the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder and Visitor Center is home to a series of hands-on environmental programs for children and adults.

Visit the center to learn more about the Connecticut River watershed, the salmon and other fish that use the fish ladder, and the river's many plants and animals. An experienced naturalist educator is on hand to answer any questions and lead free, hands-on environmental programs throughout the summer. The Nature Museum operates the Visitor Center on behalf of Great River Hydro, owner of the fish ladder as well as the hydroelectric facility in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

Summer Programming

The Nature Museum's environmental educator will lead programming at the center this summer. Free family programs will happen each Friday and Saturday from 10am-11am beginning Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th. Please note: There will be no special programming on 7/13, 7/14, 7/27, 7/28. The family programs are recommended for children ages 4 and up. Check out this summer's lineup!

Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th
10AM - Pollinators - The Unsung Heroes!
What is a pollinator? How do they pollinate? Bees are not the only pollinators! Other pollinators include non-honey bees, butterflies, moths, other insects, birds, and even bats! On average, one out of every three to four bites of food we eat or sips of a drink we gulp are made possible by pollinators. Come learn and discover something new about the native pollinator heroes right in our backyards. Be ready to learn, hear a story,  taste some local honey, and create a craft!

Friday, June 22nd and Saturday, June 23rd
10AM - World of Owls - What’s All the Hoot About?
Owls are magnificent predators that we often think of as hooting birds of the night. But, there’s for more to owls than their hoots and nighttime activity. Come discover how they hunt, what owls call New England home, and why these birds are such amazing creatures. Hear a story, see and touch real owl biofacts, and make a fun owl-themed craft!

**PLUS: Saturday, June 23rd we are throwing a grand reopening party that includes a visit by master diver Annette Spaulding, who will share what she's discovered at the bottom of the Connecticut River over the past thirty years. 

Friday, July 6th and Saturday, July 7th
10AM - Winged Predators - Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, and more!
Have you ever heard of the word raptor? These predators of the sky are magnificent and are a truly special group of birds. Come learn about what makes raptors special, and learn more about America’s national bird, the bald eagle. Join us to enjoy a story, discover more about native raptors, and create a bald eagle-themed craft!

Friday, July 20th and Saturday, July 21st
10AM - Abenaki and Nature
The Abenaki are the indigenous people that have called much of Northern New England home for thousands of years. The Abenaki have, and have always had, a strong kinship with nature and the land. Learn about Abenaki life pre-contact to the Europeans and discover what tools, skills, and natural resources they used. Observe Native American artifacts first-hand, hear a story, and create a nature-themed craft!

Friday August 3rd and Saturday, August 4th
10AM - The Beaver - One of Nature’s Extraordinary Architects
Did you know that the North American beaver is a rodent and an “architect”? These large rodents are truly incredible. Come learn more about their way of life and how they change the landscape, including right here in Northern New England. Explore hands-on beaver biofacts, listen to a story, try on a beaver costume, and build your own beaver craft!

Friday, August 10th and Saturday, August 11th
10AM - Inspecta Insecta
Insects can be big, small, colorful, camouflaged, winged, and more. Get up close and personal with one of the most diverse groups of creatures on the planet! We will learn what makes an insect an insect and how these creatures live and thrive. Inspect insect biofacts, listen to story, and make a an insect craft masterpiece!

Friday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th
10AM - Fuzzy, Flying, and Misunderstood - Bats
Bats often get a bad rap even though they’re incredibly important, and special, animals. Several species of these night-flying fuzzy mammals call New England home. Come join us to dispel bat myths and learn more about these misunderstood winged wonders. See bat biofacts, stick around for a bat story, and create your own bat craft!

Friday, August 24th and 25th
10AM - Reptile or Amphibian? What’s the Difference?
Northern New England is home to many righteous reptiles and awesome amphibians! But, how do you tell them apart? What do they look like? Learn the answers to these questions and discover more about these interesting creatures. Check out some hands-on biofacts, settle in for a story reading, and make a cool craft!

Friday, August 31st and Saturday, September 1st
10AM - All About Black Bears
One of the New England’s biggest and most popular wildlife creatures is the American black bear. Although often feared, these big mammals are intelligent, sneaky, and beautiful. Come hear about black bear facts, explore some black bear biofacts, snuggle up for a story reading, and create your own bear den craft!

Plan Your Visit


Open on Fridays and Saturdays from Memorial Day Weekend (May 25. 2018) through Labor Day Weekend (September 1, 2018).

Hours: 10:00AM - 4:00PM

Special free programs from 10:00AM - 11:00AM beginning Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th. Please note: There will be no special programming on 7/13, 7/14, 7/27, 7/28


17 Bridge Street, Bellows Falls, VT 05101
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Phone 802.460.4664 or 802.843.2111