A mother and daughter pose next to Astotin Lake in elk costumes, Elk Island National Park.
A mom and daughter dressed up in elk costumes in Elk Island

Beat the crowds and check out these spring activities!

  • Atlantic Canada

    Nova Scotia

    Costumed interpreters chatting with visitors by the canon at the Halifax Citadel
    Soldiers talking with a family at the Halifax Citadel

    Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

    Date Event
    April 9, 2017 First World War Commemorations, 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge Open House
    2017 will see several significant First World War centennial anniversaries, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought April 9-12, 1917.

    The capture of Vimy Ridge was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps participated in battle together, and its stunning success, despite a terrible cost, is often cited as a significant event in the development of a unique Canadian identity. Visit the Halifax Citadel for this special open house and lean how these events helped shape our nation.

    Talk to our historical interpreters, see our special Vimy display at the Army Museum, and learn about conditions at the front in our three-hundred foot reconstructed First World War trench exhibit.
    May 7 – 31, 2017 Soldier for a Day – A Signature Experience
    Leave Your Mark on History! Why just be told about what being part of the 78th Highlanders was like when you can actually experience it? Thousands of British soldiers served at Halifax Citadel between 1749 and 1906 – now it’s your turn to impress.

    Two sessions per day: 10 am - 1 pm and 2-5 pm
    May 1 – 31, 2017 Ready, Aim, Fire! 
    Step up and take your turn as a 78th Highlander firing an authentic Snider-Enfield rifle just as they did in 1869! Feel the weight of the barrel as it presses against your cheek. Stand tall, hold the rifle steady and pull the trigger. This is 19th-century fire power at its best!

    Availability: Between 10 am and 3 pm. Please arrive no later than 2 pm to allow time for orientation. No reservations required.

    Port-Royal National Historic Site

    Date Event
    May 27, 2017 Fun Family Festival
    Join Parks Canada and the Municipality of the County of Annapolis and kick off Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. Bring family and friends, some lawn chairs and a picnic lunch. Enjoy the musical entertainment, fly your kite, give Parka a hug, take part in children’s activities, learn about the history of the reconstruction and make certain that you visit the Habitation.
    Availability: 1-4 pm

    New Brunswick

    Fundy National Park

    Date Event
    May 20, 2017 Fundy Geocaching 
    A Cache Up NB, Fundy Guild, and Fundy National Park collaboration Our annual geocaching event draws enthusiasts, young and old, beginner to advanced.

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    Gros Morne National Park

    Date Event
    March - April Backcountry ski and snowshoe touring
    Gros Morne National Park has all the ingredients for great backcountry skiing and snowshoeing experiences: coastal mountains with heavy snowfalls, lowland forests, treeless alpine highlands, and stunning vistas. Trips can range from short roadside excursions to multi-day adventures involving camping or overnight stays in one of two backcountry ski huts in the park.
    March - April Cross-country skiing
    Abundant snowfall, moderate winter temperatures, and beautiful scenery make Gros Morne National Park perfect for cross-country skiers. Together with the Gros Morne Co-operating Association, the park maintains 51.9 km of groomed cross-country ski trails. Most trails are tracked for classic skiing, with some tracked for freestyle as well.
  • Quebec
    Parks Canada staff with two visitors admiring a painting inside the Manoir Papineau
    A guided tour of the Manoir Papineau

    Manoir Papineau National Historic Site

    Date Event
    May 2017 Reception at the Manor
    The Papineau is gearing up for a party! During your visit to Manoir Papineau's garden and main floor, you will have the opportunity to witness the preparation of this reception with characters in period costumes.
    May 2017 This place, usually closed to the public, is open to you...
    You will have the privilege of visiting the attic of granary and the second floor of the Manor in a group of 8 people maximum. In the attic of the granary, you can admire the frescoes of renowned artist, and son-in-law of Louis-Joseph Papineau-Napoléon Bourassa-whose workshop was located here.

    Chambly Canal National Historic Site

    Date Event
    Subject to weather conditions Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing 
    Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to use the strip along the canal. It’s perfect for off-trail cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Although the canal’s path is only maintained from April 15 to November 15, it remains accessible at all times.

    La Mauricie National Park

    Date Event
    From May 18, 2017 Group Camping
    Enjoy an unforgettable experience in an exceptional, secluded spot on the shores of Wapizagonke Lake. La Clairière group campground is the ideal spot for accommodating numerous campers. The vast space and facilities offer everything you need to enjoy camping and your favourite activities.
    From May 18, 2017 Semi-Serviced Campgrounds
    Get back in touch with nature by staying at one of the three campgrounds in the park. You will appreciate their safety, cleanliness and tranquility. The sites are located in wooded areas so as to respect the privacy of each group of campers.
    From May 18, 2017 Parks Canada oTENTik
    A cross between a tent and a rustic cabin, Parks Canada oTENTik tents offer a unique blend of homey comfort and a taste of outdoor adventure. It’s an ideal way for families, friends and couples to discover the joys of camping without all the muss and fuss. Parks Canada oTENTik are available all year long at the Rivière à la Pêche campground, in the F loop, which is reserved exclusively for this type of accommodation.
    From May 18, 2017 Canoe-Camping
    Canoe-camping, the ultimate challenge for nature lovers, is available from mid-May to mid-October. All sites are accessible by canoe; some, situated near trails, can be used by hikers and mountain bikers.
  • Ontario
    A man and little girl walk on a beach at Point Pelee National Park.
    Point Pelee National Park

    Fort George National Historic Site

    Date Event
    May 26, 2017, 7pm A Special Jane Austen Lecture with Dr. Barbara Seeber
    Join us for the second annual Jane Austen Lecture with Dr. Barbara Seeber from Brock University! After the presentation there will be tea and treats available. Space is limited, so call the Friends of Fort George to book your spot today.

    Call the Friends of Fort George at 905-468-6621 for more information.
    May 27, 2017 Fort George Murder Mystery
    It’s Murder most un-FORT-unate at Fort George! Major Blue is looking for some keen detectives to help uncover a murderer in a classic “who done it?” with an historical twist! Explore the Fort to uncover clues and interview suspects with hopes of finding the guilty party. Prizes to be awarded for some and fun to be had by all! Regular Admission Rates Apply.

    For more information, call Parks Canada at 905-468-6614.

    Fort Wellington National Historic Site

    Date Event
    May 28, 2017 Fenian Raid Commemoration 
    Event Together with the 30th Field Artillery Regiment, commemorate 150 years since the Fenian Raids period at Fort Wellington National Historic Site.

    10 am – 4 pm

    Point Pelee National Park

    Date Event
    April 22, 2017, at 10 am Earth Day Beach Clean-up
    Celebrate Earth Day with a beach clean-up. Join park staff at West Beach and help clean up the garbage washed up on the beach over the winter. Call park for more information.
    April 22, 2017, at 7 pm What’s Croaking
    Visitors will be introduced to the Frogs and Toads that make Point Pelee home and learn how we monitor frogs by participating in a nocturnal survey. After the hike, join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Windsor-Essex for star gazing from the Visitor Centre parking lot. Park open to midnight.
    April 29 & May 27, 2017, 10 am – 12 pm Restoration Workshop
    Join members of the park’s restoration team and learn about our latest efforts to reclaim park habitat. Learn about a special plant or animal we are trying to protect and join staff in the field for restoration activities specifically chosen to benefit this species. We’ll follow up with ways you can restore natural habitat in your own back yard.

    Contact us at pelee.info@pc.gc.ca or 519-322-2365 to register.
    May 1-22, 2017 Festival of Birds
    Join us for our annual celebration of spring migration at Point Pelee National Park. Daily birding hikes, Lunch and Learn sessions, Birder Breakfast and Lunch and so much more. Visit Festival of Birds website for more details.
    May 20, 2017, at 8 pm Woodcock Walk
    Visitors will have the chance to see the quirky and interesting mating rituals of the American Woodcock. Aerial displays and calling will be featured in this short walk. Park open to midnight.

    Thousand Islands National Park

    Date Event
    Saturdays as of May 20, 2017, 1-4 pm Salamander Saturdays
    Salamanders, normally secretive animals, are making public appearances at the Thousand Islands National Park Visitor Centre until Labour Day. Matt Ellerbeck, a salamander conservationist and expert, presents a selection of live, colourful and charming salamanders select Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. If the salamanders will not be visiting on a Saturday, a notice will be posted on the home page of www.savethesalamanders.com on the Friday evening before.
    Sundays as of May 20, 2017, 2 pm Feeding Time
    Learn more about what the animals in our ecosystem are eating and how they find and consume their food as we feed the Visitor Centre's summer residents.

    Woodside National Historic Site

    Date Event
    Weekends Woodside on Weekends
    Come to Woodside and enjoy captivating activities, each weekend we feature a unique game, craft or culinary delight.

  • The Canadian Prairies
    Two young men hike at dusk in Grasslands National Park.
    Hiking in Grasslands National Park

    Saskatchewan - Grasslands National Park

    Date Event
    Sundays, May – June 2017, 9 & 9:30 am Ecotour Road Interpretive Tour
    Stunning landscapes, rich history, and active conservation! Take a journey with us across a landscape replete with stories of past and present, and experience first- hand the natural and cultural history of Grasslands National Park.

    Cost $14.70/person West Block
    Fridays, May – August 2017, 7 pm Fireside Chats, Stories and S'more!
    Fridays have never looked so good! Roasting marshmallows until golden brown, sharing stories of your first bison sighting! Join a park interpreter by the campfire for stories and S’more!
    Sundays, May – August 2017, 9 am Eagle View
    Soak up 360 degrees of grasslands. Let the lay of the land entice you as it flaunts the flowers of the season in the highs and lows of the rolling plains. More than a bird’s eye view.

    Approximately 2 hours. Cost $7.30/person East Block
    Saturdays, May – June 2017, 9 am Prairie Stories
    Experience the stories that capture the character of this amazing land on a hike to one of the tallest buttes in the park, 70 Mile Butte!

    Approximately 2 hours, 5 km. Cost $7.30/person West Block
    Saturdays, May – June 2017, 9 am Footprints in Time
    Explore hoo doos and coulees tracing the steps of the First Peoples, the homesteaders and the ranchers. A 70 million year time scape. Approximately 3 hours.
    Cost $14.70/person East Block
    May 27, 2017, 8 pm Astronomy: Beyond the Big Dipper
    The new moon opens the door to the skies beyond. Let the Royal Astronomical Society guide you through the Grasslands National Park Dark Sky Preserve.

    Cost $7.30 East Block
  • Western Canada
    Concert at Cave and Basin
    Cave and Basin National Historic Site

    Banff Upper Hot Springs

    Date Event
    Check website for hours of operation Aaah… Relax and soak in the incredible view of the alpine scenery from the Banff Upper Hot Springs’ steamy waters.
    Originally discovered in 1884 on the slopes of Sulfur Mountain, Banff Upper Hot Springs are the highest in Canada and one of Banff National Park’s most famous attractions. Along with its modern pool to soak in, the historic bathhouse boasts numerous amenities including a café, a gift shop, and a towel and swimsuit rental service.

    Banff National Park

    Date Event
    Until April 2017 One of the Longest Ski Seasons
    Breathe the cool, spruce air while the winter light casts long, blue shadows. Banff’s ski season is one of the longest in North America, running mid-November through April.
    Until April 2017 Snowshoeing
    Prime snowshoeing is available until early April, but be aware that avalanche hazard persists through May. Designated winter trails follow portions of summer hiking trails but not all sign-posted destinations are safe for winter travel. Use the winter trail guides to choose a safe and fun destination.

    Cave and Basin National Historic Site

    Date Event
    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 National Canadian Film Day at the Cave
    10 am to 5 pm (short films);
    7 pm special screening of “Iron Road”

    A nation-wide film festival brought to you by REEL Canada. During the day, watch some of Canada’s finest short films. Come back after hours for a special screening of the award-winning film “Iron Road”, an epic tale of forbidden love set against the building of the Canadian railway in the 1880s.
    Saturday April 22, 2017 Banff BioBlitz 150
    8 am to 4 pm Join knowledgeable leaders to help conduct amphibian surveys in the lower Bow Valley of Banff National Park.
    Friday April 28, 2017 Banff & Lake Louise Tourism presents Concert at the Cave
    6 pm to 8 pm (Performers and other details pending)

    Waterton Lakes National Park

    Date Event
    All spring Waterton Lakes National Park is featuring Top 10 Things To Do in Waterton in the Spring ... Be sure to visit us this season.

    Jasper National Park

    Date Event
    Spring Two Seasons in One!
    Between the months of March and May you can experience two seasons in Jasper...it just depends on where you are in the park. At higher elevations it's still a winter wonderland where skiing and snowshoeing activities are a must! In the valley bottoms it feels more like spring in April and May, where the trails are ready for hiking and running - just watch for wildlife as the bears are out and about this time of year. April is also a great time for road biking and sightseeing in your vehicle!

    Elk Island National Park

    Date Event
    All spring Spring Adventures
    Spring is a fabulous time to enjoy the wilderness of Elk Island National Park. Wildlife viewing is at its best and the serenity of the spring landscape offers peace of mind and a quick getaway from city madness.

    British Columbia

    Fort Langley National Historic Site

    Date Event
    April 16, 2017 Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt
    Complimentary admission for Canada 150. Calling all little bunnies! Your mission: complete the all-ages scavenger hunt that will take you exploring around the fort and earn treats as you go.

    The activities will take place inside the fort walls, and is available all day from 10 am to 5 pm. At 11am, 1pm & 3pm.

    Kids five and under can participate in the “Egg Scramble,” where they will be divided by age and will find as many eggs as they can on the giant map of British Columbia. The egg scramble happens fast, ending when all the eggs have been found.
    April 19, 2017 National Canadian Film Day 150
    7 p.m. Want to be part of the world’s largest film festival ever? You can on April 19th, thanks to the National Canadian Film Day 150.

    Reserve your free ticket for the screening of “La grande séduction” at Fort Langley National Historic Site at 7 p.m. 
    April 23, 2017 Volunteer appreciation
    1 – 4 p.m. Volunteers who gave their time to support the fort this year will be invited to a reception to honour them for their contributions.

    Radium Hot Springs

    Date Event
    Check website for hours of operation Take a Spring Road Trip
    Hop in your car for an incredible drive through Canada's 10th national park. Kootenay is a land of startling contrasts. Glaciers, grasslands, broad vistas and narrow canyons - this place has it all! As you follow the 94 km historic Banff- Windermere Highway (today BC Hwy #93) from Banff into the BC interior, marvel at the stunning views of mountain peaks, glacier-fed rivers and burnt forests. Download the Kootenay National Park driving tour app (pc.gc.ca/knp-app) and get the inside scoop from long time Parks Canada staff.

    After an afternoon spent exploring the park, finish your trip with a relaxing soak in Radium Hot Springs' soothing mineral waters. Don't forget to gaze up at the rock cliffs of Sinclair Canyon, you might spot one of the bighorn sheep that call this canyon home!

    Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

    Date Event
    All year Take a walk through the Rainforest!
    Rainforest Trail and Schooner Cove Trail

    Look up…way up, to see the rainforest canopy that shelters you from the more than 300 cm of rain that falls annually in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This rain is needed to support the growth of the large trees and rich green undergrowth of this temperate rainforest. Follow the boardwalks that wind through the lush, misty rainforest, and identify strange and wonderful creatures and plant life like Old Man’s Beard, Deer Fern, and the impressive Banana Slug!
    Spring 2017 – Open on Weekends – Friday to Sunday 10a.m. to 5.pm. May 1st to Oct. 9th – Open 7 days a week, 10a.m. to 5p.m. Discover the Kwisitis Visitor Centre!
    This one-of-a-kind interpretive centre presents the captivating natural and cultural history of the region. Learn about the language and the culture of the Nuu-chah- nulth people. Discover little known aspects of the wildlife and the special ecosystem that Pacific Rim National Park Reserve represents. If you happen to be lucky enough to be visiting the national park when a pacific storm arrives the Kwisitis Visitor Centre will give you a front row seat to one of nature’s most spectacular shows!

    Gulf Islands National Park

    Date Event
    All year With urban centres close by, the Gulf Islands are an easily accessible natural oasis. Sail or paddle a kayak on sheltered waterways through a scenic maze of islands thriving with wildlife from seabirds to whales. Explore the reserve’s 15 islands amid history and wilderness chiming with songbirds and hiking to mountaintop views.
  • Northern Canada
    Three people hiking Chilkoot Trail
    Day 3 on Chilkoot Trail on the way to Happy Camp

    Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site

    Date Event
    All winter A Variety of Winter Activities The Chilkoot Trail and adjacent White Pass are a popular destination for Whitehorse and Skagway residents and visitors. Enjoy cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and winter camping at a national historic site in the heart of the northern wilderness.

    Kluane National Park and Reserve

    Date Event
    All winter A Winter Wonderland! Winter time fun in Kluane begins as soon as the snow arrives and the lakes freeze over, but the longer days of February and March are generally the best months for winter recreation. Cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, backcountry camping and snowmobiling are all fun-filled opportunities in Kluane National Park and Reserve.