Special events at KNCSpecial Events at KNC

There is always something fun to do at KNC! We celebrate the changing seasons with fun and educational programs and invite you to visit one or all of the special events held throughout the year. Admission to KNC members is always free. Non-members pay regular admission.

Guest passes and coupons are not valid at special events.


2018 Events at KNC
March - Maple Sugar Festival

maple sap dripping into bucketMaple Sugar Festival
Saturday, March 10, 9am-5pm
& Sunday, March 11, 9am-5pm

See the schedule of activities here!

Start your day with delicious pancakes smothered in real maple syrup! After breakfast join a maple sugar tour for a walk along a wooded trail with a KNC Naturalist where you’ll learn about the process involved in turning sap into syrup. Visitors of all ages will enjoy LIVE animal programs throughout the day highlighting KNC’s amazing Birds of Prey up close!  Kids can stop at the activities and crafts stations for some added fun.

The historic DeLano Homestead will be open for tours from 11am-5pm on both days. Inside the 1850’s farmhouse fiber artists will be demonstrating their work along with activities for the kids. Step outside to see the sugaring process as it was in pioneer times along with blacksmithing demonstrations.  Be sure to take a horse-drawn wagon ride (weather permitting) around DeLano Farms to feel the fresh spring air.

Join the Lee’s Hiking Spree and earn a new 2018 medallion for hiking five of KNC’s 13 trails and a special maple leaf medallion for completing a sugaring tour.  KNC efforts to be more sustainable are continuing with recyclable and compostable dishes for all food service.    
Proceeds from this yearly fundraiser support KNC programs! Guest passes not valid during special events.

April - Earth Day Celebration

Young scientist at Earth DayEarth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 21, 9am-5pm

It’s time to get outside and celebrate springtime at the Kalamazoo Nature Center! The Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 21 offers daylong activities with free admission from 9am-5pm.

Start the day with a 5K Trail Run along some of KNC’s most beautiful trails. The untimed run/walk  begins at 10am and includes steep hills, forest views, and a variety of terrain. The $30 registration fee includes an official run shirt while quantities/sizes last. The kids’ can join in too at 9 am for the Kids’ Raccoon Run for ages 8 and under. This 1K romp around the Habitat Haven Trail is stroller-friendly and includes a run t-shirt with the $15 registration fee. 
Register online by April 1 to guarantee a shirt/size  at NatureCenter.org.

Everyone can join in on the day’s festivities with special programs and hikes for all ages. 

Earth Day Activities with Free admission: 9 am - 4 pm

Trail hiking
Creature Features
Children’s crafts & activities
Ask the Naturalist
Nature’s Playground open
Tamera Hirzel-Printmaking Exhibition
New! Open Roads: Open Shop in the Arboretum
Bring your bike and chat with Open Roads team members about proper bike tuning & maintenance.
Special Programs:
11 am: Live Animal Program featuring Birds of Prey
11:30 am: Guided Walk: Fern Valley Trail
12:30 pm: Kalamazoo Book Arts Center: Paper Making Presentation
    Join Jeff Abshear, Executive Director at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center as he demonstrates how paper is made and how plants and natural fibers can enhance the beauty of a sheet of handmade paper.
1:30 pm: Guided Walk: Arboretum Sculpture Tour
3 pm: Live Animal Program Featuring Birds of Prey
August - Mud Fest

Mud Fest
Sunday, August 26, 12-5pm

We love summer at the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) Now is the chance for everyone to feel like a kid at camp again at Mud Fest Celebration!

Bring a picnic lunch if you like and enjoy a day full of fun at KNC. All of the experiences our campers enjoy will be available for everyone.

-The giant mud pit
-Obstacle course
-Splash around in Nature’s Playground
-Giant slip-n-slide with a big splash at the end!
-Arts & crafts including mud paintings and mud pies
-Kids activities and games

There will be LIVE animal demonstrations, music, and yummy ice cream $5  to cool you down. So come celebrate summer and mud at KNC ‘s Mud Fest, Sunday, August 26, 12-5 pm. Getting dirty never felt so good!

Regular KNC admission includes Mud Fest activities. Guest passes are not valid at special events.
*Additional fee required for the zip-line $10 first zip $5 each additional zip.-must be 4th grade and up.



Kids feeding the goats at fall festFarm-ToberFest!
Saturday, October 6, 12-8pm

Celebrate the harvest season by enjoying all that DeLano Farms has to offer! Visit KNC’s DeLano Farms on Saturday, October 6 from 12-8 pm for, music, horse drawn wagon rides, arts & crafts vendor, food and spirits, and fun activities for all ages.

~ Tour the historic DeLano Homestead Farmhouse
~Visit and shop artisan products and food trucks.
~Take a horse-drawn wagon ride ($2 per ride, weather permitting)
~Feed the DeLano Farms goats and visit with the heritage breed chickens for a
  real farm experience
~Kids games and activities.

~ Stroll along the lantern-lit "Trail or Treats" and meet woodland characters 
   along the way with treats for the kids. 
~Visit the food and beer/spirits vendors and artisan booths
~Enjoy live music

Regular KNC admission applies; guest passes not valid for special events

December - Buy Local Art & Gift Fair

squirrel with candy caneBuy Local Art & Gift Fair
Saturday, December 8, 9am-4pm

The Buy Local Art & Gift Fair is not your ordinary art fair! More than 50 local artisans transform the Visitor Center with their creative displays and top quality work. Visitors enjoy chatting with the artists and vendors, surrounded by the beauty of the winter woods. KNC supports buying local and gives back to the community by offering FREE ADMISSION to both the Art & Gift Fair and the beautiful winter trails.