Adult and Family Programs

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

Ongoing Events

Join us on a night hike through the woods. On the trails of the Mississippi Sanctuary and Olin Nature Preserve the terrain is light to moderate (may include some elevation change) and is appropriate for families. You can expect the hike to be about 2 miles, and will include stops along the way. Guides choose routes based on the group and do not pick the route until the night of the hike. $5 per non-member adult, children 15 and under are free and advanced registration is required. Members are free.

Register Here

Have an old telescope laying around, but never use it? Always wanted to look at the universe through a telescope, but don’t own one? You are in luck! Come on out to the Talahi Lodge on the scheduled dates and we will have some set up. You can also bring your own and we can help you use it. We will talk about how telescopes work and look at the moon and other night sky objects. Limited Space available, registration required. Free for members, $5 for non-members.

Register Here

Join us at Heartland Prairie at Gordon Moore Park in Alton for these bimonthly hikes, held on every second and fourth Tuesday, April through October. These walks are free and open to the public. Walks will focus on identifying native plants and birds. We will discuss the plants in our newer sections at the observation deck until approximately 6:00 p.m. so if you are running late, you can still meet us in the front section of the prairie. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water, binoculars and a plant identification book. FREE.

The Nature Institute is partnering with Brick City Yoga to bring you a relaxing morning out in nature. Join us for a 60 minute hike before connecting more in a 60 minute outdoor yoga practice with a view of the Mississippi River. Then, stick around for a coffee from local shop Germania Brew Haus. Mark your calendar and grab your hiking boots, along with your mat, for a nature-centric Saturday morning outing! $25/members, $30/non-members. Pre-registration is required.

Register Here

Join us for a 60 minute outdoor sunset yoga practice led by a local instructor. Then, take a 60 minute night hike under the moonlight with TNI’s education staff. End your experience with a refreshing glass of tea from Germania Brew Haus. Check below for upcoming dates and times. $25/members, $30/non-members. Pre-registration is required.

Register Here

The evil Denaturizer has struck at The Nature Institute. He has placed poison bombs across the preserve, which can only be accessed by solving an ensemble of crafty puzzles. If allowed to explode, these bombs will wipe out all living things in the Mississippi River from here to the Gulf of Mexico! Can you solve the clues and stop the explosions before it’s too late? 

This Outdoor Escape Room is suitable for ages 16 and up and takes place entirely outdoors. This program runs for up to 4 hours and may only be booked for one group at a time. Group size must be 4 – 8 people. $30/person for members, $35/person for non-members. Pre-registration is required.

Learn more and register here.

Rotating Programs

The Nature Institute and community partners will be help you get involved in community science projects through a series of 4 presentations.

Learn more here!

Join TNI to learn the basics of Wilderness First Aid (WFA). This two day intensive course covers essential principles and skills necessary for backcountry and isolated situations. The course is taught by a professional instructor with patient care and backcountry experience from Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA), who have been setting the standard in wilderness medicine for over 30 years. $250/members, $270/non-members. Spots are limited. This program runs on September 2-3, from 8 am – 6 pm each day.

Register Here

Cozy up with a blanket for a movie on the lawn! This free event takes place monthly from April through October. Watch a classic movie on our giant inflatable screen. Bring your own seating (lawn chairs or blankets), as well as your own snacks. No alcohol is permitted. See below for our upcoming presentations. No pre-registration required. While this event is FREE, donations are welcome! Limited parking is available, so arrive early to grab your seat.

See Movie Line Up Here

Join Lauren and her daughter for an afternoon hike with your littles. Connect with other area families and spend some time outdoors! The monthly hiking route will be posted prior to the date. Be sure to bring slings or carriers for younger children – our trails are not stroller friendly. This free program takes place the first Saturday afternoon of the month. Attendees are invited to stay and play on the playground after the hike. FREE for members and non-members. Pre-registration is preferred, but not required. All ages are welcome. Meet at the main trailhead by the parking lot.

Register Here

Join Jess Thenhaus, a certified Forest & Nature Therapy Guide, for a unique outdoor experience at The Nature Institute. Forest Bathing is a practice that supports health and wellness through guided immersion in forests and other environments to promote the well-being of both people and the land. Unplug and unwind as you connect with nature and the ‘more than human world’ in this immersive sensory experience. Experience the healing and wellness- promoting effects of Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing), the practice of bathing in the senses in the atmosphere of the forest. 

Learn more and register here.

Join The Nature Institute staff for a leisurely hike around the preserve to enjoy the fall bird migration. Hikes will occur on scheduled Tuesday (and one Saturday) mornings at 8:30am. Meet at the trailhead parking lot. We will hike a different trail each session ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty.

Since we will be mainly looking for birds, plan to bring a pair of binoculars with you. TNI has a few pairs to borrow for the hike. You will want to wear sturdy shoes, and dress for the weather. Bug spray will also be a desired addition for fall hikes.

This event is FREE. Suggested donation of $5.

Pre-registration is preferred, but not required. All ages are welcome.

Register Here.

The beginnings of fall bring many delicious snacks! Join our education staff for a leisurely hike to learn (and taste) the many edible plants out on the preserve. You’ll learn the basics of plant ID and then find some of the fall edibles out in the forest. This hike takes place on Tuesday, September 19th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm and is appropriate for ages 10 and up.

This program is open to TNI members only (all levels) and is completely free. Pre-registration is required.

Register Here.