5 Cool Summer Programs to do with the kids at Elk Island National Park this Summer

Elk Island National Park is close enough to the city that you feel like you can explore for the day and easily make it back home at the end of the day – but far enough away from the city that you feel like you’ve really escaped. With your Parks pass, there is no one-time admission cost to the park, and with that, you can take advantage of the programming all summer long. 

Here’s what’s going on at Elk Island National Park this Summer 

Planets and Perseids 

Join fellow night sky enthusiasts at Astotin Lake after dark! 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. Because the earth is constantly rotating, the night sky changes throughout the year. Join us on four different nights to experience four different skies!

Travel back in time

Saturdays and Sundays at the Historic Barn near the Visitor Centre, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Explore Elk Island’s historical barn to discover the history of the bison, the park and the Beaver Hills. Take a peek inside the federally protected heritage barn and pretend to be an archaeologist while searching for artifacts in a mock archaeological dig.

Bison Backstage

Saturdays and Sundays, tours leave on the hour from the Historic Barn near the Visitor Centre, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Join a park guide for a 30-minute tour of the bison handling facility to see how the experts at Elk Island have helped bring this animal back from the brink of extinction. Come prepared to walk with closed toed shoes!

Pond Pals

Saturdays on the Living Waters Boardwalk, drop-in between 1:00 and 4:00 pm

Discover the cool critters both above and below the surface of Astotin Lake. Basins, nets, binoculars, and park interpreters await you and your pals on the Living Waters Boardwalk!

Bison Tales Campfire

Saturdays in the Astotin Lake Rec Area, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Gather around the fire and listen as park interpreters share a collection of stories about the rise and fall of bison. Campfire will be followed by s’mores!

*visit us during our Planets and Perseids nights for our Dark Sky Stories Campfire!


Sundays near the Astotin Lake playground, drop-in between 1:00 and 4:00 pm

Join park interpreters around the fire to learn about and make the power bar of the prairies – pemmican!

Visit www.pc.gc.ca to learn more about summer programming at Elk Island Park