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Explore Nature

Explore Nature 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.

Summer Camp Registration

Goes live on Saturday February 27th at 12:00 p.m. (Noon).

Please check back soon for more information on our scholarship program and the status of the teen Counselors in Training (CIT) program. We look forward to serving you and your family at our award winning nature day camps!

Click Here for Summer Camp Registration Link

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

01/14/21 Topic: Winter Tree ID, The Three B’s
01/21/21 Topic: Backyard Bird Feeding
01/28/21 Topic: Wasps – Yellow Jackets – Hornets
02/04/21 Topic: Maple Sugaring
02/11/21 Topic: Maple Sugaring
02/18/21 Topic: Tracks
02/25/21 Topic: DIY Gelatin Bird Feeder

January Story Walk

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45230

Through the months of December and January, enjoy our self-guided, winter story walk along the Ridge Loop Trail at California Woods! Read Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner, the story of a father and daughter cross country skiing in the woods. Adventure with these characters as they discover there is more than meets the eye in the natural world; especially when snow is involved!

FREE

World Peace Yoga – Virtual Yoga

Recurring Saturdays and Sundays – December thru March

Enjoy virtual yoga sessions live streamed from the Trailside Nature Center in the peace and comfort of your own home.  These are all levels, beginner-friendly classes. The Cincinnati Parks and Cincinnati Parks Foundation is proud to support FREE community yoga as part of the Stewards of Burnet Woods Wellness Series. All classes our offered Eastern Standard/ Daylight time on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.
Virtual Yoga Registration Link
Please fill out the liability waiver form below before attending your first yoga session
FREE

Dates: Saturdays / 11:00 AM – noon

1/16/21
1/23/21
1/30/21
2/6/21
2/13/21
2/20/21
2/27/21

Dates: Sundays / 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

1/17/21
1/24/21
1/31/21
2/7/21
2/14/21
2/21/21
2/28/21

Hardy Souls – Winter Hike Series

Recurring Mondays in January and February
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.
Hardy Souls Hike Registration Link
FREE

1/18/21 – Hardy Souls
Mt. Echo
Date: Monday, January 18, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults
Max: 9 participants
Staff: 1 part time Naturalist

1/25/21 – Hardy Souls
McFarlan Woods – McFarlan Ridge Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45211
Date: Monday, January 25, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

2/1/21 -Hardy Souls
Magrish Preserve – 5004 Canoe Court, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Date: Monday, February 1, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

2/8/21 – Hardy Souls
Mt. Airy Forest – 5083 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223
Date: Monday, February 8, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

2/15/21 – Hardy Souls
Mt. Echo Park – 202 Crestline Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45205
Date: Monday, February 15, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

2/22/21 – Hardy Souls
Parker Woods – 440 Haigh Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223
Date: Monday, February 22, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

Fun With Feathered Friends Preschool Series

Caldwell Nature Center, 430 W. N. Bend Rd, Cincinnati, Oh. 45216
Tuesday’s January 5, 12, 19 and 26, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Preschoolers will learn about birds, make an awesome craft, play games or take a hike with their adult. This program is packed with fun for you and your little one to enjoy. Each week has a different theme to keep things exciting. This program is appropriate for 1 adult and 1, 3-5 year old child. Registration is required online before January 4th. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email kathy.bock@cincinnati-oh.gov
Feathered Friends Registration Link
Fee: $20

Lunch and Learn Series: Emergency Preparedness

Caldwell Nature Center, 430 W. N. Bend Rd, Cincinnati, Oh. 45216
Wednesday’s, January 6, 13, 20 and 27, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Bring a lunch and learn to prepare for the unexpected. Each week we cover a different topic with handouts, demonstrations and tips to prepare you for an emergency. Week 1: Survival kits, Week 2: Water treatment and purification, Week 3: Fire building and Week 4: First Aid. This program is appropriate for adults. Registration is required online before January 4th. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email kathy.bock@cincinnati-oh.gov
Lunch and Learn Registration Link
FREE

Winter Hike Series

LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Preserve- 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224
Wednesdays in January 2021
Enjoy a Naturalist led winter hike through LaBoiteaux Woods. Trails are steep and rugged, sturdy footwear with good tread is highly recommended.  Cameras and children welcome.  No dogs, please.  Foul weather cancels this event.  Meet at the nature center. Call 513-542-2909/390-5215 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov for more information.
Winter Hike Registration Link
FREE

Frosty Fridays Hike Series

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Fridays in January 2021
Grab your winter gear and join us for Frosty Fridays! Each week we will get our winter move on and tackle a new trail in California Woods. Hikes will be moderate to strenuous, and completely outdoors. While these hikes are more walk than talk, we will touch on the interpretive features of various parts of California Woods as we go.
Frosty Friday Hikes Registration Link
FREE

Series One:
Fridays:
1/15/21
1/22/21

Series Two:
Fridays:
1/29/21
2/5/21
2/12/21

Virtual Winter Themed Paint Night

LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224
January 6, 2021 instructional video will become available
Shake off the post-holiday blahs with a winter themed acrylic painting.  Artist and Naturalist, Lara Wardlow will lead you through all the steps to create a painting that can be part of your home décor or perfect for gifting.  Kit includes all supplies needed. Online registration for this event is required by January 13. For more information, please call 513-542-2909 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov.
Paint Night Registration Link
Fee: $40
Choose date and time slot for supply pick up:
One-hour time slots starting at 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
1/6/21
1/8/21
1/11/21
1/13/21
1/15/21

Lost Railroad Hike

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230
January 16, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Walk where locomotives and trolleys once rolled on the scenic California Junction Trail.  Learn how Cincinnati’s curviest little railroad changed life for people in Southwest Ohio.  Uncover signs of the past all around you on this easy-to-moderate, mile-plus hike.  Meet outside the Marian J. and Charles D. Lindberg Nature Center. For more information, please call 231-8678 or email jonathan.duerbeck@cincinnati-oh.gov

Lost Railroad Hike Registration Link

FREE

MLK School Break Camp Winter Fort Building

Caldwell Nature Preserve, 430 W. North Bend Rd Cincinnati, OH 45216
January 18, 2021, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Do you want to build a shelter?  Branch out from your standard blanket fort and build an outdoor winter fort in the woods.  There is more to fort building than leaning a few sticks together. We’ll learn what it takes to survive in the elements and have fun at the same time!  Bundle up and try your hand at building a shelter that can withstand the harsh winter conditions, then enjoy the reward of a warm fire and hot cocoa!  This program is completely outside; please be sure to dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear. Masks are required.  Registration is required by January 14. For more information, please email Nicole.Niemeyer@cincinnati-oh.gov.
MLK School Break Camp Registration Link
Fee: $5 

Forest Restoration Day of Service Series

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45230
January 18, February 6, March 13, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Shake off the winter blues by moving your body and breaking a sweat helping us reclaim this beautiful preserve. Starting with a day of service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the activities for this service series range from invasive plant removal to trail restoration and mulching. Join us for one date or all of them, whichever suits you! Please dress for the cold in layers, wear sturdy footwear, and bring your own water and work gloves. Email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnat-oh.gov or call (513) 231-8678 with questions.
Registration Link Coming Soon
FREE

Virtual Family Science Night

Cincinnati Parks’ Caldwell Nature Preserve 430 W. North Bend Rd Cincinnati, OH 45216
January 22, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Science is everywhere! Join the staff from Caldwell Nature Preserve as we delve into the world of Science.  We will demonstrate experiments virtually.  We will also have kits for you to pick up and take home to do some experiments on your own. Call or email to arrange a pick up time for your Science Night Supplies. A link will be sent to your email to view the instructional video. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov. Register by January 19.
Virtual Science Registration Link
Fee: $5

Wonderful Wintry Night Hike and Fire

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230
Friday, January 22, 2021, 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. Hike is along rugged terrain, mostly aided only by the light of the glowing half moon. Registrations required by January 19th. Email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnati-oh.gov or call 513-231-8678 for more information.
Wintry Night Hike Registration Link
Fee

Cincinnati’s Wild Dogs

Otto Armleder Park, 5057 Wooster Pike Cincinnati, OH  45226
January 23, 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Join a Park’s Naturalist for an informative talk on the other members of the dog family that make Cincinnati their home.  From our native Red and Gray Fox, to the newly arrived Coyote, this program has it all.  Meet at the Dog Park parking lot.  Online registration for this event is required. For more information, please call 513-751-3679 or email Michael.George@cincinnati-oh.gov
Wild Dogs Registration Link
FREE

Big Trees Hike

California Woods, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, 45230
Saturday, January 30, 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
California Woods preserve is home to one of very few small pockets of climax forest in the Cincinnati area. Join us for a hike to find and explore some of our biggest trees!
Big Trees Hike Registration Link
FREE

Full Moon Myth and Lore Night Hike

Caldwell Nature Center, 430 W. North Bend Rd, Cincinnati, Oh. 45216
Saturday, January 30, 2021, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Take a quiet hike in the forest at night and learn names given to monthly moons along with some myths, and legends associated with the full moon. Look for animal ‘eye shine’ and learn how to identify them by the color. While on this moderate hike we will also do some fun light deprivation activities along the way. This program is appropriate for adults and families with children age 7 and up. Registration is required online before January 27th. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov
Full Moon Hike Registration Link
FREE

Wednesdays in the Woods Winter Hikes

LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224
Wednesday’s February 3, 10, 17, & 24 , 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Enjoy a Naturalist led winter hike through LaBoiteaux Woods. Trails are steep and rugged, sturdy footwear with good tread is highly recommended. Cameras and children welcome. No dogs, please. Foul weather cancels this event. Meet at the nature center. Registration is required online. For more information call 513-542-2909 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov
Wednesdays in the Woods Winter Hike Registration Link
FREE

CAC Thursday Art Play

Mt Airy Forest, 1212 Trail Ridge Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45223
Thursday, February 4, 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Ages: 3-8
Join the Contemporary Arts Center and Cincinnati Parks for some outdoor fun and creativity. Winter and maple season themed nature activities, a take home art bag, and in-person project with Artist Julia Lipovsky. Online registration for this free event is required. Program is outside and cancelled due to weather.
CAC Thursday Art Play
FREE

DIY Maple Sugaring 101

Caldwell Nature Preserve, 430 W. North Bend Rd., 45216
Saturday, February 6, 2021, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Live off the land and learn to make your own maple syrup this winter.  Join in on the fun as we teach the tricks of the trade for making maple syrup at home. Discover what trees to tap, how to collect and cook the sap into syrup. Most of the program is held outdoors. Tree-tapping spouts are available for sale during the program. Meet at the Nature Center.  FREE but reservations are required by January 30th. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov
DIY Maple Sugaring 101
FREE

School Break Camp: Maple Sugaring

Caldwell Nature Center, 430 W. North Bend Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Monday, February 8, 2021, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Ages: 8-12
Enjoy a lively indoor program about the importance of plants and photosynthesis and learn why maple syrup is made only at this time of the year. Go on a hike and tap a maple tree. See how maple syrup is made from tree sap and taste test three different stages of sugar concentration. Also included are some scientific experiments dealing with density and boiling point. Dress to be outdoors half of the program. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov
School Break Maple Sugaring Registration Link
Fee: $10

Discovery Days: Maple Sugaring

Caldwell Nature Center, 430 W. North Bend Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Tuesday & Friday, February 9 & 12, 2021, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Ages: K-2
Enjoy a lively indoor program about the importance of plants and photosynthesis and learn why maple syrup is made only at this time of the year. Go on a hike and tap a maple tree. See how maple syrup is made from tree sap and taste test three different stages of sugar concentration. The program also focuses on the history of maple in North America. Dress to be outdoors half of the program. Online Registration required. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov
Discovery Days Maple Sugaring Registration Link
Fee: $10

Meet the Presidents

Eden Park Presidential Grove
Saturday, February 13, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Celebrate Honest Abe’s birthday as we tour this historic grove celebrating our nation’s presidents.  We will see the trees planted in honor of each leader and learn some presidential trivia.  Also enjoy the new improvements made to the grove. Dress for the weather. Online Registration required. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov
Meet the Presidents Registration Link
FREE

School Break Camp: Marvelous Maple Magic

California Woods, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230 
Monday, February 15, 2021, 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Ages: 8-12
Become a maple sugar farmer for a day! Learn all about how trees can make their own food. Play a tree-riffic game. Then go out in the California Woods “sugarbush” and tap trees, haul sap and help us boil it down to the sweet treat that we all know so well. Dress for the weather, maple magic only happens this time of year when it’s cold and often muddy. For more information call 513-231-8678.
School Break Marvelous Maple Magic Camp Registration Link
Fee: $10

Brrrr-net Woods Winter Hikes

Trailside Nature Center – Burnet Woods, 3251 Brookline Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220
Saturday, February 20, 2021, 10:30 AM – Noon
Join us for a brisk hike through one of Cincinnati’s oldest urban forests.  We’ll explore the history of how this park came to be and hopefully meet some of its wilder residents.  Online registration for this event is required.  For more information call 513-751-3679 or email michael.george@cincinnati-oh.gov
Brrr-net Woods Winter Hike Registration Link
FREE

Yes, Try this at Home! Maple Sugaring

California Woods Nature Center – 5400 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Friday, February 19 or 26, 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
If you can start a sourdough culture in 2020, you can learn maple sugaring in 2021! Learn how simple it is to turn maple sap into maple syrup. You’ll get a winter maple ID refresher, tap a tree with us, and learn how to process the sap to delicious, homemade syrup. Goes great with sourdough pancakes. Online registration for this event is required.  For more information call 513-231-8678 or email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnati-oh.gov
Yes, Try This at Home! Maple Sugaring Registration Link
Fee: $5

Virtual Spring Themed Paint Night

LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224
February 26, 2021 instructional video will become available
Tired of the gray, dreary weather? Let’s brighten up the mood with a colorful, spring themed acrylic painting. Artist and Naturalist, Lara Wardlow will lead you through all the steps to create a painting that can be part of your home décor or perfect for gifting. Kit includes all supplies needed. Online registration for this event is required by February 23. For more information, please call 513-542-2909 or email lara.wardlow@cincinnati-oh.gov.
Paint Night Registration Link
Fee: $40
Choose date and time slot for supply pick up:
One-hour time slots starting at 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
2/8/21
2/10/21
2/17/21
2/19/21
2/22/21
2/24/21

Discovery Days: Maple Sugaring

Caldwell Nature Center, 430 W. North Bend Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Tuesday & Friday, February 23 & 26, 2021, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Ages: 3 – 6 Grade
Enjoy a lively indoor program about the importance of plants and photosynthesis and learn why maple syrup is made only at this time of the year. Go on a hike and tap a maple tree. See how maple syrup is made from tree sap and taste test three different stages of sugar concentration. The program also focuses on the history of maple in North America. Dress to be outdoors half of the program. Online Registration required. For more information call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov
Discovery Days Maple Sugaring Registration Link
Fee: $10

Wild Canines of Cincinnati Dog Hike

Mt. Airy Forest (directions in confirmation email)
February 27, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Curious about your canine’s wild relatives? We’ll learn what makes these native canines so similar to our own best friends and take a dog-friendly hike with other canine enthusiasts. Dogs must be on leash for the hike. Online registration for this event is required.
Wild Canines of Cincinnati Dog Hike Registration Link
FREE

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

Title

On the Trail of a Lost Railroad

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH, 45230
January 16, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Walk where locomotives and trolleys once rolled on the scenic California Junction Trail.  Learn how Cincinnati’s curviest little railroad changed life for people in Southwest Ohio.  Uncover signs of the past all around you on this easy-to-moderate, mile-plus hike.  Meet outside the Marian J. and Charles D. Lindberg Nature Center. For more information, please call 231-8678 or email jonathan.duerbeck@cincinnati-oh.gov