Explore Nature – (513) 321-6070

Cincinnati Parks’ Explore Nature! has a mission to educate people of all ages about our relationship with nature, and instill enthusiasm about the natural and historical resources in the Cincinnati Parks system. Then, it will only feel natural to assist in its protection and management!

Have you ever made maple syrup right from the maple tree? Did you know Cincinnati Parks has a planetarium? Or that the simple stone shelters scattered through our parks actually exemplify a variety of architectural influences?

We have so many programs and facilities designed to get you and your friends or family interacting with the abundant nature thriving right in our city. Teachers are encouraged to contact us or view our brochures below, regarding school programs, to enhance lesson plans. Exploring nature is as close as the nearest Cincinnati Park.

Jan
19
Fri
Family Science Night *CANCELED*
Jan 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

*CANCELED* 

Science is everywhere! Bring your family to Caldwell Nature Preserve as we delve into the world of science. Dress for the weather to spend time outdoors exploring light deprivation activities on a night hike then warm up indoors with group demo experiments and fun self guided activities.  Fee: $5.00 per person or $15.00 per family.  For registration and prepayment, call 761-4313 before noon on Jan. 17. 

Jan
22
Mon
Adventures Under Glass: Preschool Camp at Krohn!
Jan 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Back by popular demand! BRRR!  Winter is usually a sea of brown and white. So join us at Krohn, where it’s always a sea of warm and green!  Our young campers ages 3 ½ – 5 and Park staff explore a new theme each Monday without crowds….Krohn is closed to the public on these Mondays! Scavenger hunts, stories, games, make and take crafts each day, games and much more keep the preschoolers engaged and active in this two hour camp. Dress your child for the weather; we plan to go outside too!

Three Mondays: January 22, 29 & February 5

Fee: $35.00 per camper.  Register online before Jan. 17:  Click here to register
Call 231-8678 for more information and to inquire about available spots after the deadline.

Jan
26
Fri
Survivor Girls! Overnight For Brownie Scouts
Jan 26 @ 6:00 pm – Jan 27 @ 2:30 pm

Survivor Girls! Have fun and learn everything ascout needs to know about outdoor skills and fire building! Girls become expertoutdoor explorers as we learn all about what it takes to survive in the woods,safely and comfortably. Together we practice useful skills such as, shelterbuilding, using a map plus compass, knot tying, basic first aid, as well asknife safety. Our full schedule includes nighttime and daytime activities such

as hikes, games, crafts and skill building. Fee: $25.00per scout and for non-leader adults. Non-refundable, pre-payment required.Special patches provided representing the different skills learned. Troops mustbring their own food. For more information or to inquire on available spots,call 761-4313. 

The Secret Life of Stars
Jan 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Twinkle, twinkle, little star how I wonder, what you are. Well, now we know, and you can too! The big ones live fast and die young. Some… eat their neighbors. While others… goout with a bang! From nebulas and novae to star formation and more, this showhas it all! Programs are open to adultsand children ages 5 and older accompanied by an adult. Fee:$5.00 per person. Seating is limited; call 751-3679 for reservations.

Jan
29
Mon
Adventures Under Glass: Preschool Camp at Krohn!
Jan 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Back by popular demand! BRRR!  Winter is usually a sea of brown and white. So join us at Krohn, where it’s always a sea of warm and green!  Our young campers ages 3 ½ – 5 and Park staff explore a new theme each Monday without crowds….Krohn is closed to the public on these Mondays! Scavenger hunts, stories, games, make and take crafts each day, games and much more keep the preschoolers engaged and active in this two hour camp. Dress your child for the weather; we plan to go outside too!

Three Mondays: January 22, 29 & February 5

Fee: $35.00 per camper.  Register online before Jan. 17:  Click here to register
Call 231-8678 for more information and to inquire about available spots after the deadline.

Feb
5
Mon
Adventures Under Glass: Preschool Camp at Krohn!
Feb 5 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Back by popular demand! BRRR!  Winter is usually a sea of brown and white. So join us at Krohn, where it’s always a sea of warm and green!  Our young campers ages 3 ½ – 5 and Park staff explore a new theme each Monday without crowds….Krohn is closed to the public on these Mondays! Scavenger hunts, stories, games, make and take crafts each day, games and much more keep the preschoolers engaged and active in this two hour camp. Dress your child for the weather; we plan to go outside too!

Three Mondays: January 22, 29 & February 5

Fee: $35.00 per camper.  Register online before Jan. 17:  Click here to register
Call 231-8678 for more information and to inquire about available spots after the deadline.

Feb
8
Thu
Homeschoolers: Winter Naturalist Olympics Day Camp!
Feb 8 @ 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

It’s the Winter Olympics! The winter NATURALIST Olympics! Children ages 8 – 13 learn new skills or perfect old ones in winter tree ID, mammals, herps, winter birding,and many more topics. Go on a winter hike to enhance your powers of observation, use your skills in the field, and enjoy the quiet beauty of the nature preserve in winter. Compete with other junior naturalists in collaborative small teams. Go for the gold! By gold, we mean the coveted Golden Acorn! An awards ceremony adds the final ending touch at the conclusion of camp. Fee: $30.00 per camper. Register online before Feb. 6: Click here to register

For more information or to inquire on available spots, call 231-8678.

Feb
9
Fri
Love in the Wild: Krohn by Candlelight Valentine’s Special
Feb 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

So you think you’ve had some strange dates? Nothing will compare to the pretty unusual courtship and mating behavior of those found in the wild. Not being eaten by your mate is a huge bonus in the insect world and jumping head over heels for each other is literally the way rabbits know they have a goodmatch.
Join other adults for an entertaining evening with an educational presentation by Park staff focused on our local wildlife and their ways of assessing, attracting, and supporting potential mates. Taste delicious light bites of wild game recipes and enjoy the beauty of Krohn at night. This will be an evening to remember for years to come! Program Fee: $20.00 per person or $30.00 per couple. Spaces are limited; register online before February 2 at: Click here to register

Call 321-6070 for moreinformation or to check on available spaces after the deadline. 

Feb
10
Sat
Backyard Maple 101
Feb 10 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Liveoff the land and learn to make your own maple syrup this winter.  Join in on the fun as we teach the tricks ofthe trade for making maple syrup at home. Discover what trees to tap, how tocollect and cook the sap into syrup. Most of the program is held outdoors sodress in layers . Tree-tapping spouts are available for sale during theprogram. FREE but reservations are required by calling 761-4313 by Feb 8.

Feb
16
Fri
The Stars in Your Eyes
Feb 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Join us for a special evening of romance under thestars.  You’ll hear some of the greatestlove stories ever told as we slowly make our way through the seasons.  Programs are open to adults and children ages5 and older accompanied by an adult. Fee: $5.00 per person. The Wolff Planetarium… where the stars come tolife.  Seating is limited; call 751-3679for reservations.

Program Listings

PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS

If you would like additional information on Cincinnati Parks’ various types of preschool programs and opportunities, please click on the appropriate link below: Preschool Program

SCHOOL PROGRAMMING

If you would like additional information on Cincinnati Parks’ various types of School Programming and opportunities, please click on the appropriate link below:

Caldwell Nature Center School Programming
California Woods School Programming
LaBoiteaux Nature Center School Programming
Trailside Nature Center School Programming

For more information please call (513) 321-6070 or view the full School Programs brochure.

HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS


Adventures in Homeschool Science Camp (for children 6 – 12 years old)
August 28 – September 1 (Mon. – Fri.), 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – LaBoiteaux Woods Preserve
Discover your inner scientist as we uncover the mysteries of space, make slime and learn
about more about “Grossology” in nature, enjoy close encounters with some feathered
friends while investigating the physics of flight and be part of a TREErific day performing
experiments on plants. Each day includes a local expert that assists campers with in-depth
investigations. Campers are split into age appropriate groups. Active games, projects and
other engaging activities are part of the daily schedule. Register online before August 23.
For more information, call 542-2909.

Nature Centers & Preserves

See What Our Nature Centers Have to Offer

Cincinnati Parks offers programming and education for all ages at its five nature centers located around the city. Krohn Conservatory, our beautiful showcase of a greenhouse in Eden Park, also features special programs for the general public and for schools. Our archives and library are located at the Bettman Natural Resource Center. Reserve a Nature Center!  See below for more information regarding special features and programming at all of these unique facilities:

avon-woodsAvon Woods Nature Center 4235 Paddock Road
Ph: (513) 861-3435

The Avon Woods Natural Area/Preserve is located only four miles from downtown Cincinnati. It features rolling hills, hiking trails, a stream-cut valley and community gardens. The trails are easy to locate and rated as moderate hiking. Avon Woods’ programs serve participants citywide and are designed for preschool age through senior citizens.

beetmanBettman Natural Resource Center 4 Beech Lane
Ph: (513) 321-6070

This is where Cincinnati Parks houses its rich collection of books and other materials regarding its history as well as nature education. Bettman also has a small nature preserve that is wheelchair accessible. The library and archives are open to the public by appointment; our volunteer staff is available on Tuesdays from Noon to 2pm. Please call 513.321.6070 for an appointment.

caldwellCaldwell Nature Center  430 W. North Bend Road
Ph: (513) 761-4313

These parklands have a long history, going back to Cincinnati’s earliest days. Today Caldwell has approximately 3.5 miles of nature trails and a variety of wildlife (including a flying squirrel population that can be spotted gliding among the treetops in the evenings) and wildflowers. Near the Nature Center is an amphitheater and an Access Trail so that even wheelchair users can venture into the woods. A deck along the Access Trail overlooks the ravine and creek, providing a lovely view in all seasons.

californiaCalifornia Woods Preserve – Marian J. and Charles D. Lindberg Nature Cneter  5400 Kellogg Ave.
Ph: (513) 231-8678

This park is set on 113 acres of pristine forest that includes 53 tree species, as well as, dozens of plant and flower species; Lick Run Creek runs through this nature preserve, and is home to wildlife that is a treat to see, such as kingfishers or snapping turtles. On one of California’s hiking trails, look for pileated woodpeckers and even great horned owls at home among the tall sycamores. There’s also a butterfly and hummingbird garden located directly in front of the nature center.

laboiteauxLaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center 5400 Lanius Ln.
Ph: (513) 542-2909

LaBoiteaux offers busy city-dwellers a true retreat into nature and local history. The hundreds of acres that make up LaBoiteaux Woods are home to deer, red and gray fox, mink, hawks, owls and turtles, and those woods are accessible via four miles of hiking trails. A rustic nature center houses nature displays, animal mounts, live animals, and a small nature library.

trailsideTrailside Nature Center Burnet Woods
Ph: (513) 751-3679

The Trailside Nature Center is located in Burnet Woods Park, adjoining the University of Cincinnati and one of Cincinnati’s oldest parks. It includes a children’s museum, a handicap-access meeting room for nature education programs, and a fishing lake created in 1875. While you’re at Burnet Woods, check out the schedule for the newly reopened Wolff Planetarium

Birthday Parties

For Ages 5 – 12

 *Most weekends are available August 15 – April 15 but call 321-6070 to check on availability during unlisted dates.

For a two hour party at a Nature Center, the Naturalist provides 90 minutes of fun-filled nature activities such as a short hike, hands-on activities, and a simple craft to keep as a memento. Please schedule at least 3 weeks in advance of your proposed dates.

Fee: $150 for up to 10 children; $15 for each additional child.

If more time is needed for the food and gift portion of the party, the cost is $25 for each additional 30 minutes.

TOPICS TO CHOOSE FROM:

*Creepy Crawly (Insects, Spiders, Reptiles and Amphibians)

*This theme is more appropriate during the Spring and Fall months.

Outside: Bingo hike; Insect Hunt with nets and games such as Creepy Crawly Crunch, Eeek! Spider! or Lemonade will be played.

Inside:  “What is an Insect vs Spider” presentation; Live animal presentation and a choice of craft, such as the Turtle Shell Hide or Climbing Spider.

Activities for older participants may include: Quick Frozen Critters game; frog catch craft (an adaptation of the ball in the cup craft); and a deeper investigation on common insects and how to identify them on the hike.

 

Forest Friends

Outside: Camouflage Hike which will include an activity where two teams take turns hiding and finding different color cut-out rabbits and Forest Friends Bingo. Games include Fox and Rabbit, Camouflage and Animal Catchers.

Inside: Taxidermy and live animal presentation; mammal puppet craft.

Activities for older participants may include: How Many Squirrels Can Live in This Forest and Bat and Moth games outside. Craft for this age group may include the Bat Catch (an adaptation of the ball and cup craft).

 

Winged Wonders (Birds, Butterflies and Bats)

Outside: Bingo hike; Games such as Birds-n-Worms and Build a Bird relay race.

Inside: Depending on the topic chosen, “How do birds and others fly” presentation, Feather Fun and Build a Bird activity. Craft choices are Butterfly Clothes Pin Craft; Tic-Tac-Toe Birds or Butterfly Suncatchers

Activities for older participants may include:  Scavenger Hunt; Migration Headache game; Paper Animal flying contest.

 

Fantastic Fossils

*not available at Trailside in Burnet Woods or Avon Woods (no creek for fossil hunting).

Outside: Fossil Hike in creek. Game: Fossil puzzle relay race and Trilobite Tag.

Inside: ”How did fossils form” presentation; Fossil Bingo and Fossil Wheel Craft.

Activities for older participants may include: Fossil card slap game; Fossil Cootie Craft.