Summer fun: Hands-on history lessons for youths

CONTRIBUTEDChildren participate in an outdoor activity during the Niagara History Center's 2018 kids' summer history program.


Niagara History Center's summer history program for youths returns in mid-July, featuring a different theme in each of four Wednesday sessions.

The program is for children aged 7 to 12 years. Each session is ongoing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is led by museum staff and volunteers at the History Center, 215 Niagara St.

The cost of each session is $20, which covers hands-on activities, craft materials and an afternoon snack. Children should bring a bag lunch and a beverage each day. The Town of Lockport Recreation Department's summer events booklet contains coupons bearing $5 off the registration fee.

Advance registration is required. Call Ann Marie Linnabery at 434-7433 to secure spots in the program.

The 2019 session dates and themes are listed here.

July 17, Canada Day — Celebrate our neighbors to the north with games, food, history and stories. Try your hand at curling, make a shoebox hockey game, find out the differences between Canadian and American words and customs, learn about the Mounties, Canadian inventors and Canada’s two most famous women, one real and one fictional.

July 24, Westward Ho — What was it like to travel west in a covered wagon, a stagecoach or a train in the 19th century? “Pack” a wagon by figuring what you could and couldn’t take. Make a hobby horse and learn about the Pony Express. Have a race to see which team can finish the Transcontinental Railroad first and then make a telegraph to send messages in Morse code.

July 31, French & Indian War — Two hundred sixty years ago, the English captured Fort Niagara from the French. Find out why that war happened and then do activities common to the era: write with a quill pen, dip candles, build a bucket, make a Native American game, learn how to read animal tracks, and try to deliver messages between forts without getting caught.

Aug. 7, The Pan American Exposition — In 1901, Buffalo, New York, hosted a world’s fair that showcased new technology of the time including the use of electricity. Find out how electricity is generated and make a light-up picture of one of the Pan Am buildings. Watch the “Trip to the Moon” film from the Pan Am and learn what a trip to the moon was really like 70 years later. Many more fun activities are included.