Community Programs

Great American
Autumn Campout

October 2 – 3

Friday, October 2nd – Saturday, October 3rd
3:30pm – 9:30am

Come and take part in our Great American Autumn Campout to enjoy an evening full of fun & adventure by camping out in New Canaan’s favorite backyard – the New Canaan Nature Center!

Participants will be welcome to set-up their tents in the afternoon between 3:30-5:30pm. From 5:30-7:30pm, we’ll provide a classic camping-style barbeque dinner of hotdogs, grilled corn, & chips. Lemonade and water will be available for all ages; adults are welcome to BYOB. All are invited to enjoy field games and all around fun on the Green!

As the sun begins to set, get ready for the night time adventure to begin. We’ll fire up the campfire ring and head off into the darkness for a special autumn night hike experience. Upon our return, we’ll fill our bellies with some fireside S’mores, before heading off to bed.

In the morning, awake to fog over the meadow, deer browsing nearby, and the promise of another magical day! A light breakfast of bagels, juice, and coffee will also be served.

Bring your own camp gear and snacks. Access to bathrooms will be available through the night.

Rain or shine.

This fun and safe outdoor event is limited to 15 families (or 60 people) to allow for social distancing. 

Face coverings are required for all guests over the age of 2, except when eating. 

Members: $85/family
Non-members: $110/family

*NCNC has a limited number of tents available for rent for $25: to reserve yours, please contact us today.

Halloween
Spooktacular

October 30

Get into the Halloween spirit by joining us for this spooktacular celebration, NCNC-style. Learn about and meet some fiendish friends who remind us of All Hallows Eve (spiders, snakes, owls, & more), enjoy making some creepy crafts (including your very own slime), and share spooky stories around a cackling (erm, we mean crackling) campfire! Top off the evening with our one-of-a-kind jack-o-lantern experience and you will be destined to have a dreadfully wicked evening!

Costumes encouraged & welcome!

Awesome
Autumn Day

November 3

Vote for Nature on Election Day! Come on over to NCNC to enjoy a beautiful autumn day with your kids and the NCNC naturalists. Frolic in the leaves and take part in field games, such as pumpkin ring toss, corn hole, and parachute games, anytime from 1-3pm. Naturalists will also be leading autumn-themed relay races (like pumpkin broom ball) across the Green! At 1:30 and 2:30, get up close and  personal with several of our awesome animal ambassadors.

Thanksgiving
Weekend Waddle

November 28

Grab the entire family (and any lingering holiday visitors too!) and head on down to the New Canaan Nature Center! Join the NCNC Naturalists for a healthy, invigorating Trail Trek to work off that holiday meal. While “waddling” the trails, we’ll search for some of nature’s most treasured gifts and learn why the end of autumn may not be quite as quiet as you may think. As an extra Thanksgiving bonus, after our hike, you’ll also get to enjoy a behind the scenes tour of our Animal Care facilities & Birds of Prey Exhibit – our way of saying “thank you” to the community.

Winter
Wonderland

December 12

Come and be transported into a whole new world as the New Canaan Nature Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland filled with fun and exciting winter holiday activities for the entire family. We hope you will join us to enjoy the warm festive feel the Nature Center puts on this time of year!

Holiday
Break Programs

December 21-23

Perfect for children, ages 3-5! Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of wintry adventures throughout our 40-acre preserve and celebrate the holiday season in true NCNC fashion as nature intended.

Owl Moon
Night Hike

 January 2021

Let the light of the FULL moon be your guide as we explore magic in the woods and unravel the mysteries of our nocturnal neighbors, the owls. We’ll discover how owls use their keen senses to navigate the night and learn first-hand how they can hunt in the dark. We’ll even “give a hoot” and see if we can identify owls by their tell-tale calls, before getting to meet a couple owls up close & personal.

Adopt-a-Tree:
Community Syruping Program

January 2021

Adopt a maple tree for the season! Learn about and participate weekly in the entire syrup making process, from tapping a maple tree to sap collections and boil downs. You’ll even get your very own bottle of NCNC-made maple syrup at our end of season pot-luck dinner in March.

Winter
Break Programs

February 2021

Out of school and looking for some wintry fun in the great outdoors? Come down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of winter-themed adventures throughout the 40-acre expanse of NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

Syrup Saturday:
A Pancakes & PJs Party

March 2021

Bring the whole family and join us for our annual end of syrup season celebration – you won’t want to miss our famously delicious Pancakes & PJs party, complete with TONS of fun syrup-related activities! We’ll be serving up flapjacks, syrup, and an array of tasty toppings in the Visitor Center, while leading tree tapping demos, a real maple sap “boil down,” campfire with marshmallows, and a real v. fake syrup taste test.

The Great Egg Hunt &
Spring Celebration

April 2021

Perfect for children, ages 2-10, our egg hunts are designed for smaller groups (approximately 25 per hunt) and, in addition to the hunt, include an egg & spoon obstacle course and meet & greet with our baby chicks & bunny rabbits. Just BYOB (bring your own basket) for collecting eggs (which contain nature-themed prizes and nut-free sweets).

Spring Fling
Break Programs

April 2021

Calling all children, ages 3-7! Out of school and looking for some spring fun and adventure? Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff guide you on a variety of seasonal adventures throughout the 40-acres of forests, fields, and ponds at NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

Sounds of Spring
Night Hike

April 2021

Come explore the magic of spring and Earth Week with us! We’ll visit the Nature Center’s vernal pools and ponds to listen for the peeps and croaks of frogs and other amphibians that let us know spring has fully arrived! We’ll also journey through the woods and into the meadows in search of some awesome invertebrates, birds, and bats. If we’re super lucky, we might even get a chance to spot a critter or two! Join our Naturalists for this fun, interactive and earth aware hike to learn why these species are so important to our local ecosystem.

Community Garden:
Adopt-a-Plot

May 2021

“Adopt” a plot in our community garden for the growing season (May-November)! Our community garden provides a shared space in which local residents can tend a plot of land, learn together, and share in an appreciation of the outdoors and gardening. Each garden plot is located within a fenced-in area near the Herb Garden and all participants will have access to tools, watering facilities, and community guidance. The perfect opportunity for novices and experienced gardeners, alike!

Connecticut Trails
Day Weekend

June 2021

Celebrate Connecticut Trails Day Weekend here at the New Canaan Nature Center!

Night of 1,000 Fireflies:
A Night Hike

July 2021

Come and enjoy the magic of the midsummer night at the Nature Center. Join our Naturalists as we search for woodland creatures (wiggly worms & aquatic amphibians) and other enchanted mysteries of the evening, before delighting in the awe-inspiring beauty of our meadows aglow with the soft light of 1,000+ fireflies!

Creatures of the Night…
Hike!

August 2021

How do your nighttime senses compare to those of the nocturnal animals that call NCNC home? Join us for an interactive sensory night hike adventure and try your hand at our naturalist-led challenges to find out! First, we’ll put your night vision to the test to discover if you can see as well as an owl in the dark. Then we’ll focus on your sense of smell, hearing, and touch! We’ll wrap up the night with one of our favorite summer activities… roasting marshmallows around the campfire!

Cider
Saturday

September 2021

Celebrate the fall cider season here at the New Canaan Nature Center!

Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon of family fun with cider press demonstrations, apple slingshots, old-fashioned games, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, seasonal harvest crafts for kids, baked apples (one apple per person will be provided), and stories around the campfire. Fill your bellies with delicious corn dogs, grilled corn, fresh cider, and baked goodies, all available for purchase.

Earth Day
Celebration

April 22

Come celebrate Earth Day with us on April 22nd! An annual world-wide event, join us to learn what you can do locally to help protect the environment.

Friday Family Fun
Hike!

Date TBD

Friday, August 7th
(6:30-8:00pm)

Yearning for the chance to get outside, stretch your legs, and explore all that the natural world has to offer? Take in the true splendor of summer by joining the Nature Center Naturalists for a Friday Family Fun Hike! We’ll search our forests and ponds for wildlife (wiggly worms & aquatic amphibians), while also learning all about the amazing adaptations of the nocturnal animals (fireflies, bats, owls, and more!) that call NCNC home.

Join us for this fun, safe AND contactless event where naturalists will divide program participants into groups, with a maximum of 10 people per group.

*This event is rain or shine.*

Limited spaces available and pre-registration is required. Sign up today!

Great American
Autumn Campout

October 2 – 3

Friday, October 2nd – Saturday, October 3rd
3:30pm – 9:30am

Come and take part in our Great American Autumn Campout to enjoy an evening full of fun & adventure by camping out in New Canaan’s favorite backyard – the New Canaan Nature Center!

Participants will be welcome to set-up their tents in the afternoon between 3:30-5:30pm. From 5:30-7:30pm, we’ll provide a classic camping-style barbeque dinner of hotdogs, grilled corn, & chips. Lemonade and water will be available for all ages; adults are welcome to BYOB. All are invited to enjoy field games and all around fun on the Green!

As the sun begins to set, get ready for the night time adventure to begin. We’ll fire up the campfire ring and head off into the darkness for a special autumn night hike experience. Upon our return, we’ll fill our bellies with some fireside S’mores, before heading off to bed.

In the morning, awake to fog over the meadow, deer browsing nearby, and the promise of another magical day! A light breakfast of bagels, juice, and coffee will also be served.

Bring your own camp gear and snacks. Access to bathrooms will be available through the night.

Rain or shine.

This fun and safe outdoor event is limited to 15 families (or 60 people) to allow for social distancing. 

Face coverings are required for all guests over the age of 2, except when eating. 

Members: $85/family
Non-members: $110/family

*NCNC has a limited number of tents available for rent for $25: to reserve yours, please contact us today.