Early childhood field trips take preschoolers on a learning adventure indoors and out! Children learn about the natural world through stories, hands-on activities, games, crafts and songs. All programs take place on our campus in SE Cedar Rapids. 
We are able to accommodate up to 30 students and 4 adults per program session.
For larger groups, please inquire about booking multiple sessions.

Your program fee includes free admission to exhibits and use of picnic areas. Our calendar fills quickly so call early to reserve your date today! Visit our Scheduling and Policies section for more details.

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Fall

Program Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum)

IELS: 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.3 Shapes and Spatial Reasoning, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 13.2 Music, Rhythm, and Movement,13.3 Dramatic Play, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Honey is a sweet treat that the bees work all summer to make. You will learn all about it as you observe the community of a beehive firsthand in the Nature Center’s observation hive. Get to know the drone, worker, and queen bee. How do bees find nectar? How do they communicate with each other? Play a buzzing bee game.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Get to know Iowa’s wild animals! Use your senses to discover fun facts about their fur, their tracks, what they like to eat, and how they choose to live. Get moving with interactive animal games. Go for a hike to explore their habitats and enjoy the great outdoors.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.1 Comparison and Number, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Sun, meadows and buzzing bugs create a special experience as you hunt through the tall grass prairie for insects and learn about their characteristics. Explore the homes of butterflies, ants, grasshoppers, bees and more while enjoying the great outdoors at the Nature Center.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.2 Patterns, 12.3 Shapes and Spatial Reasoning, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.6 Measurement, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

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 explore the forest habitats on Nature Center grounds.

Winter

Program Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum) unless otherwise noted

IELS: 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.6 Measurement, 13.2 Music, Rhythm, and Movement, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

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.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.6 Measurement, 13.1 Art, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Creatures big and small leave their tracks and traces in the mud and snow – birds, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, mice and more! Go on a tracking walk, learn about food chains, and make an animal track craft.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

This unique, fun activity can only be experienced during the month of March! 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! This program meets at the Penningroth Barn (6665 Otis Road SE). 

Fee: $5/student; $5/adult

 

IELS: 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.5 Scientific Investigations and Problem Solving

Hibernation, migration, and adaptation are the words of the day as we explore what different creatures do. We’ll play animal games to see how well you can hibernate, and discover what animals do to get ready for winter. Find out who takes a long winter nap and who stays awake to play in the snow.  Explore the outdoors in winter!

Spring

Program Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum)

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Get to know Iowa’s wild animals! Use your senses to discover fun facts about their fur, their tracks, what they like to eat, and how they choose to live. Get moving with interactive animal games. Go for a hike to explore their habitats and enjoy the great outdoors.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.1 Comparison and Number, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Sun, meadows and buzzing bugs create a special experience as you hunt through the tall grass prairie for insects and learn about their characteristics. Explore the homes of butterflies, ants, grasshoppers, bees and more while enjoying the great outdoors at the Nature Center.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.5 Scientific Investigations and Problem Solving, 12.6 Measurement, 13.3 Dramatic Play, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Nature is always changing all through the year. You might play in the the fall colors, or smell the spring flowers, play in the winter snow or dance in the spring rain. Explore all of the exciting changes in the seasons that are happening right now at the nature center grounds!

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.5 Scientific Investigations and Problem Solving, 12.6 Measurement, 13.2 Music, Rhythm, and Movement, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

As the weather warms up, so does the frog chorus! Listen for frogs at the wetlands. Learn about the frog life cycle and special frog features, sing frog songs, and go on a frog watching hike.

Summer

Learning doesn’t stop in the summer! In fact, the Nature Center is brimming with insect and animal activity. Summer Group Experiences take place June through August.

Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum)
Capacity: Due to COVID-19 we are limiting summer groups to 36 students and 4 adults. For larger groups, please request multiple sessions.

IELS: 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.3 Shapes and Spatial Reasoning, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 13.2 Music, Rhythm, and Movement,13.3 Dramatic Play, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Honey is a sweet treat that the bees work all summer to make. You will learn all about it as you observe the community of a beehive firsthand in the Nature Center’s observation hive. Get to know the drone, worker, and queen bee. How do bees find nectar? How do they communicate with each other? Play a buzzing  bee game.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Get to know Iowa’s wild animals! Use your senses to discover fun facts about their fur, their tracks, what they like to eat, and how they choose to live. Get moving with interactive animal games. Go for a hike to explore their habitats and enjoy the great outdoors.

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 8.3 Small Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.1 Comparison and Number, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

Sun, meadows and buzzing bugs create a special experience as you hunt through the tall grass prairie for insects and learn about their characteristics. Explore the homes of butterflies, ants, grasshoppers, bees and more while enjoying the great outdoors at the Nature Center!

IELS: 8.2 Large Motor Movement, 9.1 Curiosity and Initiative, 9.4 Play and Senses, 10.3 Relationships with Adults, 10.4 Relationships with Children, 11.1 Language Understanding and Use, 12.4 Scientific Reasoning, 12.5 Scientific Investigations and Problem Solving, 12.6 Measurement, 13.2 Music, Rhythm, and Movement, 14.3 Awareness of the Relationship between People and the Environment in which They Live

As the weather warms up, so does the frog chorus! Listen for frogs at the wetlands. Learn about the frog life cycle and special frog features, sing frog songs, and go on a frog watching hike.