Summer Youth Programs (all programs are 1.5 hours unless noted):
What lives in a barn? It’s not just the usual farm animals! Small wild animals also use the Nature Center’s big barn. Meet some friendly farm animals and learn about their favorite foods. Explore the farmyard area in search of the wild animals that find food and shelter in various nooks and crannies. Play a game featuring animal sounds. Ages 4-7.
Your children discover why a habitat is important to animals through a puppet show then head out on a habitat hike. They will visit a pond, a forest, a stream or a wetland and observe the plants and animals they find during their exploration! Ages 4-7.
Oregon Trail & its Wild Wonders
Students choose which possessions to take in the limited space of a covered wagon, then walk a dusty prairie trail and have the thrill of encountering new plants and animals. A team-building game will help everyone cross an imaginary river. Ages 8-11.
Fossil seashells and corals in Michigan? You bet!
Learn how fossils are formed and why we find them here. Hike to the Nature Center’s gravel pit and search for these buried treasures from ancient times. Ages 6-11.
On a warm summer day, what can be more fun that water games? Experience the cooling effects of evaporation. Observe the eroding power of water with an experiment and a game. Use corks to measure the flow rate of a woodland stream. Search for some of the hidden residents of the stream. Ages 6-11
Pioneer Chores & Child’s Play
Life on a 19th century Michigan farm was hard work, but children did have time to play! Youngsters do chores at a log cabin and explore an old farm house. Then they can test their wits with some old-fashioned puzzles and try their motor skills with hoops and stilts. Ages 6-11.
Take a walk with our naturalist and we’ll help your kids learn nature awareness skills. These may include some myth busting about common fears of Michigan wildlife, basic nature ID, and map and compass use. Kids will learn how to better enjoy their surroundings and to leave no trace when they explore the wonderful world of nature. Ages 8-12.
They live underwater, inside logs, and on top of leaves. They pollinate our favorite flowers and provide us with a sweet treat. Some use blood for food; others prefer nectar. Look for insects in their favorite hiding places. Compare your athletic skills with bug champions. All ages.
Investigating the Un-natural Trail
Join our naturalist on a unique trail of discovery. Test your observational skills while you hike to find certain plants and animals. However, our naturalist’s idea of a Blue Jay is a letter “J” painted blue! Help them find the “unnatural” plants and animals while you decipher other word game clues to learn about the actual living things. Ages 8-12.
Birds of Prey: X-Men of the Wild, Super Heroes of the Sky
Explore the super powers of birds of prey and learn how they survive in the wild. Meet a live bird of prey! All ages. Check out our Birds of Prey website for other programs with live birds of prey! One hour program. Note: An additional handling fee of $25 will be added to the total program cost for this program.