Exhibitions and Events

Exhibition photo

The Peterborough Museum and Archives is a family friendly facility. We offer exhibits and events all year round that all members of the family can enjoy.


There are many children's activities offered in each exhibition. We encourage our young visitors to explore with their eyes and their hands. Kids can enjoy our collection of puppets, dress-up clothes, train set, cozy corner, scavenger hunts, and backpack adventures.

Each year we offer several temporary exhibitions presenting a variety of topics. Visit the upcoming exhibitions schedule to learn more about what is booked to be on display, or view our list of past exhibitions to see what we have previously hosted. You can also find out what is currently on display by visiting our featured exhibitions.

Our permanent exhibition tells a chronological history of Peterborough.

The story begins in Nogojiwanong (which translates to "The place at the end of the rapids") and the Indigenous communities that lived off the land and waterways in this area. We then learn about the early relationships that formed with Europeans during the fur trade. Later, in 1825, Irish immigrants settle here under the supervision of Peter Robinson – a member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. Twenty-five years later, Peterborough is incorporated as a town, with a population of 2,191. Agriculture and lumber industries are the two major reasons for growth at this time. Peterborough would also see extensive industrial growth as it begins generating hydro electrical power - known to be one of the first Canadian cities to do so. This proved to be an attractive and cheap resource harnessed by companies such as Edison General Electric Company (later, Canadian General Electric) and the American Cereal Company (later to become Quaker Oats).


Join us on Sunday, August 4th for theatre under the stars as Driftwood Theatre brings us an adaptation of William Shakepeare's most popular comedy, "A (musical) Midsummer Night's Dream". This is the perfect outdoor summer theatre experience for the entire family. The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. and admission is pay-what-you-can (suggested $20-$30 per person). Don't forget to bring a lawnchair and blanket as the performance will be viewed on the hill overlooking the Heritage Pavilion. 

Alternatively, join us on Saturday, August 17th for an outdoor screening of the film "Ice Age". We will project the film onto the Heritage Pavilion, with a start time of 8:30 p.m. If there is poor weather, we will move the film into the Musuem's multi-purpose classroom. There is a suggested donation of $20 per family.