Joseph Schneider Haus

The Joseph Schneider Haus Museum and Gallery is a dynamic community museum in downtown Kitchener. The heart of the complex is the fine Georgian frame farmhouse built by one of the area's first pioneers, Joseph Schneider, a Pennsylvania-German Mennonite. A local landmark and Kitchener's oldest dwelling, the c. 1816 homestead was restored and furnished and opened as a living history museum in 1981. springhouse.jpg

Adjacent to the museum is a modern wing that houses administrative support areas, exhibit galleries, programming space, an artifact vault and a resource library. Among the museum's stored collections is the prestigious Canadian Harvest Collection of German-Canadian Folk Art which preserves significant artifacts from areas of Germanic settlement across Canada.

Check out all that Joseph Schneider Haus has to offer:

Programs and Events

The Museum offers a wide range of programs and professional services designed to educate and entertain. You can also explore the online collection.

View our Calendar of Events 2014 brochure.

March Events

Pressed Into Service: The Historic Use of Felt in Fashion
March 26
Lecture by Jonathan Walford, Curator, Fashion History Museum at 7 p.m.

Seniors Day
March 27
Admission is FREE for Seniors!
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sweeping Clean
March 29 and 30
Come and help the Schneiders clean ‘haus’. Try a corn broom and discover the secrets of 19th-century pest control and household cleaning products with all natural materials.
Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday - 1 to 5 p.m.

April Events

Ukrainian Egg Decorating Workshop
April 5

Learn how to make a Ukrainian Easter Egg (Pysanky).
10 a.m. to noon or 2 to 4 p.m.
$10/person ages 12 +. Pre-registration is required. Please call 519-742-7752.

Cold Comfort – Dairying
April 5 and 6
It is spring and the cows are giving milk again! Explore 19th-century dairying and refrigeration. Help churn butter and make Schmierkase, a Pennsylvania-German fresh cheese.
Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday – 1 to 5 p.m.

Adventures in Felting
April 9
Lecture by 2014 Folk Artist-in-Residence Sue Firkser at 7 p.m.

Boards for the Bored!
April 12 and 13
A weekend dedicated to board games and in particular Waterloo County’s own crokinole. Watch the area’s finest crokinole players give it their best shot in the annual Schneider Haus Waterloo County Classic (finger’s only), an invitational team challenge on Saturday at 1 p.m. Drop by the Museum on Sunday afternoon for an impromptu game.
Saturday  - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday  - 1 to 5 p.m.

Easter Traditions 
April 18, 19 and 20
The Schneiders are making Easter cheese, onion-dyeing Easter Eggs and scratch-decorating them Pennsylvania-German style all weekend.
Friday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday - 1 to 5 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt 
April 19 – 10 a.m. sharp!
The popular Easter Egg Hunt at Joseph Schneider Haus is for children ages 8 and younger. Bring your Easter basket and be prepared to line up early! The Egg Hunt takes place outdoors regardless of the weather. Admission to the egg hunt is by donation ($2 suggested). Regular admission rates apply to visit the historic house.

Plant A Seed
April 26 and 27
Explore 19th-century gardening, seed types and pest control. Plant a seed to take home with you.
Saturday - 10 a.m. to 5p.m.
Sunday - 1 to 5 p.m.


Mennonite Quilters2014 Quilt Block Contest

Join us for this annual event, where each year we celebrate a time-honoured tradition. Our 2014 theme is entitled: “Out of this World”.

For more details please view our 2014 Quilt Block Contest brochure.

Summer Camps at Joseph Scheider Haus
All camps run 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and cost $150/week. Pre-registration is required. Please call 519-742-7752.

July 7-11 – Pint-Sized Play Days
Five to seven years
Sure-to-please hands-on activities, games, and stories with a historical twist.
Morning and afternoon snack are provided. Please bring a nut-free lunch.

August 11-15 – Schneider Survival 101
Eight to 12 years
Experience how early settlers like the Schneiders’ made it through their first year.
Morning and afternoon snack are provided. Please bring a nut-free lunch.

July 14-18 and July 21-25 – Visiting Cousins
Eight to 12 years
An immersive program that puts youth in Schneider shoes for two weeks.
Snack and lunch are provided.

Sue.jpgFolk Artist-in-Residence 2014

The Friends of Joseph Schneider Haus sponsor the annual Folk Artist-in-Residence (FAIR) Program, designed to support the efforts of local artists and artisans working in traditional crafts and trades.

The Friends are pleased to introduce FAIR 2014 Fibre Artist, Sue Firkser of Dundas, Ontario. View our brochure for more information on workshops and demonstrations.



Education Programs

Check out this year's program opportunities in the 2013-2014 Education Brochure.

Build your own Schneider Wash HouseWashHousecutoutcompleted.jpg

The Schneider Wash House is the place where many household activities and chores are completed, especially in the warmer months. Check out the links below to create your very own wash house!

  1. Download the Wash House cut out.
  2. Watch the Build Your Own Wash House video for step-by-step instructions.

Student Interpreter Activity

Student Interpreter Activity

Students visiting the haus with their class will receive a Student Interpreter Pass with a link to our Student Interpreter Activity.

Show your pass for free admission for you and an adult. Take part in the Student Interpreter Activity to test your skills and have some fun!




In The Galleries

Northern Exposure Inujaak DollNorthern Exposure

From the far north comes a collection of Inuit Dolls (Inujaak) that speak eloquently to the cultures and traditions of their northern landscape.

Continuing to April 30, 2014.


Heartfelt: Form, Function and Frivolity
This exhibit explores the work of the fibre artist and 2014 Folk Artist-in-Residence Sue Firkser. From functional clothing and hollow form sculpture to decorative arts for the home, Sue’s work with wool felting is sure to fascinate.

Exhibit Continues to November 2014

 Evolving Urban Landscape: A Photographic Memoir
From May to August, Joseph Schneider Haus will host an exhibition of images captured over the past 40 years by photographer Philippe Elsworthy of Waterloo. Evocative of a vanishing urban landscape, these streetscapes and buildings, both vernacular and state-of-the-art, reflect the artist’s fascination with architecture while preserving moments in time that have contributed to Waterloo Region’s distinctive sense of place.

From May 17 until Labour Day

*This exhibit is part of a larger initiative called Building Waterloo Region, which will see multiple sites in KW and Cambridge hosting exhibits, lectures, walking tours, etc. between May and January 2015 celebrating architecture in Waterloo Region.  

Backyard Tourists  

There is so much to do and see in your own backyard!

May 1 - Cambridge, McDougall Cottage & Dunfield Theatre
Our season begins with a trip to charming McDougall Cottage where we enjoy a walking tour and traditional Scottish Tea. Then we’re off to The Dunfield Theatre’s hilarious production of Run For Your Wife.

June 5 - Guelph, Arboretum & Honeybee Research Centre
We’ll be strolling down the garden path at Guelph’s Arboretum and Honeybee Research Centre, learning from the experts how the trees, bees, and blooms all work together there.

July - Huron County
We make our way westward toward Huron County, exploring Ontario’s beautiful “west coast”. We’ll be investigating the region’s history, sampling the local fare, and learning what makes Huron unique. Date to be confirmed.

August - St. Jacobs, Mennonite Farm Lunch
Join us as we head to St. Jacobs area for some traditional history, and stops in step with the season. Remember to pack your appetite as we’ll be enjoying a home-cooked Mennonite farm lunch and the hospitality of our hosts Esther and Wesley Weber. Date to be confirmed.

Sept. 4 - Toronto, Ripley’s Aquarium
Experience the city’s newest large-scale attraction, Ripley’s Aquarium. Discover a variety of aquatic environs, and be amazed by the stunningly beautiful creatures that dwell within.

Oct. 2 - Dufferin County
Leaves will be turning colour in Dufferin County as we head out for our last trip of the season. Explore these hilly highlands with a local guide who promises to reveal some of the lesser known natural nooks and cultural crannies.

Trips include transportation, admission and lunch. For details and pricing please contact the museum.

Backyard Tourists

Contact us

Joseph Schneider Haus
466 Queen St. S.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1W7
Phone: 519-742-7752
Fax: 519-742-0089

Hours of Operation

The Historic House, Galleries, Gift Shop and Offices are open Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Galleries, Gift Shop and Offices are also open Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Easter Hours:

Open Good Friday (April 18) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Easter Monday (April 21).


  • Adults $2.25
  • Seniors/Students $1.50
  • Children $1.25
  • Family $5

Free parking is located across the street and the museum is accessible by transit routes 2, 8, 24 and 25. The main floor of the historic house and exhibit galleries is wheelchair accessible. A written guide is available for those unable to access the second floor.


Joseph Schneider Haus
466 Queen St. S.,
Kitchener, ON N2P 2R7

Phone: 519-742-7752
TTY: 519-575-4608

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