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Children play in the Dig Pit - a recessed section of floor filled with small black beads, and plastic toys

Plan Your Visit

Children's Gallery


Created for our youngest visitors, the Children's Gallery celebrates the importance of play and bringing learning to life. Children can engage in free play, self-discovery, and authentic exploration with real objects, tools, and materials. This welcoming space is accessible and engaging for children of all interests and abilities. Please note all children must be accompanied by an adult.

For the time being, the Makerspace remains closed. We thank you for your patience and invite you to come and experience these areas: 

A fun learning environment

Curiosity and active engagement lead children on a journey of discovery - making connections to the museum, our collections, and their own sense of wonder. There's so much to explore and enjoy. 

The Children's Gallery exhibits and activities were created for children ages eight and under to explore and learn in a unique space just for them. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows, vibrant graphics, and colourful exhibits create a rich, welcoming environment that will engage the senses and inspire curiosity in a fun way. The exhibits and experiences acknowledge and honour the developmental levels and learning styles of young children. They reflect that children are capable learners who have a strong voice and learn best by interacting with the world around them through play-based, hands-on discovery and investigations.

Alberta Naturally

Discover nature, enjoy hands-on fun, and create your own adventure with exciting displays and interactive exhibits. Learn about Alberta's natural history, weather, and explore our environment. Experience wonder in the cave, test out the wind wall, travel at the transportation table, or cuddle up with a good book in the reading nook. Create a symphony of sound, or reflect on your discoveries at the gigantic light table. And look closely, you might see an animal peering down at you!

The Dig Pit

The Dig Pit at the heart of the gallery celebrates the beauty of Alberta’s outdoors, and encourages children to interact with the natural world and dig into the history of our province. Children can “dig” for hidden objects, create new lands, and enjoy hands-on exploration. Designed to resemble the hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands, the dig pit also features several striking Alberta creatures from both ancient and modern times: two pachyrhinosauruses (adult and juvenile), a deer skeleton, and a flying dove skeleton overhead.

The Big Machine

Power an enormous machine, more than 4.5 metres high! The Big Machine is made up of multiple simple machines that work together to move plastic pellets through a series of obstacles. As many as six children can operate various parts of the machine at one time.

Chautauqua Theatre

Modelled after the Chautauquas of the 1920s, this theatre-style space encourages children to improvise their own performances, and pretend-play with artifacts and puppets. Children can also watch curated lectures and special performances here. 

Toddler Area

Play, explore, and enjoy fun from a little one's perspective. Learn and play along with your toddler as you explore this safe space together. Build a tower, climb a mini mountain, or just enjoy some quality tummy time. 

Community Gallery

Communities and people are what make Alberta strong. Come in, make a connection, and join our community of playful learners. Our Community Gallery is the place to play, explore, create, and share your own special stories. Come discover toys and playful objects from our collection. What will you play with today?

The importance of learning and playing together

Parents and caregivers are such an important part of the museum experience for a young child. We encourage you to have fun, play, and enjoy exploring the gallery together. Follow your child's lead as they navigate the space and see what captures their interest or excites them most. Help your child be a learner, develop language, be curious, and grow in their understanding of the world around them. Engage your child in conversation, ask questions, play together, and most of all, have fun!

We've created a Children's Gallery Manifesto to celebrate the fun!

Children's Gallery Manifesto

Join in the fun. Come on and play
Go in circles or squares–there's no "right" way
Let your mind sparkle and your body dance
Go ahead and explore–take a risk, take a chance!
Use real tools to discover and build
Sit and daydream, be amazed and thrilled
We are creators so let's all design
Grownups too; don't get left behind
Be a scientist, storyteller, farmer or bear
Play with the wind. Imagine and share
Let's get going, get messy, and inspired
It's okay to get dirty, silly or tired
We'll learn and grow in our own way
As we discover the wonders of play