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


Family Nature Adventures: Fire Building 101
Saturday, October 1
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Don't miss your chance for outdoor family fun on the First Saturday of every month!

This October, join us for a lesson in fire building & fire safety. Learn the essentials, as well as the different construction techniques & methods for building a safe campfire. We’ll even wrap up the morning by roasting a marshmallow or two in celebration of all our hard work!

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.

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 to sign up today!
Ages: All ages.
Members: $10 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE / Non-Members: $15 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE

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"Tackle" Our Invasive Species Day
Wednesday, October 12
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fall is here and that means it’s officially the season for football Sundays, tailgating and cheering on your favorite team. This October, the New Canaan Nature Center also invites you to join our “team.”

As part of our stewardship initiatives here at the Nature Center we are setting aside a day to “tackle” our invasive species and we would love if members of our local community (YOU) could lend a helping hand and pitch in! After all, proper care of our 40 acres of diverse habitats is always an ongoing project that involves a lot of manpower.

Some of the projects we need help with are:
•Removing the invasive Mugwort plant from behind our Visitor Center
•Clipping invasive vines from trees in the North Woods
•Removing the invasive “Tree of Heaven” from our Maple Avenue

The day will start with a short presentation on what an invasive species is, a glimpse of our land management goals and an identification of common invasive species in our area. After this short program, we will head out to get to work!

Please bring suitable work gloves!

This program is open to all ages and walks of life so bring the family and be prepared to get dirty!

Pre-registration for this event is encouraged in order to help us choose our projects wisely.

Please call 203-966-9577 ex. 10 to register by Friday, October 7.
Ages: All ages.
Members: FREE / Non-Members: FREE

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47th Annual FALL FAIR
Saturday, October 22
10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Early Entry for NCNC Members 9:30 A.M.

Join Us for a Day of Traditional Family Fun!

ACTIVITIES FOR ADULTS & KIDS OF ALL AGES:
Pony rides, crazy maze, carnival games, bungee jump, zip line, human hamster ball racing, pumpkin decorating, and so much more!

Great food, beverages and baked goods will satisfy hungry appetites as children and families listen and dance to the music.

NO DOGS Permitted.

NEW THIS YEAR:
With our new "Busy Bee Bands" you can enjoy all rides and attractions for one single price (food tent, bake sale & carnival games not included).

Purchase Your "Busy Bee Band" Online!

Click Here to get your very own "Busy Bee Band" now! Just $35/member and $50/non-member.

Click Here to become a member of the nature center.

*Individual tickets will also be available for purchase the day of the event!*

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 for more information.
Ages: Adults & kIds of all ages.

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Halloween Spooktacular
Friday, October 28
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, NEW this year is our 1st 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 26th or Thursday, October 27th, any time from 9am-3pm. Each pumpkin must be accompanied by a registration form (*available online & in the Visitor Center SOON*).

Leave it to our naturalists to set the scene and then on the 28th 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. 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded and announced via email the following week.

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.

Purchase Your Tickets Online

Register Today

Click Here For Halloween Spooktacular Tickets

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 to sign up today!
Ages: All ages.
Members: $10 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE / Non-Members: $15 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE

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Family Nature Adventures: Getting Ready for Winter
Saturday, November 5
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Don't miss your chance for outdoor family fun on the First Saturday of every month!

This November, join us to find out what wild animals do each autumn to get ready for the long winter ahead. Meet several live animals up close & personal, enjoy a few interactive games and partake in role-playing activities to learn how animals’ adaptations help them survive the coldest season of the year!

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.

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 to sign up today!
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 8 (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: Survival Challenge!
Friday, November 18
6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Have you always wanted to know if you have what it takes to survive in the wilderness? Join us for our next Friday Family Fun Night, to find out if you are up for the challenge! First we’ll focus on the art of map & compass use and then we’ll learn the science behind building a successful survival shelter. By the end of the evening you’ll be able to handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way!

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.

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 to reserve your spot today!
Ages: All ages.
Members: $10 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE / Non-Members: $15 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE

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Thanksgiving Weekend Waddle
Saturday, November 26
10:30 a.m. and 11:30 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 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM (sign up is on a first come, first serve basis with limited spots for each).

(Rain or shine)

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

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Family Nature Adventures: Wildlife CSI
Saturday, December 3
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Don't miss your chance for outdoor family fun on the First Saturday of every month!

This December, using problem solving skills and tracking tools provided by the NCNC Naturalists, observe the animal clues left behind at the scene of a natural “crime.” Do you have what it takes to solve this eco-mystery who-done-it? Join us to find out!

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.

Please call (203) 966-9577 x10 to sign up today!
Ages: All ages.
Members: $10 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE / Non-Members: $15 per person / Kids Under 2: FREE

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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

HARVEST FESTIVAL
Bands, Beers, Bites & Wine
Saturday, October 1
7:00-10:00 P.M.
> Learn more

Adult Adventures: Birding Walk
Saturday, October 8
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
> Learn more

Adult Adventures: Devil's Den Hike!
Saturday, November 12
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
> Learn more

Adult Adventures: Woodworking for Wildlife
Saturday, December 10
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
> Learn more

> View More Adult Programs