Creekside Critters programs take preschoolers on a learning adventure indoors and out! Offered through the school year, children will actively learn about the natural world with stories, hands-on activities, games, crafts and songs. Programs are approximately 45 minutes long and the fee is $4.00. There is no charge for adult chaperones, except for maple syruping programs.
This fee includes free admission to exhibits and use of picnic areas. Our calendar fills quickly so call early to reserve your date. Visit our Scheduling and Policies section for more details.
If a topic you are interested in is not covered in our field trip list, we may be able to create a special field trip for you. Please talk with our program registrar – Rachel Bailey.
Get to know some of Iowa’s wild animals! Spend time discovering fun things about their fur, their tracks, what they like to eat, and how they choose to live. Play some animal games. Go for a hike to explore their habitats and enjoy the great outdoors.
Seasons Offered: Fall, Summer, Spring
Discover the many good things bats do for us. Where do they live? What do they eat? How do these flying mammals hunt? Listen to a story and play a bat game.
Do you think your wingspan can match that of an eagle’s? Can you spot an object up to a mile away? Can you guess the size of a bald eagle nest? Discover the special habits of predatory birds and find out about the unique adaptations of owls and eagles.
Honey is a sweet treat that the bees work all summer to make. Discover the community of a beehive while getting to know the drone, worker, and queen bee.
Plants and animals prepare for winter in various ways. Come learn how and why they do this. Find out who takes a long winter nap and who stays awake to play in the snow.
Explore the fascinating world of our feathered friends and go bird watching with a naturalist. Take a peek at our collection of bird nests and colorful feathers while you learn about their songs, characteristics and habitats.
This unique, fun activity can only be experienced in late winter! Listen to Native American legends, tap a tree and visit the sugarhouse to see how sap is made into delicious maple syrup. The hour ends with a taste of our real maple syrup on ice cream! Note: Program fee is $4 per child and $2 per adult.
Sun, meadows and buzzing bugs create a special experience as children hunt through the tall grass for insects and learn about their characteristics. Children will also take a peek at the homes of carpenter ants, wasps and bees.
As the weather warms up, so does the frog chorus! Children will learn about the frog life cycle, special frog features, sing frog songs and go on a frog watching hike.
Spiders are amazing creatures. Learn about this and more as we study these wonderful creatures. Discover fun facts about spiders and go on a spider “hunt.”
Do you know that trees tell stories? Come learn the secrets hidden in apartment house trees. Learn the parts of a tree and discover the great things trees do for us. Search for leaf shapes, feel bark textures, smell a tree, and make fabulous tree craft to take home.
A short walk on the trails reveals tunnels, holes and mounds of dirt. Who made them? How were they made, and why? Meet animals who dig for food, homes and transportation at Indian Creek, and go on a nature hike.
Creatures leave their tracks and traces in the mud and snow. Go on a tracking walk, learn about food chains and make an animal track craft.