New Canaan Nature Center Reconnect to your GREAT OUTDOORS

YOUTH & FAMILY PROGRAMS

Join us for programs that explore the best features of the New Canaan Nature Center! From dipping in our pond to trekking through the forest to meeting one of our live animals, NCNC offers a variety of fun, interactive and unique of programs for children and family throughout the year.

Upcoming Programs


Adopt-A-Tree
Community Sugaring Program
Saturday, February 11 Kick-off Event
10:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.

This is the ninth year for this program that has fast become a community favorite!

Families/individuals/groups get a chance each year to adopt the New Canaan Nature Center's sugar maple trees and enjoy the nature center from a unique and exciting perspective where they actually participate fully in this time honored tradition of New England. The New Canaan Nature Center taps nearly 50 trees throughout the property with some trees being robust enough to handle 2-3 taps each!

This program begins with the Adopt a Tree Kickoff Event on Feb. 11th. Syrup families/groups come for one time block to take part in choosing and tapping a tree for the season (takes approx. 45-60 minutes).

Participants then collect sap 1-3 times a week (depending on sap flow conditions) for the entire syrup season (typically 4-6 weeks) and take part in boil downs where REAL maple syrup is made right here at NCNC.

At the end of the season, all participants will be invited to our Maple Syrup Pot-Luck Dinner on a date to be determined, where each family/group will receive their own bottle of New Canaan Nature Center maple syrup. We will also showcase participants' culinary prowess and creativity as everyone is encouraged to bring a maple syrup themed food item to the pot-luck.

Participants in this unique program are also invited to attend our March 18th Syrup Saturday Festival - a pancakes & pjs brunch with tons of fun syrup-related activities!

Please note, due to the nature of the syrup season, sap collection can last 4-7 weeks typically. It all depends on the weather conditions!

The cost to participate in this program is $75 per group/family. Multiple families can adopt the same tree and share the cost. However, at the end of the program, only one jar of syrup is provided.

There will be three tap times on Saturday, February 11th at
10:00 A.M.
11:30 A.M.
1:00 P.M. At registration, you will be asked to select one of these three time slots.

Register Online for 10:00 Tap Time!

Click Here

Register Online for 11:30 Tap Time!

Click Here

Register Online 1:00 pm Tap Time!

Click Here

Don't wait space is limited.

Can't make it on the 11th but still want to participate? No worries! Give us a call at (203)-966-9577 x20 and we'll be happy to set up a makeup date for you and your family/group to come select your tree.

Ages: All ages.
Members: $75 per family / Non-Members: $75 per family

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Family Nature Adventures: Family Boil Down
Saturday, March 4
9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Have you ever wondered where maple syrup comes from? Grab the entire family and meet the NCNC Naturalists out at our Sugar Shack to learn how we turn Maple Sap into delicious Maple Syrup! Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the Green or stop by the Visitor Center to warm up.

Learn about the history of this New England tradition, what syrup grades really mean, what causes sap to flow in winter.

The Family Boil Down is a drop-in program, open FREE to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated!


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Syrup Saturday: A Pancakes & PJs Brunch
Saturday, March 18
10:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.

Bring the whole family and join us for our annual Syrup Season celebration – you won’t want to miss our famously delicious Pancakes & PJs party, complete with TONS of fun syrup-related activities!

To celebrate the bounty of the 2017 syrup season, we’ll be serving up flapjacks, syrup and an array of tasty toppings (fruit, chocolate chips, and more!) in the Visitor Center. All are welcome and encouraged to dress in their PJS!

The day will also include tree tapping demos, a real maple sap "boil down" using sap from our resident Nature Center maples, plus a look into the past of historic and native methods of producing Maple Syrup.

Take a Real v. Fake Syrup taste test and gather 'round the campfire to share tall tales of this winter's adventures while roasting a marshmallow or two!

Put your woodsmen skills to the test with the return of our Family Lumberjack Challenges! Try your hand at wood heaving (how far can you throw a log of firewood?), before tackling our firewood stacking competition. Does your family have what it takes to complete our entire log rolling obstacle course? Join us to find out!

In fine syruping tradition we'll also have bottles of NCNC Maple Syrup for sale in our Nature Shop!

This event is primarily outdoors, although brunch is indoors.

Kids 2 & under are FREE!

Register Online Syrup Saturday!

Click Here

Ages: All ages.
Members: $10/person / Non-Members: $15/person

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Wildlife Exploration Club (Afterschool Program)
8 Wednesdays: January 25th - March 22nd (not including February 22nd)
3:45 - 5:00 P.M.

If you want hands-on wildlife experience with a professional naturalist, then the Wildlife Exploration Club is for YOU! Bill Flynn, Director of Animal Care with the New Canaan Nature Center, will demonstrate ALL he knows about the diverse habitats here at the Nature Center and teach hands-on skills with the Nature Center’s collection of animals. Students will get to help handle and care for the captive animals at the Nature Center. They will also be able to handle and study the native wild animals found in our ponds, fields, and forests.

Join us on the trails and in our Animal Care Center every Wednesday from 3:45-5:00 pm!

Program runs for 8 weeks starting January 25th, 2017 until March 22nd, 2017 (we will not meet February 22nd).

Register Online for Wildlife Exploration Club!

Click Here
Don't wait space is limited. If signing up for individual dates please be sure to fill in dates on registration form.

Ages: 7th & 8th grade.
Members: $30 per class ($230 for all 8 weeks) / Non-Members: $40 per class ($310 for all 8 weeks)

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Adventures in Nature Club (Afterschool Program)
8 Thursdays: January 26th - March 23rd (not including February 23rd)
3:45 - 5:00pm

If you like to get outside, explore the natural world, and have a love for animals, this club is for you! Derick Hips, Environmental Educator and Birthday Coordinator for the New Canaan Nature Center, will lead adventures into the great outdoors and provide a hands-on experience with live animals. We will have the opportunity to explore everything nature has to offer, by looking for wildlife, finding animal prints and signs, and interacting with our animals in our collection.

Adventurers will meet every Thursday from 3:45-5:00 pm at the New Canaan nature Center.

Program runs Thursdays for 8 weeks starting January 26th, 2017 until March 23rd,2017 (We will not meet February 23rd).

Register Online for Adventures in Nature Club!

Click Here
Don't wait space is limited.

Ages: 3rd & 4th grade.
Members: $30 per class ($230 for all 8 weeks) / Non-Members: $40 per class ($310 for all 8 weeks)

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Young Naturalist Science Club (Afterschool Program)
8 Mondays: January 23 - March 27 (no class on February 20th)
3:45 - 5:00pm

If you are interested in science and the natural world, this is the club for you! Chris Hendershot, Director of Education Programs for the New Canaan Nature Center, is fascinated by the questions that arise when exploring outside. This club will offer hands-on experiences by conducting experiments, citizen science projects, and just trying new theories! We will learn about bird species and the principles of flight, study how plants defend themselves, and help our environmental team gather facts and data that will be useful for ongoing nature studies.

Experience our “un-classroom” every Monday from 3:45-5:00pm at the nature center.

Program runs for 8 weeks starting January 23rd 2017 until March 27th 2017 (we will not meet February 20th).

Register Online for Young Naturalist Science Club!

Click Here
Don't wait space is limited. If signing up for individual dates please be sure to fill in dates on registration form.

Ages: 5th & 6th grade.
Members: $30 per class ($230 for all 8 weeks) / Non-Members: $40 per class ($310 for all 8 weeks)

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Family Nature Adventures: Mianus River Gorge Hike!
Saturday, April 1
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

This April, meet our Naturalists at the first Nature Conservancy land project for a healthy & invigorating spring hike. This two-mile loop will take us through old farmland and along the forested banks of the Mianus River.

Please bring comfortable shoes, layers and a water bottle.

More details will be provided upon registration.

(Rain or shine)

Register Online: MIANUS RIVER GORGE HIKE!

Click Here

Don't wait, space is limited!

Members: $10 per person / Non-Members: $15 per person

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Year Round Family Fun!

Annual/Biannual Events include:

  • Syrup Saturday: a pancake brunch & festival celebrating the maple syrup season! mid March
  • Cider Saturday: a celebration of cider season including cider press demos, apple baking, crafts and more. September
  • Fall Fair: pony rides, apple slingshots, bounce houses and bungee jumps, pumpkin decorating, face painting, food, and fun October
  • Winter Wonderland: horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, cookie decorating, holiday trains, chestnuts on an open fire and more December

 

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> Special Events
> Early Childhood Programs
> Summer Camp
> Membership Information


Upcoming Adult Programs

NCNC Hiking Group: New Canaan Land Trust Properties
Thursday, January 26
10:00 am
> Learn more

NYBG: Perennial Plant Combinations
Thursday, February 2
10:30 A.M.- 3:00 P.M.
> Learn more

Adult Adventures: Plant-a-Terrarium
Saturday, February 4
10:30am - 12:00pm
> Learn more

Adult Adventures: Backyard Homesteading
Saturday, March 11
10:30am - 12:00pm
> Learn more

NYBG: Intro to Landscape Design
3 Thursdays, March 9-23
10:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
> Learn more

> View More Adult Programs