Connecting children to nature is one of the key goals of The Nature Museum. We offer programs for children at the Museum, in the community, in the schools, and at local libraries.
But these are only our meeting points. Whenever possible--at every time of year, in all kinds of weather--we hold our programs in and around the fields, streams, ponds, and woods. When we have to be inside, we bring the outdoors in with specimens, mounts, and lively nature activities and games.
In the summer time, we run several camps at our museum in Grafton; we are also out in the community offering free drop-in programming at local libraries and the Bellows Falls Visitor Center.
Browse Programming By Age
The Whole Family // All Ages
We create opportunities for families to discover and appreciate nature together; falling in step with the unhurried pace of the natural world is a simple way to relax and enjoy each other's company.
Bellows Falls Fish Ladder and Visitor Center
Visit the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder, which The Nature Museum runs all summer long, 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 center is open from 10am-4pm on Fridays and Saturdays; special programs take place both days at 10am. See the full schedule >
This Saturday all ages program runs October-June and is designed to build a greater understanding between all creatures of the Earth by exploring the mysteries of nature. By offering a shared experience that draws families together, participants will develop a stronger kinship with our Earth and each other. Programs offer hands-on activities both indoors and out. All ages welcome. Admission is by donation and includes exploring the Nature Museum's exhibits on your own following the program.
Fairy House Festival
Held the last weekend in September
Since 2008, we've celebrated our annual Fairy House Festival as an opportunity for people of all ages to interact directly with the Vermont landscape, expressing their creativity while fostering a deeper relationship with the natural world.
Little Kids / Ages 3-5
For our smallest naturalists, we offer creative, open-ended, exploratory programs for children aged 3 to 5 and their caregivers. Our goal: to foster an early love of the natural world and an eagerness to have fun outside!
Mighty Acorns Club
Held from September to June on the second Friday of each month, Mighty Acorns Club invites young adventurers to explore the natural world through interactive games, puzzles, and activities. This program is held at The Nature Museum and most sessions involve exploring our backyard and the nearby woods, fields and pond; environmental educator Jay DeGregorio leads the group. We hope you and your little ones can join us!
Please note: Mighty Acorns Club will happen rain or shine! Make sure you and your mighty acorn(s) are ready for whatever the weather has in store for us! If there are unsafe weather conditions (e.g. thunder/lightning, high winds, extreme cold, etc.), we will have an alternative indoor activity.
$5 in advance per child; $8 drop-in. Caregivers are free.
Youth | Ages 6-9
Time in nature increases happiness, health, and well-being in kids. Turn off the TV, switch off the laptop, hide the phone, open the door, look up, and get outside with the Nature Museum!
Our Brave Bears camps are educational, hands-on adventures that get your child outdoors, using their mind and body. Held over the summer and during school vacations, these camps include educational, full day experiences that bring children outside to exercise their minds and bodies. We build confidence and independence by teaching nature wilderness skills in a safe and fun group environment. Wonder is our goal! Youth will cultivate a deeper relationship with the natural world with The Nature Museum.
Summer 2018 Brave Bears Camp Dates
Example Schedule of a Brave Bears Camp Day
- 9:30 | Check in
- 10-11:00 | Nature lesson and show & tell of items brought in by campers
- 11-11:20 | Snack
- 11:20-12:30 | Exploration of woods – Fort building and woodland games
- 12:30-1:00 | Lunch in the woods
- 1-3:00 | Stream time; amphibian & macro invertebrate collection and water games
Teens & Tweens | Ages 10-14
As kids grow older, they get busier and busier and for some there is less and less time to be outside and in nature.
For this age group, we offer seasonal workshops as part of our Wild Walkers program in conjunction with the Vermont Wilderness School. We believe that the great outdoors can teach our soon-to-be and current teenagers a multitude of things. But most importantly, our programs aim to create organic opportunities for teens looking to experience the natural world for themselves.
The simple joy of experiencing and nature plus the bonus gifts that time outside can bring (developing independence, building self-esteem and adaptability come to mind!) is the experience we strive to make possible for these young participants.
There are currently no Wild Walkers Programs scheduled; please join our mailing list to be updated about future programs.