Société des musées du Québec

It’s spring break, a perfect time to visit Quebec's museums for a change of scenery  

Bernard Schütze

Zoo Ecomuseum / Photo : Zoo Ecomuseum

Thanks to the wide selection of exhibitions and activities put together by Quebec's museums, you will not have to go far for a long-awaited change of scenery this spring break.

Delve into inspiring historical settings 

As a mirror of the province's rich history, Quebec's museums offer many points of departure for journeys into the past.

Musee McCord Stewart
Musée McCord Stewart / Photo : Rémi Hermoso © Musée McCord Stewart

At the McCord Stewart Museum,  a series of activities inspired by James Duncan's paintings will give you a sense of how 19th-century Montrealers lived their winters. To this end, many objects from the period will be made available for you to handle, among which some vintage toys and a toboggan ready for a slide. 

Yesteryear's winters are also the focus at the Maison Saint-Gabriel, where you can learn about the resourceful ways in which the settlers of New France adapted to the rigours of the cold season. Follow your guide dressed in period costume and let yourself be transported to a winter setting with none of our modern amenities. 

Le monastère des Augustines invites you to travel back in time to discover this institution’s rich heritage and great contributions to Quebec’s social history. Join in an amusing “seek and find” game to learn more about the legacy of the Augustinian order, which has been established here for nearly 400 years. 

At  Musée Pop, climb aboard the A Railroad to Dreams exhibition that will take you on a colourful historical journey dedicated to trains. A fascinating account that evokes the world of childhood through the lens of model trains, while also recalling the important role that railroads have played in Canada's collective imagination. 

Monastere des Augustines
« Voyage au coeur du Monastère », Le Monastère des Augustines / Photo : Le Monastère des Augustines

Astonishing changes of scenery thanks to archeology

The fascinating world of archaeology makes it possible to venture far back in time, simply by exploring the ground beneath our feet. It is in this spirit that the Maison Merry is organizing archaeology initiation workshops right on the grounds of this heritage house. One, two, three: dig! 

Want to dig deeper? Head to the Marguerite-Bourgeoys historical site, where a fascinating archaeology of the future awaits you! You're projected into the year 3024, where you stand on top of a mountain of garbage under which the city of Montreal lies buried. Your mission as an archaeologist of the future will be to search through bins filled with 20th-century artefacts to reconstruct the many facets of our civilization viewed from the perspective of a distant future. 

Archaeology is also highlighted at the Pulperie de Chicoutimi, where archaeological digs will allow you to identify several strata and artefacts linked to the permanent exhibition Chek8timi, jusqu'où l'eau est profonde, which documents and studies the Chicoutimi trading post from prehistory to recent history. 

If you wish to discover the world of archaeology in greater depth, the Musée de l'archéologie du Roussillon is the place to go. The museum’s Carrefour archéo exhibition covers 5000 years of the region's history to provide a fascinating overview of a discipline that’s always scratching the surface in search of other worlds. 

Maison Merry
Maison Merry / Photo : Simon Dorval

Outdoor scenes: nature from near and far 

It is not just within their rooms that museums bring you a change your scenery, but also by turning the gaze outwards to the natural splendours of the winter season  

Throughout the spring break, the lac Saint-Pierre Biophare is presenting Les p'tits après-midis, a series of playful and instructive workshops on the flora and fauna of this ecologically rich region. 

Are animals your main interest? Then the Zoo Ecomuseum is the perfect destination for your family. Come and discover the 3, 2, 1 Seduction! game, which will teach you all about the seduction, reproduction and parenthood among the wildlife of our region.  

Are you curious about how one captures and transforms the forces of the winds that blow hard across Quebec, especially in the winter? At the Cité de l'énergie, you can harness wind energy by building a colourful pinwheel and learning about this type of energy production during scientific demonstration workshops. 

If you're looking for a change of scenery really far off and away, the Cosmodôme is the place to be. In fact, it's the Moon that you're invited to learn more about thanks to the A New Moon Rises exhibition, featuring images captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Cameras. What more could you ask for to broaden your horizons? 

Biophare / Photo : Biophare

Whether it's by way of a fresh look at history, a dig through archaeological strata or nature framed large, Quebec's museums offer you a wide range of options for a change of scenery this spring break.