Museums, like mothers, will always be there to remind humankind of its struggles, successes, and the embarrassing hairdos and idol worship of its teen years. Dig up a yearbook of collective memories with today’s Groupon for unlimited general admission, exhibit-preview invitations, free event admission, and newsletter subscription to MacLachlan Woodworking Museum in Grass Creek Park and Pump House Steam Museum on Ontario Street. Choose between the following options:
- For $17, you get a one-year family membership (a $37 value).
- For $13, you get a one-year membership for one (a $27 value).
Featuring one of Canada’s most extensive woodworking tool collections, MacLachlan Woodworking Museum educates museum-goers in the history and culture of Canada’s wood whispering from the 17th to 20th centuries. Visitors can delve into the beaver-human arms race in traditional woodworking exhibits, testing wood-shaving skills with authentic planing and carving tools in the Cabinetmaker’s Workshop. Guests also learn about the crafting of 19th-century tools in Tool Corner, as well as the heat-generating properties, growth, and family reunion T-shirts of different tree families in Understanding Wood. Social-history exhibits explore the hardware and lives of workers in the logging and lumbering industry. Patrons bond with stationary allies in the outdoor arboretum and indoor International Year of Forests exhibit, mingling with uniquely local or foreign trees and learning their uses for humans past and present. Visit the museum shop for 10 per cent off a panoply of handcrafted home goods and pudding-powered wooden children’s toys.
Housed in Kingston’s original water-pumping station, the Pump House Steam Museum draws guests into the past and present of steam technology by the shores of Lake Ontario. Guides in period dress lead patrons through permanent exhibits such as The Boiler Room ’s steam boilers, or The Engineerium ’s metal menagerie of steam-powered machines. Guests witness the original golden Osborne Killey pump’s two massive 1890 water-pumping engines gracefully revive their century-old tasks between The Pump Room ’s 19th-century industrial windows. Steam engineer artifacts such as oil cans and logbooks, as well as cross-section and scale engine models, conjure up multi-faceted lessons about the industry’s history. Children and adults explore hands-on science as robot children explore their origins in The Discovery Centre ’s demonstrations of air pressure, pulleys, gears, levers, and steam-centric history. In All Aboard and other new exhibits, museum-goers track the careers of steam trains while attempting to communicate with tiny passengers aboard two model trains on 1,400 feet of model track, including the multi-wheeled intro star for CBC’s The Friendly Giant.