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Explore Nature

Explore Nature Autumn Programming

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

All programs were created following COVID-19 safety guidelines; including limiting the number of participants, social distancing and other requirements.

Join us on Facebook Live Thursday’s at 10:00 a.m.

12/3/20 Topic: Wild Canines
12/10/20 Topic: Ice Age America
12/17/20 Topic: Fire Building

Self Guided StoryWalk: “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves”

California Woods Nature Preserve- 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230, Along the Ridge Loop (“R”) Trail
Daily the Entire Month of November

Follow Fletcher the Fox, authored by Julia Rawlinson, along the ridge loop and read with your family as you walk and learn about Fall! “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” will be up along the trail throughout October. Hike anytime between dawn and dusk to enjoy the story. At the last StoryWalk station, we have a small box with a journal and hand sanitizer inside. We would love for children and their adults to record their thoughts and reflections on this self-guided experience.

No Registration Required
FREE

Active Adults – Hike Series

Recurring Mondays in November

Join other active adults for a vigorous hike in some of Cincinnati’s most beautiful parks.  Hikes are rain or shine, but will be cancelled in case of severe weather.  Sturdy footwear recommended. Online registration for this free event is required. For meeting locations and more information, email Michael.george@cincinnati-oh.gov or call 513-751-3679.

Registration Required
FREE

11/23/20 – Active Adults Hike

Ault Park, 5090 Observatory Ave 45208

Date: Monday, November 23, 2020

Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Ages: Adults

 

11/30/20 – Active Adults Hike

French Park, 3012 Section Road 45237

Date: Monday, November 30, 2020

Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Ages: Adults

Railroad History Hike
California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230
Saturday, November 21, 2020, 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Walk where trains once rolled on the California Junction Trail and learn how steam locomotives and electric trolleys changed life in southwest Ohio. See signs of the past all around you on this moderate-to-easy mile-plus hike. Meet at the Marian J. and Charles D. Lindberg Nature Center. Online registrations are required before November 19 at: https://explorenature.regfox.com/railroadhistoryhike. Call 513-231-8678 for more information.

Registration Required

Free

Railroad History Registration Page

School Break Camp – Fabulous Fall Fun!

Trailside Nature Center, 3251 Brookline Ave.
Wednesday November 25, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Grades: 1st – 4th

It’s fall fun in the woods! Join in on a day of exploration, seasonal games, and get creative with arts and crafts as we celebrate fall!  It will be nuts!  Pack a lunch and drink, and dress for the weather. Online registration for this event is required

Registration: $30 per camper

School Break Camp Series Registration Link

School Break Camp – Harvest Day Camp

LaBoiteaux Nature Center, 5400 Lanius Lane
Friday November 27, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Grades: 1st – 4th

Celebrate the Harvest in this after Thanksgiving Day camp.  We will make seasonal crafts, play games, and explore the forest to see how plants and animals are preparing for winter. Online registration for this event is required.

Registration: $30 per camper

School Break Camp Series Registration Link

VIRTUAL Holiday Crafts Workshop
LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati OH 45224
Date: pick up supplies from November 30 to December 4, 2020

Four easy crafts to make at home, register & pay online, pick up supply packets at LaBoiteaux the week of November 30th. Watch video sent to your email address of four crafts being made with instructions. Video sent on December 4th by 4:00 PM. Online registration for this event is required by November 25th to allow time for kits to be assembled. For more information, please call 513-542-2909 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov

Registration Required

Fee: $5/packet of supplies and written instructions

Art Play Hike
California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45228
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2020, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Ages: 2 – 6 with adult

This fall Thursday Art Play begins a new outdoor series in partnership with the Cincinnati Parks. Join us this month as we explore California Woods, take part in hands-on art making and try out some kid-friendly yoga poses. Bundle up! These monthly hikes will take place rain or shine. Come explore the great outdoors with your little one, warm up with some coffee or hot coco and take home an art activity bag. Each family will receive an interactive park print designed by a local artist.

During the program masks are recommended for participants 4 and up. Art Play Hike is free however, registration is required in order to limit visitor capacity. This program is designed for children ages 2-6 and their parent or caregiver. For more information, please call 513-542-2909 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov.

Registration Required

FREE

Almost Winter Night Hike
California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45228
Date: Saturday, December 5, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Walk in the almost-winter quiet of the night as we explore the preserve after hours. Enjoy the calm of the cool forest as we walk under the evening sky. Afterwards, reward and replenish with a crackling campfire. Email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnati-oh.gov or call 513-231-8678 for more information.

Registration Required.

FREE

Eradicating Alien Invaders
Avon Woods Nature Preserve, 4235 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45229
Saturday, December 5, 2020, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Join us for a “Green Up Day” in the middle of winter. Help Avon Woods Nature Preserve remove harmful invasive plants such as winter creeper and honeysuckle. You’ll be rewarded with a bounty of Spring wildflowers. Light refreshments provided for volunteers afterward.  For more information, call 513-861-3435.

Registration Required

FREE

Holiday Wreath Making
Caldwell Nature Preserve 430 W. North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45216
Saturday, December 5, 2020,  1:00 PM- 3:00 PM

Age: Appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and over accompanied by an adult.
Make something beautiful for the holidays in a festively decorated home. Join our professional florist for a lesson in floral design. Make a beautiful wreath with fresh greens, ribbons and accents. Materials and instruction are provided but the creative touches are all yours. Feel free to bring personal embellishments to accent it for your home. Non-alcoholic beverages and light refreshments are provided.  Call 513-761-4313 or email kathy.bock@cincinnati-oh.gov for more information.

Registration Required

Fee: $30

Eco-Friends: Upcycled Holiday Gifting & Ornament Craft
Location: Bettman Natural Resource Center
Wednesday December 9th, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Age: Teens/Adults
Learn how to create fun upcycled gifts using materials you may already have on hand. Create a trendy ornament out of single use plastic straws in the traditional Himmeli style! Save your straws to bring with you or use ones provided.

Registration Required

Brownie Scout Home Scientist – Skill Building Badge
Caldwell Nature Preserve 430 W. North Bend Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45216
Tuesday, December 8 & 15, 2020, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Brownies perform all sorts of experiments in this fun, hands on badge. Girls make rock candy, bubbles and others to earn their Home Scientist Badge. Fee: $ 6 per scout and non-leader adults. Fee does not include patches/badges Patches are not provided. Call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov for more information.

Registration Required.
Fee: $5

Brownie Scout Home Scientist – Skill Building Badge
Caldwell Nature Preserve 430 W. North Bend Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45216
Tuesday, December 8 & 15, 2020, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Brownies perform all sorts of experiments in this fun, hands on badge. Girls make rock candy, bubbles and others to earn their Home Scientist Badge. Fee does not include patches/badges. Patches are not provided. Call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov for more information.

Registration Required.

Fee: $6

Early Winter Woods Hike
Stanbery Park, 2221 Oxford Avenue 45230
Saturday, December 12th, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00

Explore the beauty of Stanbery Woods with an early winter woods hike. The perimeter trails offers opportunities to learn about the unique geology of the Stanbery Park creek, explore the winter woods and search out those last few mammals getting ready for winter. Wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Meet in the parking lot. This program is FREE. To limit capacity online pre-registration is required. For more information, please call 513-751-3679 or Email Michael.george@cincinnati-oh.gov

Registration Required to Limit Capacity

Free

Winter Tree Identification Hike
Ault Park 5090 Observatory Circle Cincinnati, OH 45208
Saturday, December 12, 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

How can you tell an Oak from a Maple without leaves? Join us as we hike the woods of Ault Park and learn the tricks of identifying trees through twigs, bark and branches. We will meet in the parking lot by the tree trail. Please be dressed for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Be aware Ault Park’s trails do have hills. Space is limited and online reservations are required. Call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov for more information.

Registration Required to Help Limit Capacity

FREE

Homeschool: Earth’s Living History Day Camp
Avon Woods Nature Preserve, 4235 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45229
Thursday, December 17, 2020, 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

This Earth is ever-changing! Come learn about the earth’s processes, how much of the surface is covered in water, how weathering and erosion shape our lands, and observe the unique topography of Cincinnati’s landscape and its glacial past. We’ll also delve into the fossil record as well as extinction and send you home with your own fossil to start your collection. Please register only before December 15.

Registration Required. Limited Capacity.

FEE: $30

Nearly Winter Solstice Night Hike
LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224
Saturday, December 19, 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Enjoy a Naturalist led hike through LaBoiteaux Woods and experience the forest at night. Nighttime activities on this not-quite Solstice hike will test your night vision, see if you can hear like an owl, and more. Join us for a part of the nearly longest night of the year. Trails are steep and rugged, sturdy footwear with good tread is highly recommended. Flashlights are welcomed, but there will be a time where they will be asked to be turned off. No dogs, please. Foul weather cancels this event. Meet at the nature center. Please register only by December 16th. For more information, please call 513-542-2909 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov.

Registration Required. Limited Capacity.

Fee: Free

Virtual Winter Break Camps
Virtual ‘Harry Potter’ Winter Break Camp
Caldwell Nature Preserve 430 W. North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45216
Dates: 12/21/20, 12/22/20, 12/23/20
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM for virtual instruction
Ages: 6 – 12
Have you received your Hogwarts Letter? Join us for your classes each day to become a witch or wizard. We will have assignments for home each day and then meet up for class to work on your wizarding techniques through an online zoom meeting. Supplemental resources and home activities provided. For more information please call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov.

Online Registration Opens December 1. Here. 
Fee: $20

Virtual ‘Surviving Winter’ Winter Break Camp
Avon Woods Nature Preserve, 4235 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45229
Dates: 12/28/20, 12/29/20, 12/30/20
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
It’s time for the wildlife to brace itself – Winter is coming! Join us for this virtual week of camp as we discover how each of these animals are uniquely adapted to dealing with the cold weather. Each day will feature different types of animals and discussion through an online zoom meeting. Supplemental resources and home activities provided.

Check Back Here. Online Registration Opens December 1.
Fee:$20

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 planetarium programs?
  • 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.

Calendar of Events

Programs

Scout Programs

Let us help you plan the perfect scouting program for your scouts! Program areas include Nature Study, Ecology, Environment, Science, Local History, Outdoor Skills, and more. From hands-on career experiences to fulfilling requirements of merit badges, we can tailor any program to meet the needs or interests of your group.

Preschool, School and Homeschool Programs

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

For more information please call (513) 321-6070.

School Break Day Camp

Camps are not just for summer anymore….there is a lot to be discovered at our Nature Centers and preserves in Fall, Winter and Spring! Our one day camps are led by our professional Naturalist staff who plan an active day of exploratory hikes, outdoor games, live animal encounters, make and take projects and other FUN hands-on activities centered around local nature topics. Each camp runs from 9:30am – 2:30pm and have their own unique theme that correlates to the season:

  • Harvest Day Camp – Wednesday before Thanksgiving
  • Winter Break Day Camps – Based on the CPS calendar
  • President’s Day Camp – Monday of President Day Weekend
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Camp – Monday of MLK Weekend
  • Spring Break Day Camp – Based on the CPS calendar

Birthday Parties

FOR AGES 5 – 12

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.

Nature Centers & Preserves

See what our nature centers have to offer! Explore all of the rolling hills, hiking trails, green spaces and community gardens. Interested in reserving a nature center?

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Experiences

Experiences

Events

Events

Reservations

Reservations