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.

COVID-19 Virtual Hitchcock Center

Please renew your membership here.

Did you know that your EBT, WIC, or ConnectorCare card can be used to access membership and programs at the Hitchcock Center? Learn more about the ConnectorCare Card to Culture Program.

Afterschool Programs—Ages 6-11

Afterschool programs at the Hitchcock Center are all about getting kids outside to run, jump, climb, splash, invent, imagine, play and be a free-range kid! Our programs, Nature Play Afterschool and Girls into the Wild, seek to support free play and experimentation in the outdoors in a supportive environment at each child’s comfort level. We help foster creativity, nature skills, inquiry and friendships for ages 6-11 and spend our afternoons with hands-on projects, team building, exploring and connecting with nature. Develop your child’s confidence at afterschool! Learn more…

Homeschool Programs—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 5-7, 7-9, 9-11 & 12-14

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. Learn more…

Additional and Family Programs

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

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment