Escaping Winter at the John Janzen Nature Center

I’m not normally one to complain about the weather, particularly in the winter. If anything, I try to be hardier than the average bear when the mercury dips and the snow falls. Still…. this has been a hard winter, especially lately with the bitter cold we’ve had. Luckily, Edmonton has some great alternative options to keep children active during the winter, and one in particular is a favorite of ours, the John Janzen Nature Center. Last weekend we went there to burn off some excess energy and still have a little interaction with nature.

Inside there is a big playland that is fashioned after several natural elements: a beaver dam, a bee hive, a squirrel’s warren, plus some other nature-related things to play with. It’s really super interesting, and I love taking the boys each time, explaining to them when the questions inevitably come up about what things are and how they live in nature, and then we run off and have some more fun building or climbing or sliding or exploring. I basically cut the boys loose when we get there and see what kind of fun and exploration we can get up to.

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Finn drew a map to tell us how to get from our house to the Nature Center. Do cartographers get paid well? Should I encourage it as a career path, do you think?Hinterland-Princes-John-Janzen_Nature-Center-Escape-From-Winter Hinterland-Princes-John-Janzen_Nature-Center-Escape-From-Winter Hinterland-Princes-John-Janzen_Nature-Center-Escape-From-Winter

There is also an adjoining room that is focused a little more on learning, where you can make crafts, rubbings of animal tracks, explore a gopher tunnel, see some real live animals (like garden snakes or  or other local animals) or just dress up like your favorite insect. That was definitely their favorite part.Hinterland-Princes-John-Janzen_Nature-Center-Escape-From-Winter Hinterland-Princes-John-Janzen_Nature-Center-Escape-From-Winter Hinterland-Princes-John-Janzen_Nature-Center-Escape-From-Winter

And what good excursion is complete without a little snack break, huh?

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So, no lesson learned this time around, as the Nature Center is one of our favorite places to go to when we can’t get outside. We have actually never really spent time exploring the other outdoor activities that they offer there, so I am definitely interested in exploring that this coming spring and summer too. I really can’t recommend it highly enough!

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