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Shipwrights by Improbable Escapes

Shipwrights by Improbable Escapes​An immersive ‘escape room’ experience with nautical-themed puzzles and challenges. Suitable for groups of 2-6 people.

Special Events

There’s always something new on the horizon. Discover our upcoming events, spread the word, and mark your calendar.

Children &
Youth (Age 5-13)

Programs to ignite curiosity and provide opportunity for exploration! Delivered virtually or in-person, these group programs can be adapted for ages 5-13.


The Nautical Nights Speaker Series, in partnership with Kingston Yacht Club (KYC), has become an annual tradition at the Great Lakes Museum.


Life-long learning is a journey of continuous growth and development, enriching our lives with new knowledge and perspectives. Immerse yourself in the history of the Great Lakes!

About the

Archives and artefacts. A library collection covering all aspects of Canadian shipping and marine heritage. Photographs, shipping company collections and shipbuilding and design collections.

Ship Lists

A selection of unique registers of ships and individuals that were compiled to facilitate the research process.

Ways of Giving

Donate your time. Donate your money. Become a member. Leave a gift in your will. There are many ways to support the museum and we appreciate your interest in supporting the Great Lakes Museum!

The Story of the Great Lakes Museum

‘Know the Ropes’ – Museum News & Stories

Explore the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes, read the stories of our artefacts, find out interesting information to share at your next party! Know the Ropes shares a mix of museum news and interesting stories.

Children & Youth Programs

 (Ages 5-13)

Supplement your existing programs, from summer camps to PA days

We offer a variety of programs for youth organizations to supplement your existing programs, from summer camps to PA Day programs. Children will have the opportunity to learn and explore the environmental, economic, and social histories of the Great Lakes in fun, interactive ways.

Modelled after our School Programs, these programs are delivered virtually or in-person as 60-90 minutes in duration. All our programs can be adapted to be age-appropriate for groups between the ages 5-13. Cost is $8 per person.

All programs are offered either virtually or in-person.

What's Invading Our Food Chain?

What’s Invading Our Food Chain?

In this program campers learn about the unique aquatic ecosystems of the Great Lakes and how factors like invasive species and commercial fisheries have impacted these systems. Campers will get to create their own marine food web as well as investigate invasive species specimens safely.

There and Back Again

There and Back Again

Campers will learn about the mechanisms and economic importance of travel between and through the Great Lakes. They will explore the components of a pound lock, how it works, its goal, and the forces that act within the system through demonstration and experimentation. Then, campers will become the lock! Sandboxes are versatile teaching tools and allow campers to build their own canal and lock systems. The environmental impacts of these mechanisms will also be discussed and explored.

Stormy Night

Once Upon a Stormy Night

This is a chance for campers to explore some of the thousands of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. Campers will learn about the different shipwrecks around Kingston as well as storms as the main cause of wrecking. Campers will have fun with storms by becoming the weather through Storm Tag or need to complete tasks to fix their wrecked ship through Band-Aid Tag. Campers will get to take home a memento by making a craft out their own shipwreck.

Guardians of the Great Lakes

Guardians of the Great Lakes

Campers will dive into the world of environmental science in this program! Through lessons and discussions, campers will learn the origins of our drinking water and the impacts of pollution in the Great Lakes. Campers will even get to build and test their own water filtration system.

Whatever floats your boat

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Campers will explore the concepts of buoyancy and the forces that act on watercraft. They will also learn about the technological design of ships and how structures are built to withstand external forces. Campers will put their new knowledge to the test will the chance to build and test their own craft boats in our Build-A-Boat challenge!

All Aboard the Great Lakes

All Aboard the Great Lakes Cruise!

Campers set off to explore the lock systems and canals of the Great Lakes by focusing on the SS Cayuga, a passenger steamship that ran from Toronto to Niagara in the 20th century. Campers will investigate and analyze the design of steamships, and explore life in this region during this time. To consolidate their learning, campers will get to plan their own trip aboard the SS Cayuga including designing their route and budgeting for their expenses.

Habitat Loss and Fragmentation

Habitat Loss and Fragmentation

Campers will learn about the intersections of habitat and cultural loss through Indigenous world-views in this program! Exciting lessons are taught on fragmentation and colonization of important ecosystems. Campers will watch pre-recorded video, and complete at-home activities, then test their knowledge with games!

Two Row Wampum

Two Row Wampum

In this program campers learn about Indigenous-settler relations and treaties, specifically the Two Row Wampum. Lessons are taught through pre-recorded video, at-home activities, then in-person or live-virtual activities! Campers will get to complete paper and hands-on crafts, learning the value of history and craftmanship.

Don’t just take our word for it!

‘The Museum was an awesome resource for our campers. They offered an engaging workshop on the Great Lakes and adapted their programming to fit the various ages of our campers. The educational component was met with an equally fun activity! Our campers were clearly engaged as they kept sharing facts about the Great Lakes after the program had ended!’

~ASUS Camps Programming Director.

Signatures of camp kids