Children’s Programs

Check out the lists below to see our upcoming programs for children. Click on the name of the program to see more details and register.

Young Children

Knee High Naturalists Put on some boots and bring your sense of exploration. This program is designed for preschool aged children (3 – 5 years old) accompanied by an adult. Participants will learn about nature, read a story, and go for a short hike. This program takes place on the 1st Wednesday of the month and runs from 10-11am. $4/members, $5 non – members.

  • December 7Habitat Hunt
  • January 4 – Tracks in the Snow
  • February 1 – Excellent Evergreens
  • March 1stWho Scat That?
  • April 5thFascinating Fossils
  • May 3rdAll About Astronomy

Tiny Trekkers – Tiny Trekkers is a once a week drop off program for ages 3 – 5. Registration is offered by the month only, single class registrations are not permitted. Preschoolers will explore our 450 acres of preserve through hands-on experiences out in nature. Very limited spaces are available. This program runs from 9 – 11 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. Children must be able to use the restrooms independently. Please see our Tiny Trekkers page for more details.

  • Animal Superpowers: November 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd (no meeting on the 29th).
  • Backyard Wildlife: December 6th and 13th (no meeting on the 20th and 27th).
  • 5 Senses – March 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th.
  • Spring!: April 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th.
  • Wonders of Water: May 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd (no meeting on the 30th).


Discovery Nature ClubDiscovery Nature Club is an after school drop-off program for elementary students (1st – 5th grade). Students will meet bi-weekly to explore the preserve and learn more about nature. Registration is by the month. See below for the monthly themes. $18/month session for members, $20/month session for non-members. December is prorated at $9/member, $10/non-member. Pre-registration is required.

  • December 15 (no meeting on the 1st): Animals in Danger
  • March 7th & 21st Wild Weather!
  • April 4th & 18th – Outdoor Art
  • May 2nd & 16thLife in the Pond

Field Guides– Field Guides is offered bi-weekly in the fall and monthly in the spring. This program is an after school drop-off program for middle and high school students. Fall will focus on plants, while spring will focus on Outdoor Recreation! $9/session for members, $10/session for non-members. Pre-registration is required.

  • December 8th (no meeting on the 22nd due to holidays): Winter Tree ID
  • March 14thHiking
  • April 11thArchery
  • May 9thFishing

Outdoor EDventure Days – This drop off program provides a single camp day for students when schools are closed. Morning snack is included in the program pricing. Spaces are limited. This program runs from 9 am – 3 pm and is available to ages 6 – 12. See below for a description of our upcoming Outdoor EDventure Days.

  • November 23rd (Thanksgiving Break): Thankful for Nature (FULL) Explore the fall happenings at TNI and take time to appreciate nature. All campers will head home with a homemade centerpiece bound to be the talk of Thanksgiving dinner!
  • February 20th (President’s Day): World Wonders Explore the world from the comfort of the preserve! Test out some tasty bug snacks, play British school yard games, and practice paper mache.
  • April 10th (Spring Break): NSI (Nature Scene Investigations) – Oh no! A crime against nature has occurred at TNI. Help us investigate clues to solve the mystery!

Kids Night Out – Need an evening off? Join us for a Kids Night Out! This 3 hour drop off program includes dinner and an evening of fun for ages 6 – 10 (unless stated otherwise). This program is offered once a month in fall and spring on a Friday evening. Spaces are limited. See below for a description of our upcoming Kids Night Out.

  • December 9th: Forbidden Trek (ages 10 – 14), 5-8 pm – Join TNI after dark for a night of adventures. Hike off trail to explore forbidden routes and learn about animals that are the exceptions to the rules of the animal kingdom. Eat popsicles in December. It’s time to let the (bigger) kids have a night out!
  • January 27th: Winter Wonderland, 4-7 pm – What happens at TNI when the front gates close for the season? The wonders of winter begin! Explore the preserve in the dead of winter to see what’s happening during the cold season.
  • February 10th: In Love with Nature, 4-7 pm – Celebrate your love for nature at The Nature Institute! This Valentine’s themed Kids Night Out will include crafts, fun activities, and games.
  • March 24th: Kitchen Chemistry, 4-7 pm – Learn how to use basic kitchen materials to create some amazing science experiments!
  • April 21st: Diggin’ for Dinos, 5 – 8 pm – A classic night of dinosaur fun! Uncover fossils and learn how the land has shifted since the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
  • May 19th: Make a Splash, 5 – 8 pm – Summer is getting close, so it’s time to break out the water activities! Join us for a night of creek walks, water games, and H20 experiments.