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The museum displays the three original homes of the Walter family. Students will spend time learning about John, his family and the changes and growth of the River Valley communities. Students will have the opportunity to try activities and practice traditional skills that were required by early Edmontonians in order to survive and thrive. Programs are cross-curricular in nature, explore Canadian identity, and reflect on our relationship with the land around us. If there are specific learning objectives you would like to have included in your program, we are happy to accommodate them.

How to Book

The bookings office is open 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday.
Extended hours: Wednesday (8:30am-6pm), Saturday (8am-3pm).

You can book your program:

For General Inquiries or Assistance:

Other School and Group Programs

Looking for more program options? See the complete list of school and group programs at attractions and recreation centres.

Year-Round School Programs

Preschool Pioneers (Preschool - Kindergarten)

Program Length: 1.5 hours
Fee: $145

Stoke the fire and fill the wash basin! Come down and explore John Walter's restored 1901 home, nestled in Edmonton's River Valley. Through hands-on activities, your class will discover how life 100 years ago was different from today. We'll bake cookies in a wood burning stove, help out with chores like wool carding or washing socks and play with old fashioned toys and dress-up clothes.

Note: For this program, we require three adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

Urban Pioneers (Grades K-3)

Program Length: 2 hours
Fees: $165 for 30 students maximum, $250 for 40 students maximum

It was tough work being a pioneer! Transport your students back in time over 100 years to John Walter’s 1875 and 1886 homes. Students will bring history to life by churning their own butter, baking scones on a wood burning stove, candle dipping and making a wool-based keepsake. We’ll also explore the needs and wants of early settler communities by visiting John Walter’s general store. Through these hands-on activities your class will discover the lives of early Edmontonians and experience how the Walter family and the community of Walterdale changed over time.

Note: For this program, we require 6 adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

History Immersion (Grades K-6)

Program Length: Your choice of 1-5 days.
Fees:
1 day: $145
2 days: $625
3 days: $825
4 days: $1025
5 days: $1225

Immerse your students in Edmonton’s history through this customizable program. Our interpreters will plan activities that meet your specific learning objectives. Potential program themes could include discovering the North Saskatchewan river, early Edmonton settlement, the fur trade and how communities change over time. Contact us to see sample schedules. Please note that multiple programming days can be shared between different classes of the same grade.

Seasonal School Programs

Preschool Pioneer Christmas Party (Preschool - Kindergarten)

Program Length: 1.5 hours
Fees: $145
Available: November 6 - December 22

Help the Walter family get ready for a 1920s Christmas morning! Together, we’ll bake gingersnaps in a wood burning stove and create holiday cards for friends who live far away. We will imagine what winter play was like, take a peek inside a Christmas stocking and help wrap the Walter family gifts. Through these hands-on activities, students will explore what the holidays were like in the past and compare them to modern traditions.

Note: For this program, we require three adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

Pioneer Christmas Party (Grades K-6)

Program Length: 2 hours
Fees: $165
Available: November 6 - December 22

Transport your class back to the 1920s and celebrate the holidays like an early Edmontonian. Together, we’ll bake gingersnaps in our wood burning stove and create our own holiday cards for friends who live far away. Discover traditions from the past by taking a peek in a Christmas stocking and helping wrap the Walter family gifts. Through these hands-on activities, students will explore what the holidays were like in the past and compare them to modern traditions.

Note: For this program, we require three adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

History River (Grades 4-9)

Program Length: 2 hours
Fees: $150
Available: May-October

The North Saskatchewan River has drawn people to what is now known as Edmonton for thousands of years. With stops at the Fort Edmonton Cemetery / Aboriginal Burial Grounds, an original site of Fort Edmonton, the Alberta Legislature and the High Level Bridge, your students will embark on a journey that explores the historical significance of the River Valley. Together, we’ll bring history to life through hands-on discovery, archival photos and artifacts. This walking tour covers a distance of approximately three kilometres and is led by a John Walter Museum interpreter.

Outreach Programs (History In Your Classroom)

Boats and Buoyancy (Grade 2)

Program Length: 1.5 hours
Fees: $185 (includes materials)
Available: September-April

John Walter was a master boat builder. He first came to Edmonton to build york boats for the Hudson’s Bay Company and then opened the first ferry across the North Saskatchewan River. In this hands-on program, students will learn about density, propulsion and water transportation through hands-on activities and build their own working wooden paddle boats!

Note: For this program, we require six adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

Preschool Pioneer Christmas In Your Classroom (Preschool - Kindergarten)

Program Length: 1.5 hours
Fees: $170
Available: November 1 - December 22

Let’s get ready for the holidays! Help our interpreter prepare by playing old-fashioned games, making an ornament and creating holiday cards to send to friends who live far away. We’ll imagine what winter play was like, take a peek inside a Christmas stocking and help wrap the Walter family gifts. Through these hands-on activities, students will explore what the holidays were like in the past and compare them to modern traditions.

Note: For this program, we require three adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

Pioneer Christmas In Your Classroom (Kindergarten - Grade 3)

Program Length: 2 hours
Fees: $180
Available: November 1 - December 22

Christmas will be here soon and it’s time to get ready! Help our interpreter prepare by playing games, making an ornament and holiday cards for friends who live far away. Discover traditions from the past by taking a peek in a Christmas stocking and helping wrap the Walter family gifts. Through these hands-on activities, students will explore what the holidays were like in the past and compare them to modern traditions.

Note: For this program, we require three adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

Pioneer Family Life (Kindergarten - Grade 3)

Program Length: 1.5 hours
Fees: $175 (includes materials)
Available: September-April

Bring the pioneer experience directly to your classroom! Guided by an interpreter, your students will discover the daily life of a pioneer child through washing socks with a simple machine, making a delicious no-bake recipe and trying on old fashioned dress up clothes. Students will imagine what school was like over a century ago with a pioneer lesson and explore a trunk full of artifacts from Edmonton’s past.

Note: For this program, we require three adult volunteers to assist with activity stations.

Group Programs

Hands-On History (Ages 5+)

Fee: $145
Program Length: 2 hours
Available: June-September

Join us in the heart of Edmonton’s river valley for some good old fashioned summertime fun! In this program, we’ll churn our own ice-cream and make delicious ‘no-bake’ truffles. Then we’ll head outside to help wash Mr. Walter’s wool socks and play a lively round of croquet.

Summer in the Valley Information Package

Summer in the Valley (Ages 5+)

Fee: $145
Program Length: 2 hours
Available: Year-round
Heritage Badge

Make your field trip go down in history with some hands-on fun. With John Walter's homes as your setting, you will dip candles, help out with some pioneer chores, examine artifacts, and cook up a tasty treat to enjoy!

Hands on History Information Package

Heritage Home Skills (Ages 9-15)

Fee: $145
Program Length: 2 hours
Available: Year-round

Discover what life was like over a century ago! A home of an early Edmonton settler meant no electricity or access to the types of foods we see on grocery store shelves today. In this program you’ll make candles, a simple jam, churn butter, and bake scones on a wood-burning stove.

Heritage Home Skills Information Package

Book Your School or Group Program

Booking Checklist

Please be prepared with the following information to make your booking:

  • Program name
  • 2-3 potential program dates
  • School mailing address, including postal code, school telephone number, and fax number
  • Contact name and names of teachers for all classes being booked
  • Email address(es) of teacher(s) booking and attending the program
  • Number of students attending
  • Number of supervisors
  • Special needs / accessibility arrangements

Fees and Payment

The amount owing is shown on your program booking confirmation. Payment is required prior to the program. Invoices are sent out by the City on the first of each month. You will receive your invoice in the same month as your program runs. For example: for a May booking, your invoice will be issued May 1. Payment can be made by cheque, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Please have cheques made payable to the City of Edmonton and write your booking confirmation numbers on your cheques.

Credit card payment can be made over phone by calling 311 or 780-442-1442.

Mail cheques to:
Citizen Services Payment Processing
PO Box 2359
19th Floor, Edmonton Tower
Edmonton AB, T5J 2R7

Group Size

Due to the size of the facility, our standard program size is 30 students. A double program may be booked for up to 40 students for the “Urban Pioneers” program only. All other programs exceeding 30 students will be required to book additional programs. Adults are asked to stay with their groups for supervision and to assist in leading the program stations. Adult supervisors are admitted free based on the ratios below. Additional adult supervisors exceeding the required ratios and station requirements may not be able to participate in the program.

  • Pre-school (3-4 years): 1 adult per 3 students
  • Kindergarten - Grade 6: 1 adult per 5 students
  • Grades 7-12: 1 adult per 10 students

Additional adults and students/siblings exceeding these ratios will be asked to pay facility admission fees and tour the facility on their own. Additional participants can rejoin their group after the registered program ends. To ensure a high quality program, we recommend that all students participating are within the age range advertised for the program.

Cancellation and Rescheduling

You are required to submit written notice of cancellation of program(s) via email to cmsschoolbookings@edmonton.ca.

Programs cancelled with 30 days notice or more will not be charged the program fee or a cancellation fee. Programs cancelled with 8-29 days notice are subject to be charged 50% of the program fee, unless the cancellation is filled by a waitlisted group. For programs cancelled with 7 days notice or less, the full program fee will be charged.

Programs run rain or shine. In the event of poor weather, you must call 780-442-1442 or email cmsschoolbookings@edmonton.ca if you are not coming.

Programs cancelled due to severe weather conditions will not be charged a cancellation fee as long as they are rescheduled within the current or upcoming school year fall term (September-November).

Hands-on interactive programs for schools at City Attractions and cultural sites.

Attractions Program Survey

We value customer comments and feedback!

For More Information

School/Group Program Reservations Office

9180 Walterdale Hill NW

Located at the bottom of Walterdale and Queen Elizabeth roads, on the north side of the Kinsmen Sport Centre parking lot.

Telephone

780-442-1442

Email cmsschoolbookings@edmonton.ca

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