Burnaby Village Museum

notes from Coleman


Have you ever seen a big carousel?  One where horses are the size of real horses (well, almost).  The place to go is Burnaby Village Museum.  If, when you get there, you change your mind about riding the horses, don’t feel bad—I didn’t either.  The horses were going too fast and I was afraid of falling off.  But that’s OK; Nathe and Jenavieve got to fight over my ticket.  Nathe won.  I think he promised to give Jen some of his old Halloween candy.  It was so funny to see my 13-year old brother pretending to be a cowboy on the carousel.

I thought the carousel was all there was to see, but I was wrong—it was just the beginning.  We went through some glass doors that led us to a real old-fashioned village.  It had everything you can think of:  post office, general store, bakery, schoolhouse and even a church.  Mom said people borrow the church and get married in it.  It’s the perfect size, so long you don’t invite more than about 50 people.  My favourite place was the movie theatre.  Did you know they only had black and white movies in those days?  Nathe liked the blacksmith shop because the guy was making a towel rack—you should see how red-hot the metal gets before you can bend it.

We went to the Burnaby Village Museum at Christmas time, and you could do crafts in one of the houses.  That’s what Jenavieve likes best.  She made a gingerbread house out of paper.  I did too, but mine fell apart.  And guess what, I got meet Father Christmas.  Did you know he and Santa are best friends?  They even look the same.

Let me think, what else?  Oh yah, we also saw people walking around in big clothes that almost touched the ground.  You know, like the ones they wear in the movie “Christmas Carol.”  Speaking of Christmas Carol, some people were singing carols on the street corners.  It was pretty neat.  Mom said we could go back to the village again next year.  Maybe then I’ll ride the big horses.

Age group:

All ages

Expense rating:

Check the website below for current admission rates.


I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live 100 years ago.  I can’t imagine not being able to watch my favourite show “Sponge Bob Square Pants” on the TV, or not being able to get a five-layer Slurpee at the 7-11 store.  But visiting the Burnaby Village Museum gave me an idea of what people looked like, the food they ate, and what they did all day long.  What I know now is that their life wasn’t as easy as mine.  I guess I’m pretty lucky.


If I was a parent and I had small kids I wouldn’t build up the carousel too much.  You never know they might chicken out like I did, and get disappointed.


The village is close to where the roads Canada Way and Sperling Avenue meet.  You can’t miss it because there’s a big sign out front.  If you’re using a map, look for 6501 Deer Lake Avenue.  If you get lost you can phone 604-293-6500 for directions.   Website: www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca




You don’t have to go to the Burnaby Village Museum only at Christmas time because it’s open from May to early September.  The only thing is you won’t see Christmas carolers in the middle of summer.  The museum is open between 11 O’clock in the morning and 4:30 in the afternoon.

Educational highlights:

I’ll bet you 25 cents you can’t leave the Burnaby Village Museum without learning at least ten things.  Here are my ten.  One hundred years ago they didn’t have these:
Basketball hoops
Videos, computers, or Nintendo
Remote-controlled Cars
Pictures in books
Walt Disney or Disneyland

Fun for the adult?:

We go to the Burnaby Village Museum every year.  Even though my parents have seen it all before, they still like going back.  There’s an art center right beside it named after Jack Shadbolt.  He’s a famous artist.  Mom always mentions taking a look, but so far we’ve talked her out of it.  You see the problem is we’re too excited on the way and too tired on the way back.  What we have done though is walked down to Deer Lake and looked for fish.  Dad says we can bring the rods when the weather gets better.