About John Janzen Nature Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Since 1976, the John Janzen Nature Centre’s interactive exhibits, educational programming and special events have encouraged visitors towards a greater awareness of and engagement with the wonders of nature that surround us. It is Canada’s oldest municipally-operated nature centre.
The Edmonton Nature Centres Foundation (ENCF) was formed in 1979 as a non-profit organization to support the John Janzen Nature Centre. The ENCF is responsible for developing a vision for the nature centre, then planning and implementing projects to carry out that vision.
What to do at John Janzen Nature Centre?
Self-guided visits to the John Janzen Nature Centre
Visitors to the John Janzen Nature Centre looking to engage and explore on their own can take advantage of a wide range of activities.
Kids may particularly enjoy the Exhibit Room, which features the Seasonal Changes exhibit and activities centred on plants and animals. From spring through fall, children can watch bees busy at work in the indoor/outdoor working Honeybee Hive. Colouring pages and scavenger hunt sheets are also available from Guest Services.
In addition to these activities, the indoor Tegler Discovery Zone, designed for children 10 and under, offers crawling and climbing structures that re-create local wildlife habitat in a way that allows children to learn about nature through play. This play area is accessible year round. Please be aware that The Tegler Discovery Zone is not staffed. Adults are required to stay in the play area with their child/children.
Guided visits to the John Janzen Nature Centre
The John Janzen Nature Centre offers family friendly, interactive, nature-themed drop-in programs year-round which allow visitors to get a closer look at local wildlife. Interpreters will customize programs to suit the ages and interests of visitors in attendance. Summer programs offer amphibian and reptile encounters, hands-on sensory explorations of river valley plants and animals, evening bonfires and camp sing-alongs.
Adult supervision is required for all children participating in these programs. Many of the drop-in programs take place outdoors, so visitors must dress for the weather.
Birthday party packages
Themed birthday party nature adventures for children are available year round, but space is limited. Group size is capped at 30 people, including parents and siblings, and parties must be booked at least one month (30 days) in advance. Payment for the program must be made at the time of booking. More information is available from the birthday party booking office:
Be sure to check the website regularly to learn about upcomingSpecial Event days!
Who will enjoy the attraction the best?
The John Janzen Nature Centre invites visitors of all ages to have fun while learning more about the importance of Edmonton’s natural spaces.
When to visit John Janzen Nature Centre?
John Janzen Nature Centre Hours / Timing
The John Janzen Nature Centre is open year round, except on December 25 and January 1.
Hours of operation are:
|Jan 2 – Dec 23, 2017||10 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily|
11 a.m. – 4 p.m., holidays
|Dec 24 – Dec 31, 2017|
Closed Dec 25 & Jan 1
|11 a.m. – 4 p.m., daily|
Best time to visit: During spring and summer. Longer visiting hours, milder weather and the direct transit shuttle make the Nature Centre more accessible and enjoyable.
How much will it cost to visit John Janzen Nature Centre?
John Janzen Nature Centre Admission /
Parent & Tot (0 – 23 mo): $3
Parent & Child (2 yrs & over): $7.50
Each additional tot or parent: $3
Free admission day: 2016 – September 25, 2016
Tickets are available for purchaseonline and in person.
Annual passes can be purchased at a reduced rate.
How to get to John Janzen Nature Centre?
The John Janzen Nature Centre is located at 7000-143 Street. Access is via Fox Drive, just east of Whitemud Drive.
Taking transit to the John Janzen Nature Centre is a cost-effective choice. In addition to regular transit service*, a direct shuttle is available during the spring and summer. The shuttle travels on an hourly schedule between South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park Transit Centre and Fort Edmonton Park/John Janzen Nature Centre. Regular bus fares apply.
*Please note: The main building is an approximate 5 minute walk from the closest bus stops.
For detailed directions, see the map tab.
Parking – The Nature Centre provides free, paved parking. The John Janzen Nature Centre shares a parking lot with Fort Edmonton Park.
The John Janzen Nature Centre shares a parking lot with Fort Edmonton Park.
What about amenities and accessibility at John Janzen Nature Centre?
AccessibilityMany of the areas in and around the John Janzen Nature Centre are wheelchair accessible, including the parking lot, nature exhibits, washrooms, Tegler Discovery Zone, and beehive. The Birch Tree and River Loop Trails have sections which may be challenging for those with limited mobility.
Many of the areas in and around the John Janzen Nature Centre are accessible by stroller. There is a family washroom near the front door and also a small stroller parking area by the front desk.
Snack and beverage vending machines are available on-site, as well as an ATM for cash withdrawals.
From spring through fall, outdoor green spaces and picnic tables are available around the John Janzen Nature Centre for a quick snack or lunch for individuals and groups. These spaces are first-come, first-served. There is also a small, seated indoor eating area for visiting parents and children, available year-round.
Visitors can find nature-themed souvenirs, children’s toys, guidebooks and more in the gift shop.
All pictures © John Janzen Nature Centre