School Programming

Welcome to your 200-acre outdoor classroom!

Our programs bring learning to life as students use their observational skills and senses to discover the wonder of nature. Our naturalists will facilitate hands-on activities with students as they explore the trails and habitats of the Nature Center grounds.

Indian Creek Nature Center offers a variety of programs and trail experiences for students of all ages. Select an option below to learn more!

Why Indian Creek Nature Center?

There is no classroom like the woodlands, prairies, wetlands and trails of Indian Creek Nature Center. Here, children experience the world around them with all five senses, guided by experienced naturalists who skillfully weave formal classroom experiences into hands-on learning outdoors. Nature is truly the best classroom. Every day, we see the enthusiasm, the smiles and the excitement on children’s faces. We hear the stories from teachers like you about how their students blossomed at the Nature Center. 

For almost 50 years teachers have trusted us to deliver engaging, meaningful environmental and outdoor education. We strive to deliver a quality educational experience that supplements your curriculum, and as a result each field trip meets Iowa Core, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. We value play and exploration as a form of learning – your students will do plenty of that here. They won’t even realize how much they’re learning.

Time spent in nature with your class:

    • Supports children’s creativity and imaginations. 
    • Reinforces concepts taught in the classroom. 
    • Provides a refreshing change of pace for students. 
    • Helps children to better learn important math and science concepts.
    • Helps children retain and recall information.
    • Allows for unique class bonding and experiential learning.

Scheduling and Policies

Please call the Nature Center at 319-362-0664 or email our registrar at register for all programs and field trips. A staff member will be available to assist you in finding an available date and getting your program scheduled.

Some dates fill quickly; please plan ahead. Schedule two weeks to one year in advance.  Indian Creek Nature Center offers field trips year-round, Tuesday through Friday. Field trips start times can be scheduled between 9 AM–2 PM. Some field trips are only offered at certain times of the year (see specific field trip listings). 

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Registration Policy

We are happy to provide programming for groups of less than 10 students; however, we do require a minimum payment totaling 10 student admissions. All school and group programs scheduled will require 50% of the total paid in advance in order to reserve the date for the program. A program is not considered scheduled until ICNC receives the fee. The remaining balance will be payable on the day of the program unless other arrangements are made in advance.

Cancellation Policy

Our field trips take place in all seasons, and are not cancelled due to weather. The exception is if the Cedar Rapids school district or your district cancels school due to weather. If you cancel your program less than five business days in advance, your deposit will be forfeited. For cancellations less than 48 hours in advance, a $25 administration fee will also be charged. This includes all reasons other than dangerous weather or other severe circumstances. Complete refunds will be made for any field trip cancelled by ICNC.

Extreme Weather Policy

In the event of extreme temperatures that would make an outdoor field trip, camp, or special event dangerous for the well being of the participants, an Indian Creek Nature Center staff member will make the decision to modify the program to be appropriate to the conditions, including moving the program indoors. During extreme heat, ICNC program participants will be provided with water, given frequent hydration breaks, and allowed to cool off. Volunteers and staff are also encouraged to take frequent breaks and limit the time outside as much as possible. Given our ample space and resources, very rarely does the need arise to cancel a field trip, camp, or program due to extreme temperatures.