Many families across Ontario have been at home for the last few months with quarantine in full effect. While the province has now moved into Stage 2 of re-opening, there is still quite the limit on public gatherings, especially at places like museums, parks, and entertainment venues. Because of that, we’ve seen many venues and attractions adjust to meet the new rules for social distancing, while still being able to operate and welcome guests. Pickering Museum Village is one of those places as it’s new drive-thru storytelling tour opens to the public today!
Last week, our family was invited to come and experience the new drive-thru tour at Pickering Museum Village, the heritage museum located in Greenwood, ON (a northern rural hamlet of Pickering) and we all had a wonderful time! We brought along two of the neighbour kids (who are basically like second children to us) and had a fun drive-thru experience.
For starters, let me tell you a little bit about Pickering Museum Village. The village is a living history village, located on the banks of Duffins Creek, that represents the early settlement and development of Pickering Township from 1810 to 1920. It has a number of historic buildings on site from the early 1900s including a church, blacksmith shop, a general store, a number of homes (including a log home), beautifully manicured gardens and more.
When the Village is open throughout the year (under normal circumstances), there are costumed interpretive tours that are offered for various group bookings, including school field trips. We didn’t realize until we got there, but our daughter had actually been to this Village two years prior with her class. They got to make flour as well as visit the local blacksmith shop and make their own metal triangle instrument that would have been an instrument played in the early 1900s. They also got to taste some biscuits that one of the interpretive actors made as well as play games that the kids in those days would have played in the schoolhouse. She has very fond memories of that trip and so it was neat to not only listen to the storyteller in our car tell us the stories of these places, but also hear them from our daughter too.
Due to Covid-19, Pickering Museum Village had to shut down for those kind of tours, but have come up with a brilliant new way for your family to experience the Village and learn about the history of the early settlement in Pickering with the drive-thru storytelling tour.
Once you arrive at the Village, you’ll be safely greeted by a worker who will bring a tape recorder/speaker to your vehicle and give you instructions on how to drive through and listen along.
Then you are off to the tour. There are seven stops along the route, with the narration lasting roughly 30 minutes. You pull up to the stops and listen along as the storyteller gives you a history of what happened in that specific place and/or what life was like back then. The narrator guides you when it’s time to move along, allowing for each vehicle enough space to stop at each of the designated stops long enough to listen and take in the immersive experience.
You are asked to stay in your vehicles for the duration of the tour (we were allowed to get out and take a few pictures for media purposes) and then once you are done, you pull ahead to the exit where there is a drop box to leave the device before you head home.
While it was a short tour, our entire family loved the entire experience. For starters, it was a good break from the norm. Because of what is going on in our world, we aren’t able to get out and do many things right now. So this was a nice and welcomed experience for our family to go do and see something together.
Secondly, it was great to learn some history about the early settlement in our own region. While there might still be remnants of early life in various parts of the area that you can see while driving by, having a dedicated village with original homes and shops, along with the narration to give us a brief history of what life was life, was a really neat experience. It’s good for us to learn about the heritage of our cities and regions to have a greater appreciation for the foundational work that those before us laid in order to give us all a better appreciation for what we get to enjoy now.
I would highly recommend doing this immersive, drive-thru experience at Pickering Museum Village sometime this summer with your family. It doesn’t take long but it’s a great way to learn about our region and see what life used to be life way back when.
For more info and to book online, visit the Pickering Museum Village website.
Love & Blessings,
Note: This post was sponsored by the City of Pickering, in exchange for my honest review. As always, the thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.