 27 as part of their special Halloween programming. This ticketed event will take place from 8 pm until midnight at the museum, and the exhibit itself will be open until 9:30 for the event. It’s encouraged that you come dressed in your Medieval costumes and enjoy the fortune teller, juggler, magician and more. Although, this event is for those 18 and older so it might be time to find a babysitter.
Don’t forget, there are certain days and times when museum admission is free, or you can try to and secure a free pass from the library.
The Medieval Europe – Power and Splendor exhibit is definitely worth making a trip to the Canadian History Museum for before it leaves Ottawa in January.