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Two North Bay museums hold fun Family Day events

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Many families and children chose to spend Family Day this year growing their brains and expanding their knowledge at museums in North Bay.

Family Day at two North Bay museums draw crowds. Feb. 19/24 (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)

Both the North Bay Museum and Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence (CFMAD) were open free to the public for families to engage in games and activities and there was plenty of learning to go around.

Ava Burleigh, three, was smiling ear-to-ear when she climbed into the cockpit of a T-Bird fighter jet on display at the military museum.

"I had so much fun," she told CTV News laughing.

Her older brother Liam was reading all about how the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was formed.

"I’ve learned about all these amazing planes and how they work," he said.

The museum was opened 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for the holiday Monday.

Family Day is often a busy day for the military museum with lots of history to absorb, from Canada’s role in times of war to the duties of the men and women on 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base.

"I had a lot of fun and got to go in the airplane," said 6-year-old Luca O’Brien.

From colouring to a scavenger hunt, the base and museum are looking to connect with the community especially this year, being the 100th anniversary of the RCAF.

"We’re hoping to have lots of celebrations this year or at least give them the opportunity to have them up here and brand it as a 2024 celebration," said military museum curator Bethany Aitchison.

The North Bay Museum was also open Monday from 12-4 p.m. with free admission or a cash/can donation to The Gathering Place.

Kids explored the museum’s second floor learning about the history of the city they call home, before sitting down for other activities and crafts.

"We had crafts going on, a giant building set so you can work on your building skills and lots of different things to check out," said North Bay museum curator Naomi Hehn.

"I had a lot of fun today," six-year-old Sophia Villeneuve told CTV News.

Both museums said Family Day is the perfect time to get kids out of the house and away from screens for hands-on learning and activities.

Normally, the North Bay Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday and the military museum is open Saturdays from 12 – 4 p.m., with bookings available outside regular hours. 

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