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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.

Nature Tots

LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Preserve- 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224
Tuesdays from October 6th to 27th, 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Moms and caregivers, do you and your toddler need some fresh air? Come catch your breath while enjoying some quality time with your little one. You will both get a taste of nature through naturalist-led stories, games, animal encounters and more in a safe a relaxing atmosphere. New theme each week. Online registration is required by October 2nd.

Registration Required
Fee: $20 per pair (Tot & Guardian) per 4-week session

Nature Tots Registration Link

Virtual Storytime with a Naturalist

Join us on Facebook Live October 1st, at 10:00 a.m.

Enjoy a nature story with Ms. Lara, a Naturalist at LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center once a month. Fun, silly stories that entertain and educate. Geared toward a younger crowd, but anyone is welcome.

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Caldwell Nature Preserve- 430 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Saturday October 24th, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Help us get ready for our first ever Magic Forest Pumpkin Walk on October 30th by putting your pumpkin carving skills to the test! This Pumpkin Carving Contest will show off your creativity to all those enjoying the program on the 30th. Each carved pumpkin will be issued a number and will be voted on during the Pumpkin Walk event on the 30th. Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place artists! Winners will be contacted on Monday, November 2nd.

Please pick up your pumpkin to take home and carve on Saturday October 24th, between 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Caldwell Nature Center.

Please return your completed pumpkin to the Caldwell Nature Center on either of the following dates:
1. October 28th: Between Noon to 5:00 p.m.
2. October 29th: Between 8:00 a.m. and Noon.
1st Place: One registration for our School Break One Day Camps
2nd Place: Four tickets to the Krohn Conservatory Holiday Show
3rd Place: A native tree to plant in your yard!
For additional info call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov

Registration Required
Fee: $7 for pumpkin

Pumpkin Carving Contest Registration Link

Magic Forest Pumpkin Walk – Sold Out, we will update if available again

Caldwell Nature Preserve- 430 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Saturday October 30th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The forest is a little quiet this fall, but the beauty and magic are still there.  Join us on an almost full moon night on all Hallows Eve Eve, for a FREE pumpkin walk! Enjoy the jack-o-lanterns and luminaries on the trail. This year we ask you to vote for your favorite jack-o-lantern, with prizes being awarded to the top 3 artists.  If you would like to carve a pumpkin for this event, please click here to learn more! This event is held entirely outdoors. Please dress accordingly for the weather. Closed toed hiking shoes are encouraged. Please be advised, the trail is not stroller friendly. There are stairs and some uneven footing on parts of this trail. For additional info call 513-761-4313 or email olivia.canada@cincinnati-oh.gov

Registration Required
FREE

Magic Forest Pumpkin Walk Registration Link

Eco-Friends: Home Sustainability Series: Let’s Get Batty! DIY Bat House Build

Bettman Natural Resource Center, 4 Beech Lane, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45208
Saturday October 31th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

On this spooky day, let’s learn more about bats and the vital role they play in our ecosystem and how they can help keep pests out of your own yard! After our presentation, we will work together to build each participant their very own bat house to take home! All materials and tools will be provided! This program is ideal for older teens and adults who are comfortable using a cordless power drill. For more information, please call 513-321-6070.

Registration Required
Fee: $5 per person

Eco Friends Registration Link

Lunch and Learn with Cincinnati Parks

Tuesdays through October 27th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
October 27th – Eden Park

Learn the fascinating history behind some of Cincinnati’s most beloved parks.  From forgotten gravesites to international artworks – there’s something for everyone. Call 513-751-3679 for meeting locations and more information.

Registration Required
FREE

Lunch and Learn Registration Link

Fall Foliage Hike Series

Saturdays mid-October through mid-November, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
October 24th – LaBoiteaux Woods, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH  45224
October 31st – Burnet Woods, 3251 Brookline Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220
November 7th: Fernbank Park, 50 Thorton Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45233 (Meet at main entrance)
November 14th – Alms Park, 710 Tusculum Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 (Meet in lower parking lot)

Join a Park Naturalist for a guided interpretive hike through beautiful local forests. Explore the beginnings of fall color while we walk and talk about the bounty of the forest: fall wild edibles. While the forest is slowing down, fall is one of the most productive times of year for food. Come see what the wildlife sees as we search for wild edibles. Along the way we’ll discover the secrets behind the annual fall color change, how to identify trees by their fall color and how the local wildlife is preparing for the coming winter.  Trails are steep and rugged, sturdy footwear with good tread is highly recommended.  Cameras and children welcome.  No dogs, please.  Severe weather cancels this event. For more information, please call 513-321-6070.

Registration Required
FREE

Fall Foliage Hike Series Registration Link

FREE Friday Hikes! Series – Sold Out, we will update if available again

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Recurring Fridays from September 11th through November 6th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Each Friday is a new adventure as we explore the natural world of California Woods! We’ll have creek explorations, StoryWalks, even live animal friends. These walks are open to people all ages, but our trails are not stroller friendly.
Email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnati-oh.gov or call 231-8678 for more information.

Registration Required
FREE

Friday Hikes Registration Link

Self Guided StoryWalk: “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves”

California Woods Nature Preserve- 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230, Along the Ridge Loop (“R”) Trail
October and 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

Terrific Topic Tuesdays at California Woods

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230
October Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This October, Tuesdays are Terrific! Join us for a new topic each Tuesday as we explore a different aspect of nature at California Woods. We are able to host two hikes at the same time; one for children and their favorite adults, the other for adults and older children. The younger hikers may walk along our StoryWalk, or learn about another aspect of nature with our early childhood expert (Please register for the Family Hike if interested in this option). Our other group of hikers will cover more material and more territory as we explore aspects of the preserve. Check in at nature center parking lot. Look for the sign marked with the hike you signed up for.

Registration Required
FREE

Terrific Tuesdays Registration

Campfire on the Bluff: Spoooooky Campfire Stories

California Woods Nature Preserve- 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Friday, October 23rd , 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The NATURAL choice for pre-Halloween festivities! Bring your family, bring your friends. Enjoy an evening of (not so) spooky campfire stories around a campfire atop a beautiful bluff at California Woods. For more information, please call 513-231-8678 or email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnati-oh.gov.

Registration Required
FREE

Campfire on the Bluff Registration

Forest Restoration Work Day at California Woods

California Woods Nature Preserve- 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Saturday, October 24th , 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Help us cut and pile bush honeysuckle and other invasive plants to restore our beautiful native forest to its full, wildflowery glory.  Park staff will guide the group and treat the freshly cut stumps. Use our gloves and tools or bring your own.  Open to adults and children ages 10 and up accompanied by an adult. Meet outside the nature center. For more information, please call 513-231-8678.

Registration Required
FREE

Forest Restoration Registration

Active Adults – Hike Series

Recurring Mondays through October 26th,  2:30 p.m. – 4:00 pm. 
October 26th – Eden Park

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. Call 751-3679 for meeting locations and more information.

Registration Required
FREE

Active Adults Registration Link

Mom and Me – Stroller Hikes

Recurring Thursdays through October 8th, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 am.
October 29th – Mt. Airy

Bring your little ones out on a walk through the park.  Explore nature and learn about trees, flowers, birds and more.  The trail is paved and bathrooms are available.  Program is for babies 6 months to 24 months old and their adults. Call 751-3679 for meeting locations and more information.

Registration Required
FREE

Mom and Me Registration Lin

Library Nature Encounters  

St. Bernard Branch Library
October Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Bring your “wild ones” to the St. Bernard Branch Library for two unique offerings.  Story Time with Mr. C. and Nature Encounters with Mr. Mike!  Bring the entire family to enjoy books, songs, and nature activities with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Parks.  Storytime will be held outside* so please bring a blanket or chair.  Masks will be required for grown-ups, and physical distancing will be observed.  (*Weather permitting).

Registration Required
FREE

Library Nature Encounters Registration Link

 

School Break Camp – Outdoor Survival

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave.
Monday November 2, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Grades: 4th – 8th

What would you do if you were a wild animal right now as the weather is marching towards winter? Learn what Ohio wild animals do to survive in all kinds of weather. Pick up some survival skills of your own, like fire building!  Make and take a survival ‘craft’ home. Pack a lunch and drink, dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear. Register online by October 29.

Registration: $40 per camper

School Break Camp Series Registration Link

School Break Camp – Habitat Explorers

California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Ave.
Tuesday November 3, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Grades: 1st – 3rd

Join us, habitat explorers!  Visit the forest, meadow, even the creek as we see how animals and plants get through the fall and winter. Let’s go find a mouse house, a beetle lair, a squirrel’s nest; there’s a lot more going on in nature right now than you might expect.

Pack a lunch and drink, dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear. Register online by October 30.

Registration: $40 per camper

School Break Camp Series Registration Link

School Break Camp – Fabulous Fall Fun!

Trailside Nature Center, 3251 Brookline Ave.
Wednesday November 11, 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: $40 per camper

School Break Camp Series Registration Link

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: $40 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: $40 per camper

School Break Camp Series Registration Link

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