One of the things I enjoy as a parent is being able to take Liam places that I can remember visiting as a child. One of those places that we chose to explore this summer was Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg.
We hadn’t planned on visiting the 1860’s pioneer village this summer as we knew that at only two and a half, Liam would not understand the significance. However when booking a weekend of camping at Riverside-Cedar Campground, we discovered that The Parks Of St. Lawrence offers a 40% discount on admission to Upper Canada Village with your site reservation. We quickly changed our minds and visited twice this summer.
Our first visit was just the three of us, but when we went back a couple of weeks ago, Liam brought his grandma and aunties too! And that is one of the beauties of Upper Canada Village, there is something for everyone.
As adults, we enjoyed the physical beauty of the old building, the stories about the way of life in the 1860s and the antiques.
For Liam, it was the animals – horses going by no matter where you are, pastures of cattle, the pig pen and even little pig lets running around like puppies.
Be prepared for lots of walking as you check out everything from the village schoolhouse to the bakery, the church to the sawmill, the Tavern to the Doctor’s house. If it was part of life in the 1860s, you are likely to find it along the roads of Upper Canada Village.
If you’re not up for walking there is a horse drawn wagon tour as well as a horse powered boat ride that will save your feet!
Along the way, the costumed interpreters are all happy to chat and share stories with you but as many of the buildings are actually working buildings they do have a job to do.
You may happen into the newspaper office in time to see them printing a poster for an upcoming event.
Cheese and bread are made daily in the cheese factory and bakery and sold in the gift shop.
There are lovely picnic areas around in the Village if you want to bring a picnic lunch or if picnics aren’t your thing, there is a cafeteria as well as a restaurant in the village. The cafeteria has all the modern day choices of burgers, fries, sandwiches and of course, ice cream while the restaurant servers period meal choices.
Once you’ve walked all you can walk, checked out the gift shop on your way out and think that you are done for the day, there is one last thing left to do. No, it’s not get in the car and hope that the kids sleep for the hour and a half drive back to Ottawa, it is to ride the Moccasin, or as Liam calls it, the Little Red Train.
Take a ride (the short ride is about 17 minutes and the long ride is about 45 minutes) along the St. Lawrence River, listening to the story of the battle of Crysler Farm. The scenery is gorgeous and if you are so inclined, you can get off the train at Crysler Beach for a few hours before taking the train back to your car.
Although there is an extra charge for the train, it is well worth it as it was the highlight of Liam’s day both times.
Fun, family oriented, educational, outdoors, exercise . . . where can you go wrong with Upper Canada Village?
Nicki is a working mom of one two-year-old boy, Liam. She is an Early Childhood Educator and in her spare time, volunteers for New Moon Rabbit Rescue and as a Brownie Leader with Girl Guides of Canada. She loves to garden, scrapbook and write! You can read more about Nicki on The Perils of a Working Mom.