Children’s Discovery Space at Schneider Haus celebrates curiosity, creativity and unstructured play

Posted On Tuesday February 13, 2024

Waterloo Region – Schneider Haus is excited to unveil their new children’s Discovery Space, specifically curated for tiny hands and big imaginations. Inspired by a love of unstructured play, the Discovery Space is the vision of the Schneider Haus team, designed to embrace the “messy play movement.” Covering 675 square feet, the Discovery Space is intended to break conventional boundaries and promote exploration, creativity, and learning through play.

The Discovery Space delivers a sensory experience, allowing children to explore different textures while immersed in carefully curated sounds created by David Villada from Wellness Soundscapes. Sensory play helps children build neural connections, enhance problem-solving skills, and regulate emotions. Through sensory experiences, children develop essential skills that cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

The Discovery Space provides resources for hands-on learning and creative expression. It encourages collaboration, skill sharing, and exploration, empowering children to bring their ideas to life.

“It is exciting to see this joyful space that provides children with opportunities for exploration, imagination, and self-discovery,” said Karen Redman, Chair of the Region of Waterloo. “Play during childhood is crucial for development, fostering cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth. The Schneider Haus Discovery Space is a wonderful addition to our Region of Waterloo Museums offering, and one that will help lay the foundation for lifelong learning and well-being for our youngest residents.”  

Located in the heart of Kitchener, Schneider Haus is an old house with new stories. This vibrant community gathering space connects the past and present. Visitors can learn about the many inhabitants of the house, explore the green spaces, new amphitheatre and participate in hands-on workshops. Through immersive experiences and hands-on activities, Schneider Haus invites visitors to connect with the site's history and make their visit memorable and engaging.

“Our goal was to create a space that gives children the freedom to unleash their creativity and explore endless possibilities,” said Antoinette Duplessis, head of content and experience at Schneider Haus. “At Schneider Haus, we embrace diversity, creativity and alternative perspectives. This space exists to inspire, spark curiosity and provide a safe environment for children to connect, play, tinker and experiment.”

The Discovery Space provides an immersive and engaging experience for families and is available to rent for birthday parties and special events. We encourage visitors to bring indoor shoes to wear while they explore and create. Parental supervision is required. Please note: This is not a drop-off space.

We invite the community to join the museum team for a formal celebration to open the Schneider Haus Discovery Space!

What:        Discovery Space (FREE admission from 10 a.m. – noon only)
When:       Wednesday, February 14 from 10 – 10:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

Followed by a tour and interactive programming from 10:30 a.m. – noon including:
Cookie Decorating
Make your own Valentine’s card using recyclables to take home
Participate in a staff-led hands-on activity

Who:           Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Region of Waterloo
                   Barb Cardow, Director of Children’s Services, Region of Waterloo
                   Antoinette Duplessis, Head of Content & Experience, Schneider Haus (emcee)

Where:        Schneider Haus, 466 Queen St S, Kitchener, ON N2G 1W7
                    (Parking is free on-site located directly across the street, entrance off Queen St. S.)

Discovery Space opens Wednesday, February 14 at 10 a.m. at Schneider Haus
Regular Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
Family Day Hours: 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Access to the Discovery Space is included with admission, children 4 and under are free. (Members enjoy FREE admission to all Region of Waterloo Museums sites year-round.)
To learn more, visit