Pre-Elementary: Ages 3–5 or Grade Pre-K (In-person)

We continue to find flexible and adaptive new ways to meet the needs of children and families during this pandemic. Our emphasis is on providing inquiry-based environmental and outdoor education programs for small groups, typically made up of no more than 10–12 individuals. Our programs, as always, are focused on learning from nature, but we are placing a heightened focus on meeting the need children have for unstructured time with their peers. It is essential to children’s social-emotional development and general sense of well-being to be able to play and be free outside with each other!

Programs may also be viewed in a calendar.

A note about registration: Many of our programs fill quickly, so we highly recommend registering on the waiting list. We go to this list first if a space opens up. And by adding your name, you can help us better plan for the programs that are in high demand.

Nature Discovery Preschool Adventures 

Ages 3–5 or Grades Pre-K
Limited to 12 participants (limit of 2 children per adult).

with Colleen Kelley
Fridays, 10:00–11:30am OR 1:00–2:30pm
Spring: March 19, March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18


with Helen Ann Sephton
Fridays, 10:00–11:30am OR 1:00–2:30pm
Spring: March 19, March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18

Fee per Child: Tier A-$17 per day | Tier B-$13 per day | Tier C-$9 per day | Tier D- $7
Fee per Adult: Tier A-$21 per day | Tier B-$17 per day | Tier C-$13 per day | Tier D- $9

Come explore the surprises of Spring! This award-winning adult and child preschool program offers weekly outdoor exploration together combined with multi-modal learning experiences to foster wonder and curiosity about the natural world. Each program includes movement, song, nature exploration, snacktime, and a story. Sign up for one or more days and choose from one of two time offerings, Friday mornings or afternoons. An adult caregiver must attend with child(ren). 

Spring Sessions
March 19: Water Wonders
March 26: Vernal Pool Discoveries
April 2: Mud Magic
April 9: Signs of Spring
April 16: Chipmunk Song
April 30: Turtle Time
May 7: Bud Babies
May 14: Camouflage Fun
May 21: Nest Builders
May 28: Flower Fun
June 4: Colors in Nature
June 11: Roxaboxen
June 18: Roly-poly-ology

COVID-19 Safety

Read our complete COVID-19 Program Participant Guidelines.

Our in-person programs will be held outdoors, even in the cold weather monthsOutdoor learning environments have been shown to be one of the safest ways to teach while  preventing the spread of COVID-19.  

Masks will be required at all times when social distancing (six feet apart) is not able to be maintained. This will continue until our local and state health officials say otherwise.

As much as our teaching approach is “hands-on,” we will be limiting touching and sharing. If any equipment or materials are needed as part of the program, we will provide participants with their own. All equipment and materials will be returned and individually disinfected at the end of the program.

Participants need to come prepared for all outdoor weather conditions. We suggest bringing a backpack with extra layers, including socks and hats, bottled water, and snacks, as well as insect repellent and sunscreen as-needed.


Given this time of financial hardship for our community and our organization, we are offering a new sliding scale fee structure aimed to provide greater flexibility in choosing a price that is right for you and your family.

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment