The Erie Canal Discovery Center, the museum and orientation center adjacent to the historic Lockport locks, will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, from May 1 through Oct. 31.
“The warmer months are when most people want to visit the canal and locks, and so that’s when we can keep the museum open full-time,” said Melissa Dunlap, executive director of the Niagara County Historical Society, which operates the museum. “The Erie Canal at Lockport attracts visitors from all over the world, but we also see a great many guests from right here in western New York, they usually come when the weather is nicest.”
Visitors to the Erie Canal Discovery Center learn why the Erie Canal was built and what the massive engineering project at Lockport accomplished. They can get directions and ask questions, pick up information, explore interactive museum exhibits, and experience a simulated boat ride through a 19th century lock. They can also find information about things to see and do elsewhere in Lockport and Niagara County.
When they leave the Discovery Center, visitors are shown how to go down into the locks area and find the points of interest.
In addition to the museum, the Discovery Center features the Lockport Visitor Center, a museum shop with canal-themed items, and public restrooms. Entrance to the building and use of the services is free; admission to the museum – including the movie and simulated boat trip, interactive exhibits, and display of local artifacts is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, veterans and AAA/CAA members, and free for children under 18.
The Erie Canal Discovery Center is operated as a public education service by the Niagara County Historical Society, a not-for-profit organization. The History Center is located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport.