“You are standing in a space that is effectively only limited by the human imagination.” – James Upham, Heritage Officer, Resurgo Place
The resounding noise at Resurgo Place is that of kids playing. The Moncton Museum has been a fixture in the community since the early 1970s, but last year it got a total makeover, complete with a new name. The renovation blends the sandstone facade from the 1916 city hall building with the brick building that housed the Moncton Museum (built in the late 60s) with a thoroughly modern extension of glass and metal.
Like the building, its contents are a hodgepodge. An interesting, interactive hodgepodge of history, industry, and hands-on science. The space is divided into four sections – a temporary exhibit room, the Moncton Museum, The Transportation Discovery Centre, and The Free Meeting House, a National Historic Site located just outside of the main building.
You could easily spend the day here.
Normally, visitors start in the Transportation Discovery Centre, but James Upham, one of the Heritage Officers at Resurgo Place and our guide for the day, suggested we tour the museum backwards because “once you get your hands on everything in the discovery centre, you’ll find it hard to leave”.
So, backwards we went, starting with a temporary exhibit called “The Perfect Match – Sport vs Science”. It was good preparation for what was to come. Kids everywhere, exhibits moving, beeping, responding, teaching kids fun sporting facts while subsequently testing sports performance.
Upstairs is the Moncton Museum, which covers Moncton’s history from First Nations to first settlers to Acadians. We learned about the industries and events that shaped and built the city of Moncton and a lot of interesting history, like how CN accidentally founded CBC, and why Moncton once lost its town status.
While most of this section is exhibit-based, it opens up into a huge interactive floor map. We grabbed a tablet on wheels and worked our way across a series of point on the map. Each point of interest causes the tablet screen to light up and tells you a little about the history of that place. It’s the only one like it in Canada.
The interactive map overlooks the Transportation Discovery Centre, our final stop at Resurgo Place.
I’m glad that James had us work backwards through the museum, because, just as he warned us, we had a hard time pulling ourselves away from the Transportation Discovery Centre. The room is filled with things that fire, float, soar, sink, race and fly. You can build boats and race them, build flying machines and fly them, and literally take exhibits apart and put them back together again in a new way. It’s so much fun you don’t really realize you’re learning.
“He’s there playing with a submarine and he doesn’t know he’s learning about the principles of buoyancy.” James says, pointing out a kid who is transfixed in a demo of a submarine, making it float, sink, and move.
Staff are enthusiastic, committed to keeping things fun for kids and adults alike. And it shows. James takes a few breaks while showing us around to chat with guests, sharing fun facts and tips, and showing off what the exhibits can do.
“We give you basic instructions on how to do stuff and after that you’re on your own. Not in a bad way, in a go play way.”
Resurgo Place Museum
20 Mountain Rd,
Admission (HST Included):
Adult (18+) $10.00
Senior (60+) $8.00
Youth (12-17) $7.00
Children (4-11) $5.00
Toddler (under 3) free
Family (up to four people, maximum 2 adults) $22.00
Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 pm, 50% off individual admission. Not applicable to Family rate.
Our trip was made possible through financial support from New Brunswick Tourism. We chose our final itinerary, and are excited to share our favourite New Brunswick adventures from our recent trip with you here on The Local Traveler.