Events & Programs

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Fun for All!

Click on the program dates for pricing, registration information and full descriptions. 

CLICK HERE to view the Events & Programs Calendar.

CLICK HERE to discover what's happening at our Nature PlayScape! 

Maple Syrup Making and Guided Sap Collecting Hikes in the Sugarbush

Saturday, February 25, 10 am-3 pm
Saturday, March 4, 10 am-3 pm

Experience the whole process of producing liquid gold from maple sap. Bask in the warmth of the evaporator and its maple-scented steam. Drop by the sugar house near Krippendorf Lodge and join in an interactive sap collecting maple hike. 

Join in an interactive sap collecting maple hike on Saturdays at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm or 2 pm and Sundays at 1 pm, 2 pm or 3 pm.  Hikes start at the sugar house.  Free; nonmembers pay daily admission.

 

Family Maple Sugaring

Monday, February 20, 10 am-12 pm
Monday, February 20, 1:30-3:30 pm

Delve into the science and lore of turning sap into sweet maple syrup. This program includes a guided hike in the sugarbush, a look into the Native American origins of sugaring and a visit to the Sugar House. Homeschool students will tap a tree with a hand drill, help with sugaring work and sample warm maple syrup right off the evaporator. This program takes place outdoors, regardless of the weather. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Upon arrival, students ages 10 and up will have the option of joining a group specifically geared towards older students. Preregistration required. Members $6 per child; nonmembers $10 per child (includes daily admission).

 

Cooking with Maple: Maple Toffee and Maple Caramel

Saturday, March 4, 1-4 pm -- SOLD OUT

We’ll start by transforming fresh maple syrup into maple sugar. From there, this participatory class will create two maple treats: maple toffee with dark chocolate and nuts and salted maple caramel. Bring your apron and come prepared to stir. Participants will take home some of our delicacies. Meet in the kitchen of Krippendorf Lodge. Instructor: Public Programs Manager and head sugarmaker, Jason Neumann. Appropriate for adults or youth age 10 and up, with a parent. Preregistration required. Members $15; nonmembers $19 (includes daily admission).

 

Salamander Celebration

TBD, 6:30 pm

Bring your flashlights and dress to spend an hour outdoors as we look for Jefferson salamanders in and around the breeding ponds. We’ll begin with a brief indoor program, then divide into smaller groups as we hit the trails in search of salamanders. Please contact the registrar at srenner@cincynature.org to be placed on our list. We’ll contact you when conditions are best for observing salamanders. Please write “Salamanders” in the subject line. Free; nonmembers pay daily admission.

 

Frog Watch

TBA

We never know when the weather will be just right for the frogs to make their journey to the ponds to perform their annual vocal pageant to attract mates. During this interactive program, we’ll explore local frogs by sight and sound. Be prepared to go outside in search of these amazing creatures. Please email the Nature Center’s Registrar, Sharon Renner, at srenner@cincynature.org and put “FROGS” in the subject line. We will email everyone when the time looks right 24-48 hours ahead of time. Preregistration required. Free; nonmembers pay daily admission.

 

Owl Prowl

Friday, March 3, 7:30-9:30 pm

Discover some fun facts about our local owls and what makes them different from other birds. Then head outdoors to listen and look for them. Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight for each member of your party. Recommended for ages 10 and older. We will meet in the Rowe Visitor Center auditorium. Preregistration required. Members $5; nonmembers $10.

 

An Evening of Storytelling with Doug Elliott: Stories, Songs and Lore Celebrating Animals, Plants and People

Saturday, March 4, 6:30-8 pm

Doug Elliott is a national storyteller, naturalist, back-country guide and harmonica wizard. Whether he’s singing about catfish, extolling the virtues of dandelions, telling wild snake tales or wailing out a jivey harmonica tune, Mr. Elliott will take you on an unforgettable, multifaceted cultural tour of North America’s back country. Come enjoy his lively performance of traditional tales, ancient legends, inspiring stories, folklore and outrageous personal narratives. He flavors them with regional dialects, lively harmonica riffs, fact stranger than fiction and more than a few belly laughs. So bring a friend and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or beer during the reception starting at 6:30 pm. Mr. Elliott will come on stage at 7 pm. This program is for adults and children who listen like adults. Preregistration required. Members $10; nonmembers $15.

 

Tools of the Sugar House – An Up-Close Experience for Families/All Ages

Saturday, March 4, 9 am -- SOLD OUT

While the evaporator is still cold, preschoolers and their adults are invited to drop in for an up-close look at the maple syrup evaporator and sugaring tools like skimmers, filters and thermometers. With an adult’s help, preschoolers will be able to look inside the sap storage tanks, try on the fire gloves, help set up the Native American rock boiling demonstration, stand on a stool to look inside the evaporator and help prepare the materials to fire up the evaporator for the day. Geared for ages 4-6. Meet at the Outdoor Learning Center. Preregistration required. Free; nonmembers pay daily admission.

 

Roaming the Nature Center: Family Hike with a Naturalist

Tuesday, March 7, 1-3 pm
Thursday, March 9, 1-3 pm
Tuesday, April 4, 1-3 pm

Thursday, April 6, 1-3 pm
Thursday, May 4, 1-3 pm

You never know what you’ll find as you roam the trails of Cincinnati Nature Center on a hike with a naturalist. Hone your observation skills as we focus on seasonal natural happenings while exploring trees, ponds, birds, insects, wildflowers and anything else we might find. Each participant (and adult) should come with a curious mind. Warning: Roaming the Nature Center can be habit forming. You may find your kids begging for more! Meet in the Green Cottage. Appropriate for ages 5 and up. Preregistration required. Members $6 per child per session; nonmembers $10 per child per session (includes daily admission).

 

Full Moon Walk – Sweet Potato Braise

Sunday, March 12, 7 pm
Sunday, March 12, 7:30 pm

Gather ‘round the hearth to celebrate maple season with Dutch oven-baked sweet potatoes. See our collection of historic sugaring equipment, then top your potato with butter, fresh maple syrup and maple-glazed pecans. Afterwards, join Cincinnati Nature Center’s Executive Director, Bill Hopple, for a hike through the sugarbush. Preregistration required. Members $10; nonmembers $14 (includes daily admission).

 

Getting Started with Mason Bees

Sunday, March 12, 2-4 pm

In this family-friendly hands-on class, we’ll cover best practices for attracting and raising mason bees including nest placement, seasonal care needs, natural history, keeping your mason bees healthy, fall cocoon harvest and bee-friendly landscaping practices. We’ll tour the Bee Hotel and help with some bee projects. Each registrant will be provided with 10 nesting tubes so you can start your own bee mini-hotel just in time for the upcoming mason bee season. Preregistration required. Members $7; nonmembers $11 (includes daily admission).

 

Brian’s Hunt by Gary Paulsen

Tuesdays, March 14, March 28 or April 11, 10 am-12:30 pm
Tuesdays, March 14, March 28 or April 11, 1:30-4 pm

Two years after a plane crash stranded him in the woods, Brian has learned to listen and learn from the wilderness he now calls home. Join us for a three-part series as we discuss the final novel in Gary Paulsen’s iconic Hatchet series. Through hands-on activities, we will learn about tracking (session 1), fire-making (session 2) and canoeing (session 3). Assigned readings will be given for each session. Bring your own snack and book to each session. The first two sessions will be held at Rowe Woods; the last will be at Long Branch Farm & Trails. Great for homeschoolers in grades 4-7! Preregistration required. Members $18 per student for the three-session series; nonmembers $30 per student for the three-session series (includes daily admission).

 

Intro to Bow Drill Fire Making

Saturday, March 25, 9:30 am-12 pm

Learn the ancient Native American way to make fire. In this hands-on class, you’ll make your own bow drill and we’ll help you learn to use it to make fire with natural tinders. With practice, your efforts can be blown into flame. A snack will be served. Bring a pocketknife if you have one. Meet at the Outdoor Learning Center. For ages 10 and up with adult. Preregistration required. Members $7; nonmembers $11 (includes daily admission).

 

Make and Take: Craft Your Own Hiking Stick

Saturday, March 25, 2-4 pm
Saturday, May 6, 10 am-12 pm

Choose your own pre-harvested honeysuckle branch and craft it into a customized hiking stick. Use simple hand tools to cut, smooth and work the stick. Add embellishments like brass tacks or a tip then cut and add your own leather lanyard. Meet at the Outdoor Learning Center. Fees are per stick kit; a parent may purchase one stick to work on with their child. Preregistration required. Members $5; nonmembers $9 (includes daily admission).

 

Family Hike: Froggy Spotting Adventure

Friday, April 7, 6:30-8 pm

Join us for a stroll up to Reservoir Pond where we’ll listen in on the spring peepers’ chorus. We’ll also try our hand at spotting these tiny native frogs and their fellow pond residents. Meet at the Outdoor Learning Center. Suitable for ages 4-8 with an adult. Preregistration required. Free; nonmembers pay $4 child, $9 adult (includes daily admission).

 

Hidden Stream Creatures: A Drop-in Trailside Experience

Sunday, April 9, 1-3 pm
Saturday, May 6, 1-3 pm

Peer into the lives of hidden creatures that help us determine the health of streams. Join us at the first stream crossing on the Geology Trail (west of the limestone steps) for a rare opportunity to search for stonefly larvae, water pennies and more. We’ll use special tools and techniques to discover how the stream supports a delicate balance of life. Drop in anytime between 1-3 pm,
and please wear closed-toe shoes. All ages welcome. Free; nonmembers pay daily admission.

 

Full Moon Walk

Tuesday, April 11, 8 pm
Wednesday, May 10, 8:45 pm

Hit the trails at night and enjoy the full moon and natural history readings. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Preregistration required. Members $5; nonmembers $9 (includes daily admission).

 

Fossil Hunt at Avey’s Run: A Drop-in Trailside Experience

Saturday, April 22, 2-4 pm

Travel back in time at Avey’s Run. Explore our rock layers and fossils and how they fit into the vast timeline of our planet. We’ll hunt for fossils and uncover the story they have to tell us. All ages are welcome. Join us at the first stream crossing on the Geology Trail (west of the limestone steps) any time between 2-4 pm. Free.

 

Gary Paulsen’s The River to Reality: Using Resources Wisely to Survive

Thursdays, April 27, May 11 or May 25, 10 am-12:30 pm
Thursdays, April 27, May 11 or May 25, 1:30-4 pm

The River, by Gary Paulsen, shows readers that being calm and resourceful in emergency situations can save lives. Join us for a three-part series as we discover the basics of wilderness survival (session 1), safety in the wilderness (session 2) and navigation (session 3). Assigned reading will be given for each session. Bring your own snack and book to each session in the Outdoor Learning Center. This program is great for homeschoolers grades 4-7. Preregistration required. Members $18 per student for the three-session series; nonmembers $30 per student for the three-session series (includes daily admission).

 

Fantastic Eggs and Where to Find Them: A Guided Hike for Families

Saturday, May 6, 1:30-3 pm

In the spring, eggs are all around, under your feet and even above the clouds. We’ll search for insect eggs, bird eggs, reptile and amphibian eggs and yes, even plant eggs. On this “egg stravaganza” of a guided hike, we’ll crack open some of the mysteries of eggs to find out where they are found and the amazing ways they survive. Meet in the lobby of the Rowe Visitor Center. Suitable for ages 6 and up with adult. Preregistration required. Members $4; nonmembers $8 (includes daily admission).

 

Pollinator Garden: Garden Open House

Saturday, May 13, 2-4 pm

Drop by the Pollinator Garden near Abner Hollow Cabin between 2-4 pm to peruse what’s in bloom and harvest ideas for enhancing your yard for pollinators and other wildlife. Representatives will be available to offer tips on native plant selection and suggestions for garden design. Get inspired, then go shopping at the Native Plant Sale. Free; nonmembers pay daily admission.

 

Family Hike: Colors of Spring

Sunday, May 14, 1-2 pm

Shades of yellow, blue, green and purple abound during the annual spring awakening. Come explore a rainbow of colors with us as we trek on a short hike, go on a color hunt and learn about why we see so many different colors in the spring. Dress to be outdoors. Perfect for families with children ages 3-6. Preregistration required. Free; nonmembers pay $4 child, $9 adult (includes daily admission).

 

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen at LBFT

Tuesday, May 23, 10 am-12 pm
Tuesday, May 23, 1:30-3:30 pm

Join us at Long Branch Farm & Trails for a relaxing time of canoeing inspired by Gary Paulsen’s picture book Canoe Days. We’ll read the book, then glide across the pond in canoes in search of frogs, dragonflies, butterflies and more. Practice tracking on the way to the pond by searching for deer tracks and sniffing for fox scents! Meet at the White Creekside Barn. Appropriate for ages 4-8 with parent. Preregistration required. Members $6 per child; nonmembers $10 per child (includes daily admission).

 

Grow Your Own Pawpaw Trees: A Hands-on How to Class

Saturday, May 27, 2-4 pm

The pawpaw is an indigenous understory tree that bears North America’s largest native fruit and can be a welcome ecological enhancement to your yard. Learn by doing as you help in our pawpaw patches. We’ll cover how to improve fruiting in a woodland grove or start an orchard-style planting. We’ll cover strategies for gathering fruit, gauging ripeness, processing fruit and tips on cooking with pawpaw. Food samples included. Each participant will receive five pawpaw seeds and growing instructions. Meet at the Green Cottage. Preregistration required. Members $7; nonmembers $11 (includes daily admission).