White text on a textured beige background reads "Educational Programs: Immerse yourselves in Canadian history, 75 ft underground." An image on the right shows the square of tables and chairs set up inside the War Cabinet Room at the Diefenbunker.

The Diefenbunker is one of the most unique educational sites in Canada, offering a one-of-a-kind experiential learning environment 75 ft underground. Tour the museum with your class or school group to experience the complexities of the Cold War first-hand and to see how it affects our lives today.

The Diefenbunker offers educational programs with links to history, geography, social studies, language arts, science, mathematics, and visual arts curricula. Combining an informative tour of the bunker with engaging activities and discussion, students can immerse themselves in the Cold War and experience Canadian history from a perspective unlike any other.

Our educational programs are now offered on-site and virtually!

The safety of you, your students, our staff, and our volunteers is our top priority. At this time, we can accommodate on-site and virtual programs to suit your needs and in response to changing public health recommendations. Both on-site and virtual programs include an informative tour component and an interactive activity with discussion.

A group of students stands outside the door to the Bank of Canada Vault on a tour of the Diefenbunker.

On-Site

  • 2 hours (1 hour tour + 1 hour activity)
  • Starting at $11.50/youth participant*
  • English, or available in French by request
  • Wednesday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • No programs on statutory holidays

*see detailed pricing here

Virtual

  • 60 minutes (including tour + activity)
  • $75/group
  • English, or available in French by request
  • Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., including during closures
  • No programs on statutory holidays

Book your program today!

To reserve a time for an educational program on-site at the Diefenbunker or virtually to your homes or classrooms, please fill out the appropriate Program Registration Form below and return it to our Operations Team by email at reservations@diefenbunker.ca.

Please return the Program Registration Form to us at least two weeks prior to your intended program date, as space is limited. For any questions or special requests, please contact our Operations Team by email at reservations@diefenbunker.ca or by phone at 613-839-0007 x227.

Learn more

More information on the programs and a checklist for educators can be found at the links below.

Program Descriptions

Art and Peacebuilding (Grades 4–12)

On-site | Virtual

What role did art play in the Cold War? How can art be used to build and promote peace? This program encourages dialogue and discussion about the role of art in peacebuilding, art as an expression of values, and how art can promote ideas. Students view examples of art from the Cold War and make their own artworks.

Conflict Resolution (Grades 7–10)

On-site

This program follows YOUCAN Ottawa’s teaching of conflict resolution skills, which has been successful for twenty years. Students begin by exploring the communication and decision-making skills needed in conflict resolution. Next, they adopt the roles of key officials engaged in an emergency, to practise those skills. Lastly, students reflect on how these same skills can help them in everyday situations.

See the Special Program Registration Form for more details.

Continuity of Government (Grades 7–12)

On-site | Virtual

This program uses primary sources from a scenario that took place in 1986, when the Diefenbunker was active. As air-raid sirens blare, students are assigned key roles and tasked with making difficult decisions for Canada. They learn about Canada’s War Measures Act and the role that the different levels of government play in an emergency.

Daily Life in the Diefenbunker (Grades 5–9)

On-site | Virtual

In this program, students explore what life would have been like in the Diefenbunker during a lockdown. Divided into three groups (military, civilian, and government), they discover how each group would operate during an emergency. They then debate the importance of each individual’s role in the defence of the country, to decide who among them warrants one of the limited spots in the bunker.

Emergency Preparedness (Grades 6–12)

On-site | Virtual

What did people do to stay safe during the Cold War? To find out, students watch a primary source: the 1973 government-issued 11 Steps to Survival video. Students then look at emergency preparedness in today’s context, and end the program by building their own emergency survival kit.

Our Dash for Survival program (Grades 8–12) is not currently being offered.

Students sit around the table in the War Cabinet Room, some of them raising their hands.
Two students holding papers interact with a wall map in the Emergency Government Situation Centre of the Diefenbunker.
Four students look excitedly at clues in their hands, and one of them is pointing.
A group of students are in discussion as they stand around a map of Canada showing fallout zones.
Students sitting at in War Cabinet Room are in discussion and writing notes on papers in front of them.
Three young students crouch on the floor with paintbrushes over their canvases.
Four students look at a board of clues held by the facilitator in front of them in the hallway of the Diefenbunker.
Two students stand to point out locations on a map of Canada.
Four students huddle around a facilitator with clues outside the Bank of Canada Vault.
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