Things To Do
Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
Be inspired by the fascinating life and work of Alexander Graham Bell – inventor, scientist, teacher, and devoted family man. Wake up your own spirit of innovation through diverse experiences, as you explore his inventions that helped shape our modern world.
Marvel at full-scale replicas of the Silver Dart airplane and HD-4 watercraft, take the White Glove Tour for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the genius of Bell, or Come Fly a Kite overlooking the beautiful water views of Baddeck Bay.
Bell’s interest in unique shapes and designs comes to life at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. The inspiring architecture guides all visitors through exhibits and multimedia displays that are wheelchair accessible via ramps, and offer ample space to explore, reflect, and discover.
The site sits in the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. The Bells fell in love with the natural beauty of the island first known as Unama’ki, and their story is interwoven with that of the many settlers and cultures that continue to thrive here today.
2022 Commemorations: Imagination Takes Flight
175 years after Alexander Graham Bell’s birth, and 100 years after his death, the site is commemorating the legacy of his many inventions and innovations, as well as the lasting impact he and Mabel Bell had on the community of Baddeck. Visitors are invited to embrace their own spirit of innovation, curiosity and creativity through special events, exhibits, and programming. Some highlights of the 2022 calendar include:
• July 12 Women in Science and Engineering Day Camp: Offered in collaboration with Cape Breton University, youth aged 11 to 14 will have the opportunity to engage in experiential learning and get inspired by female leaders in these traditionally male-dominated fields of study. Stayed tuned to Parks Canada channels for registration info!
• August 2 to August 20 The Bells of Baddeck: Dream what no one else dreams… Immerse yourself in the inspiring world of Alexander Graham and Mabel Hubbard Bell with this original, Canadian music drama – reimagined for the 2022 commemorative year. Hear English, Mi’kmaq, and Gaelic languages and Indigenous, Opera, Psalms, Spiritual, and Parlour singing, recreating the music heard and beloved by the Bells. Interpretation and surtitles will provide accessibility for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons. Visit https://bellsofbaddeck.com for more information and to get your tickets!
• August 2 Unveiling of Mabel’s Garden: Discover Mabel Bell’s historic contributions through a new interpretive garden, developed in collaboration with Ecosystem Health and Food Security researcher Dr. Alana Pindar and the Alexander Graham Bell Foundation. Learn about the innovative practices Mabel used at the original gardens at Beinn Bhreagh and how you can create your own sustainable garden through this new, interactive space on the grounds of the museum.
More than the telephone!
Did you know that Bell’s career began as a teacher of deaf and hearing impaired people? His curiosity and determination would lead to Canada’s first powered flight, the world’s fastest watercraft, advanced recording technology, giant tetrahedral kites and, of course, the telephone. Many of these remarkable inventions first took flight (literally!) in the scenic community of Baddeck, with the support of his wife Mabel Hubbard Bell and a group of innovators they inspired around them.
Do you love to discover new things? Think you might be the next big inventor in technology and science? Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site offers fun and inspiring experiences, perfect for young geniuses and the young at heart. Ask one of the friendly Parks Canada staff to enroll you in the Xplorers program or Club Parka, learn about hands-on experiments you can do at home, and let your imagination take flight with our popular kite programs.
Bell’s legacy tells us to embrace playfulness and creativity at every age. Archival photos show the whole Bell family, from children to grandchildren, sharing in the fun of exciting experiments. Make your own family memories that will last a lifetime!
Admission for youth aged 17 and under is free!
The museum’s rooftop viewing deck provides a panoramic view of the Bells’ beloved “Beinn Bhreagh” (Gaelic for “beautiful mountain”) home still owned by their descendants and Baddeck Bay, part of the UNESCO Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve.
Take a moment to reflect at the First Peoples exhibit. Get a glimpse into the long history and living culture of the Mi’kmaq, as you take in the natural beauty of Unama’ki (Cape Breton Island).
Picnic tables, including one accessible for mobility-impaired visitors, are located adjacent to the rooftop viewing deck. Savour local flavours from the Tetra Café located inside the museum or enjoy take-out from one of the many restaurants within walking distance.
Don’t forget to capture a picture-perfect moment in the iconic Parks Canada red chairs overlooking Baddeck Bay. Relax and enjoy the water views, lush gardens, and unique architecture of the museum, inspired by Bell’s tetrahedral kites.
Did you know that Alexander Graham Bell was an early believer in climate change? In 1914, Bell used the term “greenhouse effect” to describe the heating of the earth due to foreign particles in the atmosphere. He also advocated for replacing coal and oil with cleaner forms of energy. You can follow Bell’s vision of greener future when you use our electric vehicle charging stations to “fuel” the next part of your trip.
White Glove Tours
The Canadian Signature Experience is the stamp of quality that the international tourism marketplace recognizes. There are eight Canadian Signature Experiences in Nova Scotia including the White Glove Tour.
Get an exclusive look into the lives of Alexander Graham Bell and his loving and trailblazing wife Mabel Hubbard Bell. With a passionate guide leading a small group, this behind-the-scenes tour uncovers more of their inspiring story. See fascinating objects and artifacts up close, like Bell’s personal notebook and walking stick.