If you’ve got young kids and would like to offer them a diversion that is stimulating and fun, a good idea would be to take them to the recently renovated Musée des sciences et de la nature de Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke Museum of Science and Nature), on Frontenac Street in old Sherbrooke.
Spread out over three floors, the museum features both temporary and permanent exhibitions on various themes related to nature and science. Depending on the ages of your children, there are a number of attractions of interest.
Of interest to everyone, including toddlers, is the permanent exhibition called “The Cycle of the Seasons.” Located on the second floor, this exhibition features a hands-on, interactive display of wildlife across Canada’s four seasons. Visitors follow a circuit around the hall, where they learn all about bird and animal calls, feeding habits, climate, habitat, and much more. The exhibition is a mix of specimens (moose, bear, owls, and so on) and smaller, live animals (toads, fish, insects, and so on). All of the exhibits are bilingual.
Displays are interactive, with buttons and other gadgets allowing visitors to learn as they go -- bird calls, climate, animal speeds, types of fur, and more. A popular attraction for younger children is a “bear den,” complete with baby bear. Kids have to brave a darkened tunnel, but are delighted when they reach the little cub at the end!
Other attractions are the museum’s interactive theatre, which features a presentation on the complexity of the human brain. There are also other temporary exhibitions, a boutique, an indoor picnic area, and day camps and workshops for kids.
For information on opening hours and entry fees at the Musée de la nature et des sciences, call (819) 564-3200.