Our facility will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15th in observation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Our building will reopen to the public at 9am on Tuesday, Jan. 16th.

As always, our grounds and trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.
Please exercise caution to remain safe on trails, sidewalks, and driveways, as conditions may be icy.

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.

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.

Each party includes 1 hour of staff-led activities based on the theme you choose (see below) and 1 hour of free time in the party area to eat cake/snacks, play games, open presents, etc. ALNC will provide reusable plates, utensils, cups, and napkins as well as pitchers of water and cake serving utensils. You may opt to bring your own, but ALNC strongly encourages using our reusable supplies to 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 pending staff availability, email birthdays@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org to inquire.

Fee: $20 per child; $200 minimum. A non-refundable $50 deposit is required when booking. The remaining balance is due 3 days before the party. Late payments may result in a $25 late payment fee.

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 severe 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 your party, we will do our best to find an alternate date. However, if rescheduling is not possible, the $50 deposit is non-refundable.


Booking: When booking, select a start time of either 10 am or 1 pm and then select the end time of 12pm or 3pm (2 hours after the start time). This will make the reserve button appear. Select RESERVE to move forward in the booking process. Note: you must select either 10 am or 1 pm, then select either 12 pm or 3 pm to get the “RESERVE” button to appear. The system will NOT move forward if you select a different start time or make the party less than 2 hours.

Email birthdays@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org with questions.




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.

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.

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.

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.

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!



  • 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. When completing your final payment 3 days before the party, please update the number to the best of your knowledge.
  • 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.

Interested in hosting a party for adults? Please see our information on building rentals or contact (608) 801-0080 or rentals@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org for additional information.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center