Tours and programs

Elk Island National Park

Interpretive programs

Develop a deeper connection just outside Alberta’s capital city. Parks Canada interpreters will help you create memories and inspire connections to Elk Island National Park through a variety of daily programming. We engage, entertain, and educate, while helping you experience all Elk Island has to offer.

  • Feel a fuzzy bison pelt
  • Travel back in time with archaeological activities that bring history to life
  • Discover a new world by peering into the underwater world off our living boardwalk or staring up in wonder at a starry night sky
  • Get hands on and experience Indigenous culture with Cree crafting workshops

Weekends starting May 18, 2024

Bison Backstage

Location: Heritage Barn near the Wahkotowin Visitor Information Centre
Times: 12:30 pm, 2 pm, 3:30 pm

Bison Backstage is the exclusive, behind the scenes look at bison conservation at Elk Island. Visitors will be led through the Plains Bison Handling Facility and along the way will learn about the history of bison, how they affect the prairie landscape around them, and how parks staff continue the ongoing role in bison conservation efforts. This is a 1-hour walking tour that covers approximately 1 kilometer over uneven ground.

Astotin Theatre

Location: Astotin Lake Recreation Area
Open hours: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm

Discover artifacts, talk to a Parks Canada interpreter, and watch movies on the big screen. Create your own memories and inspire a deeper connection in this interactive space.

Saturdays starting May 18, 2024

Beaver Town: Exploring a Beaver’s Neighbourhood

Location: Astotin Lake Recreation Area
Time: 2 pm to 5 pm

Uncover the land and water that is shaped by busy beavers. Why are beavers considered “ecosystem engineers”? What does the presence of a beaver mean to the rest of their neighbourly companions? Dig up the answers to these questions and more!

Sundays starting May 19, 2024

Pemmican on the Prairie

Location: Astotin Lake Recreation Area
Times: 2 pm to 5 pm

Did you know pemmican was one of the first “energy bars” of the prairies? Come learn about how pemmican is made, why it was a staple food source for so many years, and how it shaped history across the prairies of North America.


Teachers: Be sure to visit our School Programs page.

Private programming

Parks Canada interpreters are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and have a number of paid programs ready for groups!

Celebrating Indigenous Culture

At Parks Canada, Indigenous voices share their own stories of their history and culture

Dark sky experiences

Elk Island National Park is a member of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve and is a perfect place to experience the stars and planets above

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