Get Curious: 5 Inspiring Events at the PumpHouse Museum

By Sarah Houghton

The PumpHouse Museum is just one of Kingston’s many connections to the past. It’s the city’s original waterworks and provided the first running water to Kingston way back in 1851. Today, it brings history and science together to encourage our curiosity. You don’t want to miss out on this month’s lineup of programming inspired by one of history’s greatest artists and inventors: Leonardo da Vinci.

Fall hours and admission information can be found here.

Fall Forts challenge at the PumpHouse

Fall Forts

October 13 and 20, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

After overwhelming success over the summer, the PumpHouse has brought back Fort Night, now on Saturday afternoons.

You have all the supplies but none of the direction. Work alone or in teams to create the best fort and win the challenge. This isn’t your classic chairs and blankets fort building either, each Fall Forts challenge pushes your creativity to the limit for the chance to win great prizes.

Leo After Hours – Body Snatching

Thursday, October 25, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Come down to the PumpHouse in the evening and unleash your inner child-like curiosity. This untraditional after-hours event lets you explore the exhibit at your leisure with special “dark” activities just in time for Halloween. Bring your friends and let your imaginations run wild. Plus, there’s a cash bar at the event so you can really make a night of it! Play a giant, anatomically correct game of Operation, create a creepy hand in the Discovery Centre, and learn about the gruesome history of Body Snatching.

Ages 19+ and tickets are $10

The PumpHouse, an original waterworks from 1851
Inside the Pumphouse Museum, an original steam powered waterworks from 1851

HalLEOween — Curator Tour

Saturday, October 27, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Let the museum’s curator lead you on a creepy, spooky, Leo Tour through the PumpHouse this Halloween. You’ll learn behind the scenes details of this nearly two-centuries-old waterworks, and uncover a few unsettling secrets about da Vinci’s research methods.

Leonardo da Vinci Relentless Curiosity exhibit at the PumpHouse

Leonardo da Vinci — Relentless Curiosity

Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until November 24

This is the headliner event you don’t want to miss. We know a lot about da Vinci’s legacy as a renowned painter (you’ve heard of the Mona Lisa, right?) but often less well known are his skills as an ambitious inventor.

So many of the big name inventions we rely on today have a basis in da Vinci’s attempts to solve Renaissance-era problems like human flight, and underwater breathing. You’ll have a chance to explore them in the exhibit. “We’ve commissioned a local Kingston woodworker to recreate several of Leonardo’s engineering designs as models for the show,” says exhibition curator Paul Robertson.

da Vinci to Galileo

October 12, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Visit the exhibit early on October 12 to brush up on your Renaissance geniuses before heading over to the St George Cathedral for a performance inspired by the Relentless Curiosity exhibit. Hear period music and listen to readings from Italy’s most inquiring minds.

Get your tickets to the performance here.