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


Creatures of the Night... HIKE!
Saturday, August 26
7:30 - 9:00 P.M.

How do your nighttime senses compare to those of the nocturnal animals that call NCNC home? Join us for a guided night hike and try your hand at our naturalist-led challenges to find out! First we'll put your night vision to the test to find out if you can see as well as an owl in the dark. Then we'll focus on your sense of smell, hearing and touch!

Please no flashlights - for safety, staff will have emergency lights. Come dressed for the night weather & able to be outdoors in the dark for at least 1 hour. Check in at Visitor Center Front Desk.

Spaces are limited & advanced registration is strongly recommended, so register early!

Rain or shine.

Register for Creatures of the Night...Hike!

Register Today

Click Here

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

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Cider Saturday
Saturday, September 16
11:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Celebrate the Fall Cider Season here at NCNC! Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon of family fun with cider press demonstrations (on the 15s & 45s minute mark every hour), Old Fashioned Games (discover new joys by building authentic connections to the past!), a pollination game in our very own apple orchard, Honey Bee Hive Tours, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, seasonal harvest crafts for kids, and even bake your own apple filled with sweet goodies!

Also enjoy some homemade butter while cooking up some corn bread on a stick over the fire. Do some taste testing of a variety of apples and local honey, plus enjoy a seasonal goodie or two at our harvest bake sale. Then fill your bellies with delicious corn dogs & grilled corn, available for purchase.

Entry includes a cider demo ticket for the whole family and 1 apple per person (to eat or bake!).

Fresh local cider will be available for purchase by the cup, half gallon & gallon! Enjoy this seasonal beverage with some delicious baked goods!

Also, be sure to join us for our 2nd Annual Apple Pie Baking Contest! Pie judging will begin at 12:30pm.

Our contest is open to anyone wishing to bake an apple pie! This year we will be judging based upon the following 3 categories: Best Presentation, Taste and Originality.

WHO MAY ENTER: The contest is open to all men, women and children. All home bakers are encouraged to enter! Commercial, industrial or professional bakers are also eligible. All entrants agree to allow use of their name, recipe and photos for promotional purposes.

HOW TO ENTER: Any person entering the contest must bake one apple pie and deliver it to the New Canaan Nature Center’s Visitor Center by 3:00 pm on Friday, September 15th. Please make sure that entries are properly covered/wrapped and submitted on disposable plates. The New Canaan Nature Center is not responsible for the return of plates, trays or containers. Each pie must be accompanied by a registration form (coming soon!) and a list of ingredients. The New Canaan Nature Center is a nut-free facility, so please be sure all pies are nut free.

JUDGING: Judging will take place at 12:30 pm on Saturday, September 16th, as part of Cider Saturday. All decisions of the judges are final.

PRIZES: The winner of each contest category will receive a surprise Gift Certificate!

*This event is rain or shine*

ONLINE REGISTRATION COMING SOON!

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 for more information
Ages: All ages.
Members: $10 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE / Non-Members: $15 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE

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Halloween Spooktacular
Friday, October 27
6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Get into the Halloween spirit by joining us for this spooktacular celebration, NCNC-style. We'll learn about and meet some creepy critters who remind us of All Hallows Eve (spiders, bats, snakes, & more), before getting the chance to make our very own slime. We’ll wrap up the evening by enjoying a one-of-a-kind jack-o-lantern experience.

That’s right, be sure to join us for our 2nd Annual Jack-o-Lantern Carving Contest!
Carve a pumpkin or two or three at home with your family and bring it in to the NCNC Visitor Center on Wednesday, October 25th or Thursday, October 26th, any time from 9am-3pm. Each pumpkin must be accompanied by a registration form (*Coming soon!*).

Leave it to our naturalists to set the scene and then on the 27th join us for the grand finale of our Halloween Spooktacular as we take a daring walk through the woods to visit your creepy creations. At the end of this spooky stroll, each Spooktacular participant will get the chance to vote for their favorite Jack-o-Lantern.

Costumes encouraged & welcome!

This program is perfect for ALL ages and ALL members of the family. This is not a drop off program - all children must be accompanied by an adult.

(Rain or shine)

Spaces are limited & advanced registration is highly recommended.

ONLINE REGISTRATION COMING SOON!

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 for more information
Ages: All ages.
Members: $10 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE / Non-Members: $15 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE

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Awesome Autumn Day
Tuesday, November 7 (Election Day!)
1:00 - 3:00 P.M.

Vote for Nature this Election Day!

Come on over to NCNC to enjoy a beautiful autumn day with your kids and the NCNC naturalists! Frolic in the leaves and take part in field games, such as pumpkin ring toss, corn hole, and parachute games, anytime from 1-3pm. At 1:30 and 2:30 Naturalists will be leading autumn-themed relay races (like pumpkin broom ball & stuff-a-human-scarecrow) across the Green. You won't want to miss this day of fall fun & frivolity!

Looking for even more excitement? Have a picnic lunch on the Green, visit our Children's Play Garden, try your hand at our Awesome Autumn Scavenger Hunt, or enjoy one of our many Self-Guided Activities, such as Letterboxing. Stop by the Visitor Center Front Desk anytime from 9AM-4PM for more information or to borrow one of our Favorite Flora & Fauna of NCNC Guide Books.

This drop-in program is perfect for families with children ages 3-10.

Children must be accompanied by adults. Please note: This is not a drop-off program.

(Rain or shine)

Ages: Families with Children Ages 3-10.
Members: Free / Non-Members: Free / Donations appreciated.

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Friday Family Fun Night: The Science of Wildlife
Friday, November 10
6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Have you ever wondered how a turtle survives the winter living in a frozen pond or how a hummingbird is able to hover in one spot for so long? Have you always wanted to know how a snake is able to ingest its prey or why some animals are able to navigate quickly through an open field while others move more slowly?

Join us for our next Friday Family Fun Night to discover the science behind how animals are especially adapted to survive in their natural habitats. Through hands on experiments and interactive games & activities, we’ll learn how an animal’s skeletal structure and body coverings impact its body temperature, movement, eating habits, and ability to protect itself from predators. You’ll even get the chance to meet an animal or two during this fun and engaging, family-friendly program!

This family program is perfect for ALL ages!

*Rain or shine*

Spaces are limited & advanced registration is strongly recommended.

ONLINE REGISTRATION COMING SOON!

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

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Thanksgiving Weekend Waddle
Saturday, November 25
10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Grab the entire family (and any lingering holiday visitors too!) and head on down to the New Canaan Nature Center! You won't want to miss this awesome annual event, a long-time favorite for both members & guests. Join the NCNC Naturalists for a healthy, invigorating Trail Trek to work off that holiday meal. While "waddling" the trails, we'll search for some of nature's most treasured gifts (apple trees, maple trees & honey bees to name a few) and learn why the end of autumn may not be quite as quiet as you may think. In fact, autumn is a busy time of year for many wild animals such as deer, squirrels & birds!

As an extra Thanksgiving bonus, after our hike, you'll also get to enjoy a FREE behind the scenes tour of our Animal Care facilities & Birds of Prey Exhibit - our way of saying "thank you" to the community.

Naturalists will be departing with groups from the Sugar Shack for Trail Treks at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM (sign up is on a first come, first serve basis with limited spots for each).

(Rain or shine)

Ages: This program is perfect for ALL ages - newborns through 90!.
Members: FREE / Non-Members: FREE / Donations are greatly appreciated

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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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