Children, Youth and Family Programs

Beginning with children in their earliest years, we believe that multiple touches at every developmental stage of a child’s life foster ecological stewardship that is sound to the core. Each year, our programs help get thousands of children outside, connected with their own natural environment, exploring and understanding the life it supports, addressing real-world environmental problems, and developing their sense of citizenship and their role in solving those problems in constructive and meaningful ways. Learn about the importance of getting children outside.

Learn more below about the wide array of fun and engaging learning opportunities for your child and family or check our calendar.

Registration for Winter and most Spring Children and Family programs is open.
Click HERE to register.

Nature Play Afterschool—Ages 6–9

Our Nature Play Afterschool program seeks to support free play and experimentation in the outdoors and with natural themed explorations. Our afterschoolers, ages 6–9, learn to become comfortable in the outdoors and eagerly anticipate their afternoons of outdoor exploration in all seasons. Learn more…

Girls into the Wild Afterschool—Ages 8–10

Girls into the Wild is designed to bring girls together in a supportive environment that fosters creativity, nature skills and inquiry. Each afternoon will consist of hands-on projects and free outdoor exploration. Through team building, exploring nearby habitats, and connecting with nature, we will develop our confidence, build friendships and have a lot of fun learning! Learn more…

Hitchcock Homeschool—Ages 6–12

Our Homeschool programs—both Hitchcock Homeschool and Homeschool Discovery Days—provide children with science and nature themes designed to encourage thoughtful curiosity. This year-round homeschool program provides innovative curriculum to help children ages 6–12 develop the skills and competencies they need to become environmentally literate. Learn more…

Nature Discovery Preschool—Ages 3–5

This award-winning parent and child preschool program for ages 3–5 offers weekly outdoor exploration combined with multi-modal learning experiences to foster wonder and curiosity about the natural world. Fall and Spring sessions are offered Friday mornings and afternoons. Learn more…

Nature Summer Camp—Ages 6–7 & 8–10

At Hitchcock Nature Summer Camp children learn and play in the natural world. With outdoor classrooms, campers form deep connections with nature and gain appreciation for the interdependence of all life. Nature play, art projects, live animal visits and games are part of every session. We nurture each child’s natural curiosity and use model building, songs and hikes to support our learning. As we explore the fascinating features of the Pioneer Valley at Hitchcock and nearby field trip sites, we cultivate a sense of place, connect with nature, and of course, make new friends! Learn more…

Vacation Camps—Ages 6–7 & 8–10

Vacation camps offer the opportunity for nature based learning during breaks in the school calendar. Camps are offered daily from 8:30am–3:00pm during the weeks of February and April school vacation. Families may register for as many days as they like. Please check back for programs as they become available.

Additional Programs

Other program offerings include an array of programs: Monarch Tagging, Youth Birding, Enchanted Forest, Festivals, Second Saturday Science, and Curriculum Days throughout the year. Learn more…

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment