5 Ways to Experience History this Summer

August 6, 2020 |

Looking for engaging and informative activities to do as Canada finally starts to open up after over a year of social distancing.  The Cranbrook History Centre at 57 Van Horne Street has a variety of programs and historical tours available. Some are offered this season while others continue throughout the year! Kids and adults alike can partake in unique experiences through educational programming, historical tourism or museum challenges. Below are five feature favourites from the many options available.

1) The One that Rocks: Junior Paleontology Summer Programs for Kids

Calling all young fossil enthusiasts, dinosaur buffs and paleontologists in-the-making! Throughout July and August, the Cranbrook History Centre’s museum educator, Emily, will lead the newly-extended Junior Paleontology summer program. After four years of operating a short Saturday program, Emily has designed 4 full-day activities that help kids learn about rocks, evolution, fossils and how to be a paleontologist. The best part: all children leave with a locally-found fossil in-hand!

Times/Dates: Mondays from 9:30am-3:30pm (ages 6-10)


Camp 1: July 5, 12, 19, 26 Camp 2: August 9, 16, 23, 30



2) The One with the Time Travel: Historic Train Tours

The Cranbrook History Centre staff haven’t let Covid stop them from staying on track with tours of their historic train car collection. In two hours, the Grand Tour showcases three sets of train cars that vary between luxury travel and train workers experiences. Those that would prefer shorter tours can get on board with the first-class millionaire favourites in the Trans Canada Limited, the national wooden treasures in the Soo-Spokane Trains Deluxe or the full spectrum of the eras’ style and design in the Comparative Tour.


Times/Dates: Grand Tours depart at 10:15, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00pm'


Term: Year-Round



3) The One For the Kids: I Spy and Scavenger Hunt

I-spy with my little eye, a fun family program as of July! Have you got a sharp eye for details or a knack for scavenger hunts? Look no further. Visit the Cranbrook History Centre with your family and take part in our I Spy on the miniature trains, and a Scavenger Hunt with clues hidden around the museum. If you’re successful, go visit the front desk and you will win a prize!

Times/Dates: Between 10:00am and 4:00pm (Tuesdays-Saturdays)


Term: Year-Round


4) The One that’s the Talk of the Town: “Explore Cranbrook” Guided Walking Tour

Did you hear?! Word on Baker Street is that the Cranbrook History Centre is launching its first ever walking tour program! Starting at Baker Park, the hour-long journey on foot will meander around the historical guilds, business buildings and noteworthy landmarks that preserve and tell the story of Cranbrook’s history. Tickets double-up as 10% off coupons for appetizers at the final stop on tour: the revitalized Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap!

Historic Baker Home

Downtown: 7:00pm-8:00pm (every Thursday evening)

House Tour: 10:30am-11:30am (every Saturday morning)

Term: July 3rd to September 4th.



(registration opens June 11)

5) The One where Fancy meets Fossils: Royal Alexandra Hall/Museum

Ed Talks are the free monthly presentations, workshops and panels that we host at the Cranbrook History Centre, and starting July they’ll be returning in-person to our beautiful Royal Alexandra Hall. Every month the museum welcomes a local expert to share their knowledge about history, paleontology, natural history, cultural crafts and more. Keep an eye on the museum’s calendar, where we post each new Talk along with the pre-registration page.

Upcoming Talks:

Wednesday June 23rd  | 7pm-8pm (Zoom) – Dr. Ayaka Yoshimizu on Memories of Japanese Migrant Sex Workers in Transpacific Kootenays

Wednesdau July 21st | 7pm-8pm (Royal Alexandra Hall) – Jim Cameron, local historian, on the 50th anniversary of the Cranbrook Historic Post Office demolition.