From toddlers to elders, Dodge Nature center has public programs for you. If you aren’t familiar with the wide array of programs offered, look for the age group and program descriptions below for programs that fit for you and your family.
Throughout the year Dodge offers family programs that feature favorite seasonal activities. Press apples for juice in the fall, go on a winter picnic, tap a maple tree in March, and visit baby farm animals in early summer. We also host summer concerts outdoors that have become a very popular for family time. Consider signing up to tend your own garden plot or attend one of our special seasonal events for more quality time together.
The Woolly Bears program offers an opportunity for you and your three to five year old child to experience the wondrous natural world. Topics are explored through creative storytelling, music, puppetry, art, hikes, and visiting with live animals. Programs are offered once or twice a month on Thursday afternoons and Friday and Saturday mornings.
Nature After Dinner
For families with children ages 3 to 8, our Nature After Dinner program is offered in the evenings. This series runs March through October on the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The fee is per child, but the whole family is welcome to come along. Each month a different topic is explored. Insects, volcanoes, owls, and pond creatures are just some of the topics that families have explored through hikes and hands-on activities with a naturalist. See our Activities Calendar for the fun topic being featured this month!
O.W.L.S & Specialty Classes
Some of our seasonal public programs are limited just to adults or older youth and may include topics such as wild edible plants, bird watching, or hiking with a naturalist. Our OWLS (Outwardly, Wiser, Livelier, Seniors) program is offers one hour nature and history programs once a month during the school year. Lunch is available for purchase following each program. Dodge also offers other adult only opportunities year-round like mushroom hunting and a chance to participate in Citizen Science projects. We also offer an array of adult only specialty classes.
Our naturalists continue to create new and exciting Girl Scout and Boy Scout Programs. Groups may sign up for scheduled topics such as fall harvest or maple syruping, or may call to schedule their own group program on a variety of topics.
Adventure Camps in Fall, Spring, and Summer
Our fall, spring and summer day camps are offered when students are out of school. Adventures in Nature Camps are designed for grades Kindergarten - 4th grade and 5th- 8th grade. They focus on specific topics and are one day or four days in length. Full day camps are from 8:30 to 3:00 p.m . In the summer, half day camps are also available. Families are encouraged to apply for scholarships if needed to make camp affordable. A large variety of camp topics are available such as farm activities, outdoor adventures and games, art, outdoor cooking, geology, pond adventures, and animals of all sorts. Middle school camps provide opportunities for skill building and off-site adventures.
Dodge is a popular field trip destination, providing environmental education for over 55,000 students annually. Teachers, choose from a unique menu of Field Trip Programs to match your curriculum needs in the classroom.
Can't make it to the Nature Center? Dodge can come to you with one of our Outreach Programs! Give your students the opportunity to experience nature through activities and experiences provided by Dodge Nature Center staff off-site.
For home school families, our monthly Home School Programs during the school year are on a Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. and focus on ages 5 and older. The whole family may attend these sessions in which we explore a variety of natural phenomena through hands-on activities.