Our facility will be closed on Friday, March 22nd for an all-staff meeting.
Our building will reopen to the public at 10am on Saturday, March 23rd.

As always, our grounds and trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

Our facility is open on weekdays from 9am to 4pm and on weekends from 10am to 2pm.

As always, our grounds and trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

Daycare and Pre-K

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 12.52.22 PMThe educational programs at ALNC are focused on learning by doing and are tailored to fit your group’s special interests and needs.

All programs are held rain or shine! Children should be dressed to be outside regardless of the season. However, our building is often used for a portion of the program and in cases of inclement weather. Tour length is generally 1 to 1.5 hours.

Fees and Logistics 

  • Peak Season (April 1 – November 15): $50 per Naturalist Educator
  • Non-Peak Season (November 16 – March 31): $40 per Naturalist Educator
  • Naturalist to Student Ratio: 1:10 2nd grade and under; 1:12 for 3rd grade and over
  • All teachers and daycare personnel are free as well as 1 additional parent chaperone per naturalist. Each additional chaperone is $3
  • Payment is required two weeks prior to the day of your program.
  • Programs are held regardless of the weather as we are able to move activities indoors if needed.

Choose a program and contact our Education Department via phone or email to schedule. Please call (608) 221-0404 x 1 or email schools@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org. If you don’t see a topic you’d like, simply make a suggestion and we’ll let you know what we can do!

Program Topics

Animal Tracks and Signs
Learn how to investigate the lives of animals through the tracks and other signs they leave behind! Games, a nature hike and a hunt for animal tracks are included. This is a great winter program!

Camouflage in Nature
A green insect on a green leaf or a gray squirrel on a dark tree trunk. Why do some animals blend in and some do not? We’ll look for the answer to this intriguing question through first-hand observations and games. Pond dipping is included when possible.

Discover how each organism meets its basic needs for food, water, shelter and space in order to survive. Through a hike, activities and a puppet show we’ll investigate the various habitats of the Nature Center and the life each supports. Pond dipping included when possible.

Incredible Insects
Journey to the pond in search of aquatic insects and take a hike through the prairie to inspect galls and ant hills. A puppet show will illustrate the different ways insects grow through their life stages. Pond dipping included when possible.

Plant Life
Children will observe the diversity of the plant kingdom on a hike through the prairie, woodland and wetland habitats. We’ll study the structure and function of flowering plant parts and learn what all plants need to survive. We will then record our observations through writing and drawing in a journal.

Pond and Marsh
Our most popular program introduces youth to the pond and marsh habitats. Discover fascinating pond critters and heighten observation skills in this interactive, hands-on program!

Seasonal Discovery
There’s always something new happening at the Nature Center! Hike to see what’s on display in:

  • Fall – Sunny prairie flowers, sticky seeds, migrating birds, scurrying squirrels and falling leaves
  • Winter – Animal tracks, snow crystals, tree skeletons, hardy birds, burrowing mammals
  • Spring – Woodland wildflowers, bursting tree buds, chorusing frogs, returning birds, emerging insects

Using All the Senses
The call of a frog, the scent of a trail, the shape of a leaf and the texture of bark are all ways to identify plants and animals. Discover why some animals blend in and some do not as we investigate the trails for all of nature’s colors and shapes! Camouflage worm game included during program.

Wintering in Wisconsin
Where do woodland animals go when the snow flies? Meet true hibernators like the groundhog and deep sleepers such as the chipmunk in this program. We’ll take an up-close look at study mounts and explore the grounds on a nature hike!

Want us to visit you?  Traveling programs are available!  For more information, visit our
Off-Site Programming page.

For more program ideas, check out our K-2 program listings or contact our Education Manager at (608) 221-0404 x 1 or schools@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org.


Aldo Leopold Nature Center