ALNC UPDATES

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

Because we are a childcare facility and still following public health protocols, we will retain a few restrictions, including requiring masking indoors and limited access to some public offerings and areas of our facility. We may also have to adjust our hours or access on short notice. We appreciate your patience as we work through changes in staffing and schedules, and work to find a healthy balance of access and safety for our community.

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

Birthday Parties

Let’s celebrate!

A happy, hands-on celebration awaits your child during a nature-themed birthday party at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center! We offer several fun-filled options to make your child’s birthday memorable.

Masks must be worn by all program participants indoors (please review our mask policy) and encourage physical distancing whenever possible. Masks are optional outdoors.

Each party includes 1 hour of guided activities and 1 hour of free time in the party area. ALNC will provide reusable plates, utensils, cups as well as pitchers of water and cake serving utensils. You may opt to bring your own, but ALNC strongly encourages using reusable supplies to lighten the footprint of your party and reduce waste.

Availability: Birthday parties are held Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 3pm. Weeknight times may be an option during the fall, winter, and spring. Weekend times book quickly – especially in the summer – so we recommend scheduling your party at least 1-2 months in advance.

Fee: $16 per child; $160 minimum. ALNC members save 10%. A non-refundable $50 deposit is required when booking. The remaining balance is due on the day of the party. Late payments may result in a $25 late payment fee.

Booking: Email birthdays@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org for more information or to schedule a party. We will need the following details to complete your reservation:

  • Preferred party date and time
  • Birthday child’s name and age
  • Adult’s name, phone number, email address, and billing address
  • Program theme
  • Anticipated number of party guests (can be updated later)
  • Membership status
  • $50 deposit (will be invoiced at the time of booking)

Weather Policy: Please dress for the weather and the season, as all programs have outdoor components (i.e. jackets, boots in winter, snow or rain gear, hats for cold or sun, gloves/mittens, sunscreen/bug spray, etc). Parties are held regardless of weather, though in the case of thunder, lightning, or other inclement conditions, alternate indoor activities will be provided. We have covered, outdoor program spaces available next to the building that provide shelter in most weather conditions.

Cancellation/Refund Policy: If you must reschedule you party, we will do our best to find an alternate date. However, if rescheduling is not possible, the $50 deposit is non-refundable.

 

PARTY THEMES

BUG BIRTHDAY (spring, summer, fall)
From the land to the water to the air, insects are found almost everywhere! Collect and observe insects up close, learn about insect anatomy, and discover some of the important jobs insects have in nature.

FEATHERED FRIENDS (all seasons)
Celebrate with style on a birding adventure! Learn what makes a bird a bird, hike the ALNC grounds with binoculars, and play games to learn different bird calls. Add an owl pellet dissection for each child or pair of children for an additional $2/pellet.

FURRY FRIENDS (all seasons)
Do you love animals? We do, too! Join us to celebrate all things furry, fuzzy, and fabulous! Explore the pond, prairie, and woodland in search of ALNC’s resident mammals and the clues they leave behind.

NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT (all seasons)
Join us as we head out for a scavenger hunt! Children will follow clues to hidden treasures throughout the grounds in search of seasonal nature items.

LIVING OFF THE LAND PARTY (all seasons)
Bring your friends and celebrate sustainably! We’ll play games, try our hand at churning butter and grinding grain, learn sustainable skills and have a blast!

POND EXPLORATION (spring, summer, fall)
Search for and discover the wide range of animals that call our pond home! We’ll catch aquatic critters and learn about the neat adaptations they’ve developed to thrive in their watery environment.

SNOWSHOE ADVENTURE (winter only – for children ages 6 and up)
Let’s have an adventure! ALNC will provide snowshoes and a brief snowshoe lesson before we head out on the trails to explore and play games on snowshoes. In the absence of snow, we will substitute winter survival activities instead.

WILD THINGS! (all seasons)
Make masks and transform into wild things! We will read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and hike the trails in search of ALNC’s very own wild things.

WOODLAND FAIRIES & GNOMES (all seasons)
Discover the magical world of fairy folk and explore the woodland in search of these secretive creatures! We’ll design and create our own fairy or gnome homes for our forest friends to find.

OTHER (all seasons)
Don’t see a theme that fits your child’s interests? Contact us to see if we can create a tailored party just for you!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Age: Birthday parties are offered for children ages 3 and up.
  • Group Size: Maximum group size is 20 children, including siblings over the age of 3 and the birthday child. Please provide us with an estimated number of guests (both children and adults) when booking your party. One week prior to the party, please email birthdays@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org with the final guest count.
  • Setup and Decorations: You may arrive up to 30 minutes prior to the party to set up. We will provide tables and seating in addition to plates, cups, utensils, napkins and a felt birthday banner. You are welcome to bring your own supplies if you would like them to match with a specific theme. Banners, streamers and other decorations are permitted with the use of blue painters tape. Helium balloons are not allowed. Piñatas may be done outdoors only.
  • Food: You may bring in your own food or have it delivered. A refrigerator shelf and freezer are available. Please bring a cooler if additional refrigeration is necessary. Alcohol is not permitted.
  • Trash and Recycling: Please dispose of all trash and recyclables in the bins provided. We ask that you leave the area as you found it upon arrival.
  • Supervision: You are responsible for the discipline of all children, which may include removing individuals from activities if they are not behaving in an appropriate manner.
  • Parking: Parking is available in front of the Nature Center or in the bus parking lot. A cart is available to help you load and unload your vehicle if needed.
  • Weather and What to Wear: Please remind party guests to dress for the weather as parties occur rain or shine and attendees will spend time outdoors. In the event of inclement weather, program activities may be adapted and conducted indoors.

 

ALNC Members Save 10%

Learn more about membership and how you can empower the next generation for a healthy, sustainable future.


Interested in hosting a party for adults? Please see our information on building rentals or contact (608) 216-9370 or rentals@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org for additional information.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center