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Aldo Leopold Nature Center | Monona Campus

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330 Femrite Drive Monona, 53716 United States
(608) 221-0404

The Monona Campus, with its gentle, glaciated patchwork of oak savanna, wetlands, prairies and woodlands provides a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city life that surrounds it. Here, visitors are invited to explore local flora and fauna on the trails and see how their observations connect to global phenomena through interactive exhibits.

Upcoming Events

October 2018
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Field of Dreams (Tues AM)

October 23 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t get stuck grazing around! There is nothing fictional about this world at our feet. Join in songs, games, crafts, and more all about this understated habitat. You’ll be so glade you came! Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Fall on the Frontier

October 23 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pioneers had a lot of work to do during the fall harvest time. Aside from harvesting their crops, they had to chop and stack wood, grind corn, and prepare food for the family. There are plenty of chores to be done on our frontier, although there will also be time for some fun games and activities for all of our pioneers to play! Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Field of Dreams (Tues PM)

October 23 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Don’t get stuck grazing around! There is nothing fictional about this world at our feet. Join in songs, games, crafts, and more all about this understated habitat. You’ll be so glade you came! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Field of Dreams (Wed AM)

October 24 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t get stuck grazing around! There is nothing fictional about this world at our feet. Join in songs, games, crafts, and more all about this understated habitat. You’ll be so glade you came! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Field of Dreams (Thurs AM)

October 25 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t get stuck grazing around! There is nothing fictional about this world at our feet. Join in songs, games, crafts, and more all about this understated habitat. You’ll be so glade you came! Continue reading

Find out more »
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Apple Science (MMSD)

October 26 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Apples today keep the no-school blues away! Come join us for a smorgasbord of science featuring a favorite fall fruit. We’ll learn how to use a cider press and make our own cider, explore different types of apples, bake an apple snack, dissect an apple, make apple art and learn about physics and reactions with apple eruptions! Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Field of Dreams (Fri AM)

October 26 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t get stuck grazing around! There is nothing fictional about this world at our feet. Join in songs, games, crafts, and more all about this understated habitat. You’ll be so glade you came! Continue reading

Find out more »
FREE

Family Public Program: Fall Fest

October 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Celebrate the “creatures of the night” and join us for a special night full of “spooktacular” activities indoors and out for your whole family! Continue reading

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Free

Bird & Nature Outing at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

October 27 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Join us for regularly scheduled – 4th Saturday of every month – Bird & Nature Outings at Edna Taylor Conservation Park! This free, family-friendly nature hike requires no registration and is co-sponsored by Madison FUN Friends of Urban Nature partner groups Madison Parks, Madison Audubon and Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Noisy Neighbor (Tues AM)

October 30 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Startling birds of a rowdy nature are the topic of today. Let us introduce you to the raucous and wondrous world of starlings. Games and songs will reveal the truth about these feathered foreigners. Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Animals of the Night

October 30 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This time of year is when the night time creatures take center stage. With Halloween just around the corner, it is a perfect time to learn all about the animals that rule the night sky. Can an owl turn its head all the way around? Are bats really blind? We will learn about these and many more animals that can be found under the cover of darkness. Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Noisy Neighbor (Tues PM)

October 30 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Startling birds of a rowdy nature are the topic of today. Let us introduce you to the raucous and wondrous world of starlings. Games and songs will reveal the truth about these feathered foreigners. Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Noisy Neighbor (Wed AM)

October 31 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Startling birds of a rowdy nature are the topic of today. Let us introduce you to the raucous and wondrous world of starlings. Games and songs will reveal the truth about these feathered foreigners. Continue reading

Find out more »
November 2018
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Noisy Neighbor (Thurs AM)

November 1 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Startling birds of a rowdy nature are the topic of today. Let us introduce you to the raucous and wondrous world of starlings. Games and songs will reveal the truth about these feathered foreigners. Continue reading

Find out more »
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Blowing in the Wind (MGSD)

November 2 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Fall breezes are here bringing cooler weather and tossing colorful leaves all around ALNC! We will spend the day observing our fall weather with meteorological tools, crafting art from fallen leaves, creating our very own pinwheels, collecting native seeds to scatter across our prairie, and much more! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Noisy Neighbor (Fri AM)

November 2 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Startling birds of a rowdy nature are the topic of today. Let us introduce you to the raucous and wondrous world of starlings. Games and songs will reveal the truth about these feathered foreigners. Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Sing Me A Birdsong (Tues AM)

November 6 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee. You probably know that sound and the little bird that makes it! Chickadees’ songs fill the air all year long. Come discover the fascinating world of these black-capped singers. You’ll be happ-y-y-y you joined the throng! Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Plants A-Plenty

November 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Plants are everywhere! Some plants smell nice, other plants we call weeds, and still others we can eat! Plants are a very important part of food chains and the ecosystem as a whole. What do you have at your house that is made from a plant? There may be more items than you expect! Join us as we learn about plant power and their importance in our lives. Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Sing Me A Birdsong (Tues PM)

November 6 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee. You probably know that sound and the little bird that makes it! Chickadees’ songs fill the air all year long. Come discover the fascinating world of these black-capped singers. You’ll be happ-y-y-y you joined the throng! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Sing Me A Birdsong (Wed AM)

November 7 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee. You probably know that sound and the little bird that makes it! Chickadees’ songs fill the air all year long. Come discover the fascinating world of these black-capped singers. You’ll be happ-y-y-y you joined the throng! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Sing Me A Birdsong (Thurs AM)

November 8 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee. You probably know that sound and the little bird that makes it! Chickadees’ songs fill the air all year long. Come discover the fascinating world of these black-capped singers. You’ll be happ-y-y-y you joined the throng! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Sing Me A Birdsong (Fri AM)

November 9 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee. You probably know that sound and the little bird that makes it! Chickadees’ songs fill the air all year long. Come discover the fascinating world of these black-capped singers. You’ll be happ-y-y-y you joined the throng! Continue reading

Find out more »
$26/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Blowing in the Wind (MMSD Early Release)

November 9 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Fall breezes are here bringing cooler weather and tossing colorful leaves all around ALNC! We will spend the day observing our fall weather with meteorological tools, crafting art from fallen leaves, creating our very own pinwheels, collecting native seeds to scatter across our prairie, and much more! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Something is Rotten (Tues AM)

November 13 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t be alarmed! It’s not your leftover lunch. It’s a rotting log! This decomposing treat is home to critters large and small. Discover this putrid part of the life cycle of trees. You’ll be spoiled! Continue reading

Find out more »
$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: What’s the Weather Like?

November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Today, the temperature will be 45 degrees and there is a strong chance of some snow overnight. How do weather forecasters know what the weather will be like? We will get a chance to learn about weather and how we are influenced by weather, and we will be able to see real-time weather patterns on our Science on a Sphere! Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Something is Rotten (Tues PM)

November 13 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Don’t be alarmed! It’s not your leftover lunch. It’s a rotting log! This decomposing treat is home to critters large and small. Discover this putrid part of the life cycle of trees. You’ll be spoiled! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Something is Rotten (Wed AM)

November 14 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t be alarmed! It’s not your leftover lunch. It’s a rotting log! This decomposing treat is home to critters large and small. Discover this putrid part of the life cycle of trees. You’ll be spoiled! Continue reading

Find out more »
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Cozy Hidey Homes (MMSD)

November 15 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hideaway with us for the day as we learn about where animals go to stay warm, safe, and sound! We will be out exploring ALNC looking for various animals’ homes, playing camouflage games, learning about hibernation, and enjoying a special ‘Rotting Log’ puppet show. Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Something is Rotten (Thurs AM)

November 15 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t be alarmed! It’s not your leftover lunch. It’s a rotting log! This decomposing treat is home to critters large and small. Discover this putrid part of the life cycle of trees. You’ll be spoiled! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Something is Rotten (Fri AM)

November 16 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Don’t be alarmed! It’s not your leftover lunch. It’s a rotting log! This decomposing treat is home to critters large and small. Discover this putrid part of the life cycle of trees. You’ll be spoiled! Continue reading

Find out more »

Land Steward Work Days

November 17 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)
Every month on the third Saturday until November 17, 2018

Land Stewards & Restorationists — We Need YOU! Interested in helping restore and maintain ALNC’s prairie, marsh, and woodlands? Join us one Saturday a month, March through November, to help control invasives, seed with native plants, get dirty and have some fun! Volunteer work days will focus mainly on land management and other projects as needed. Work days may be cancelled or planned activities modified due to inclement weather. Here are just a few Land Stewards projects: Cut honeysuckle and other unwanted brush…

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: GALL-EEE! (Tues AM)

November 20 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

A larva parasitized me! Come uncover the appalling world of galls! But don’t let them rub you the wrong way; we’ll discover why galls really are important. It’s a fascinating world of insect survival!! Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Gobble Gobble!

November 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

It’s almost Turkey Day! Did you know the Turkey was once suggested to be the national symbol of the United States? We will learn all about these fascinating birds and discover some fun facts about them and some of their other feathered friends. Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: GALL-EEE! (Tues PM)

November 20 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

A larva parasitized me! Come uncover the appalling world of galls! But don’t let them rub you the wrong way; we’ll discover why galls really are important. It’s a fascinating world of insect survival!! Continue reading

Find out more »
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Gobble Gobble (MGSD & MMSD)

November 21 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Calling all Jakes and Jennys! Come join us for a very “fowl” morning of fun as we learn all about turkeys. Learn how (and why) they to gobble, explore the habit and habitats of wild turkey, and how to identify turkey scat through fun games, crafts and outdoor explorations. Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: GALL-EEE! (Wed AM)

November 21 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

A larva parasitized me! Come uncover the appalling world of galls! But don’t let them rub you the wrong way; we’ll discover why galls really are important. It’s a fascinating world of insect survival!! Continue reading

Find out more »
Free

Bird & Nature Outing at Edna Taylor Conservation Park

November 24 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Join us for regularly scheduled – 4th Saturday of every month – Bird & Nature Outings at Edna Taylor Conservation Park! This free, family-friendly nature hike requires no registration and is co-sponsored by Madison FUN Friends of Urban Nature partner groups Madison Parks, Madison Audubon and Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Lend Me Your Cheers (Tues AM)

November 27 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

And you will hear a wild tale about the natural world. Come listen to the sounds of the world around us. Games, crafts, and more will have you giving three cheers for all things wild and free! Hip, hip, hooray! Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Orienteering

November 27 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

“Put Red in the Shed and follow Fred.” If you can say this sentence, you can use a compass! We’ll learn the parts of a compass, some basic orienteering techniques, and test our skills on a compass course. Continue reading

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$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Lend Me Your Cheers (Tues PM)

November 27 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

And you will hear a wild tale about the natural world. Come listen to the sounds of the world around us. Games, crafts, and more will have you giving three cheers for all things wild and free! Hip, hip, hooray! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Lend Me Your Cheers (Wed AM)

November 28 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

And you will hear a wild tale about the natural world. Come listen to the sounds of the world around us. Games, crafts, and more will have you giving three cheers for all things wild and free! Hip, hip, hooray! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Lend Me Your Cheers (Thurs AM)

November 29 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

And you will hear a wild tale about the natural world. Come listen to the sounds of the world around us. Games, crafts, and more will have you giving three cheers for all things wild and free! Hip, hip, hooray! Continue reading

Find out more »
$10/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Wonder Bugs Preschool Program: Lend Me Your Cheers (Fri AM)

November 30 @ 9:30 am - 10:45 am

And you will hear a wild tale about the natural world. Come listen to the sounds of the world around us. Games, crafts, and more will have you giving three cheers for all things wild and free! Hip, hip, hooray! Continue reading

Find out more »
December 2018
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Winter Survival (MGSD)

December 3 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Any of us could find ourselves in a situation where we need to use winter survival skills. In this adventurous program, we’ll learn what nature provides to help us survive, learn how to dress appropriately, pack a survival kit and work cooperatively. After learning this, we’ll head to the woods to test our skills in building a fire and creating a makeshift shelter. Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Guess What I Saw!

December 4 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Nature is full of such beautiful sights! Winter is fast approaching and many things have been changing in our outdoor world. We will use our observation skills to record some of the changes that have occurred. What kinds of animals are we seeing? Are there any leaves left on the trees? We will learn about the term phenology and will have the chance to create our own observation journal. Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Winter Survival (MMSD)

December 10 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Any of us could find ourselves in a situation where we need to use winter survival skills. In this adventurous program, we’ll learn what nature provides to help us survive, learn how to dress appropriately, pack a survival kit and work cooperatively. After learning this, we’ll head to the woods to test our skills in building a fire and creating a makeshift shelter. Continue reading

Find out more »
$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Wisconsin’s Native American Cultures

December 11 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Take a trip back in time to see how Native Americans lived long ago! We’ll explore artifacts used as tools and learn how nature was the grocery store, pharmacy, and hardware store to Native Americans. We’ll also hike to a burial mound and learn how and why these land forms were made. Continue reading

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This event is free!

Public Program: Candlelit Snowshoe Hike

December 15 @ 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center, City of Monona, and City of Madison are teaming up for a candlelight evening snowshoe through the trails at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Woodland Park and Edna Taylor Conservation Park. After snowshoeing, warm up by a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate or check out the ALNC’s Climate Education Center and Nature Nook exhibits. Continue reading

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$12/child (members save 10%)

Homeschool Program: Changes Over Time

December 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Earth is constantly changing and scientists have made observations of these changes over many years. We will learn the difference between short-term and long-term changes, such as climate and animal adaptations. We’ll visit the “Children’s Shack” to observe changes in people’s lifestyles and record our observations to create our own records to study. Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Frozen Forts (MGSD & MMSD)

December 26 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

People and animals in cold climates have come up with some special ways of staying warm. We will learn about some of their strategies to find inspiration for a day’s worth of fort building. By the end of the day, we’ll hopefully have various snowy structures with room for everyone! Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Snow Science (MGSD & MMSD)

December 27 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Snow is so much fun to play in! But there is a lot to learn about snow. How does snow form? What do snowflakes look like up close? Is snow always so cold or can it be warm? We will get to the bottom of the fluffy stuff as we learn and, of course, play in the snow! Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Great Backyard Bird Count at ALNC! (MGSD & MMSD)

December 28 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Every year people from all over the country come together to count birds for the Great American Backyard Bird Count. Citizen scientists submit their checklists that help researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. While collecting this info, we’ll hike using binoculars to search for birds, fill bird feeders, and have all sorts of feathery fun! Continue reading

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January 20192019
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Cabin Fever (MMSD)

January 2, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Shake off some of that cabin fever by heading to Aldo Leopold Nature Center! There are many fun games to play in the cold and snow and we will stay cozy and warm while doing so! Get ready to complete challenges in the great outdoors from obstacle courses to capture the flag. Put your outdoor skills to the test and enjoy these last few months of winter! Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Adventures with Aldo (MMSD)

January 3, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Did you know that Aldo Leopold’s birthday is in January? Let’s celebrate his birthday by doing some of his favorite activities! We will learn how to observe nature and record what is happening outside. Phenology is a term you will get to learn and use to compare what we see outside here at ALNC with what other people are seeing outside. Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Little Critters (MMSD)

January 4, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Learning about little critters can be BIG fun! We’ll spend the day learning about mice, voles, moles, shrews, bats and more. Go on a food scavenger hunt, search for signs and scat, find out how they stay warm in winter, dissect an owl pellet to put together a little critter skeleton, and try to observe a little critter up close through live trapping and release. Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Adventures with Aldo (MGSD)

January 18, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Did you know that Aldo Leopold’s birthday is in January? Let’s celebrate his birthday by doing some of his favorite activities! We will learn how to observe nature and record what is happening outside. Phenology is a term you will get to learn and use to compare what we see outside here at ALNC with what other people are seeing outside. Continue reading

Find out more »
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: Clues on Snowshoes (MGSD & MMSD)

January 21, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Walk like a lynx on snowshoes to track rabbits and other prey! We’ll learn how Wisconsin’s mammals adapt to the harsh winter environment as we learn about the true hibernators like the groundhog, deep sleepers such as the chipmunk and those active all winter long, like the fox! Then we’ll strap on snowshoes to search the trails for signs of wildlife wintering in the woods. If no snow is present, we will hike to observe animal signs on foot. All snowshoes will be provided, however if you have snowshoes, you are welcome to bring your own. Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: January Thaw (MMSD)

January 25, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

It’s time to get out weather tools and check for a mid-winter thaw! We will head out across the nature center to record temperatures, identify clouds, check our wind speeds, and even drill down to measure the ice on our pond. While we enjoy a break in the weather we will check all over for signs of animals waking up from their torpor and put out bird feeders for our winter visitors. Continue reading

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February 2019
$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: 6 More Weeks! (MMSD)

February 8, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

From woolly bear caterpillars to groundhogs, animals have been used for a long time as predictors of the weather. We will learn about some of these animals and what they predict, along with some of their unique adaptations. Come learn and explore with us during these last weeks of winter! Continue reading

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$60/child (ALNC members save 10%)

Vacation Day: 6 More Weeks! (MGSD)

February 18, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

From woolly bear caterpillars to groundhogs, animals have been used for a long time as predictors of the weather. We will learn about some of these animals and what they predict, along with some of their unique adaptations. Come learn and explore with us during these last weeks of winter! Continue reading

Find out more »
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