Programs for Kids & Families



December: Capes, Critters, and Cookies
Become your very own Nature Superhero by designing your very own nature cape! Get inspiration for our very own Irvine Animal Ambassadors through an animal presentation as well as go on a hike for natural materials to add to your cape. While you’re creating your cape, enjoy some delicious cookies!
Sunday December 8, 2019
10-11:30 a.m.

January: Winter Wonderland
Your ears feel the prickling cold through a hat that is beginning to itch. You take one last deep breath and the bitter cold air enters your lungs. You hear and feel the cold wind blow on your face as your cheeks turn a rosy color. With all this, you know you’ve entered a winter wonderland! Join an Irvine Naturalist as you see winter through nature’s eyes and get cozy with some warm treats.
Saturday January 4, 2020
10-11:30 a.m.

February: Love Bugs
The wonderful world of bugs often goes undiscovered and unloved. Join an Irvine Naturalist as we look into this mysterious world of the creepy crawlies and find yourself learning to love them in a new way!
Sunday February 23, 2020

March: Babies in Bloom
Become an Irvine detective as we go on the hunt for springtime babies. Join an Irvine Naturalist as we search for signs of new life from baby birds, to baby bunnies, to even the tiniest tadpole. Don’t fret! Even if you can’t find any nature babies outdoors, you’ll get a sneak peek at something new when you get back from your adventure!
Saturday, March 7, 2020
10-11:30 a.m.

We invite all our Explorer and Adventurer Navigators to join us for a special Kick-off Pancake Breakfast and Program to begin Irvine’s Maple Magic Season! Join Irvine Naturalists as we take a walk among the trees and search for the elusive sugary sap that will make us that oh-so delicious syrup.
Saturday February 1, 2020
8-9:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:30-11 a.m. Maple Magic Program
Free for all Explorer and Adventurer Navigators


*Irvine Nature Navigator membership discounts apply to all programs. See our Membership page for more information*

Join Irvine naturalists to explore the natural world of science. One Saturday and Sunday a month, families can enjoy free activities focused on a new and exciting science theme. Most activities are self-guided and may include crafts and hands on exhibits and more. All ages.
December 7- Sunny Snowflakes
December 22 (Self led)- Winter Animal Scavenger hunt
January 12-Salty Snow
January 25 (Self-Led)- Snowflake Swirl
February 23 (Self Led)- Maple Tree Hunt
February 29- Snowstorm in a Jar
March 8- Feeding Time
March 21 (Self Led)- Birding 101
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Drop-in)
Free for All!

No school and no plans today? Explore outdoors with us instead! Expect trail walks, nature games, crafts, stories, animal encounters and more. Children should wear nature-friendly clothing and bring a lunch. We’ll head outside even with snow on the ground! Sign-up now – this popular program sells out fast! For more information, visit our website. Age groups: 5-7 and 8-10. Aftercare available.
Monday, December 23- Weird Science
Thursday, December 26- Creative Creatures
Friday, December 27- What’s Cooking?
Monday, December 30- Who’s in the Forest?
Monday, January 20- Nature Engineers
Monday, February 17- Tree Tappin’
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
$85 per child
Aftercare (4p.m. – 6p.m.) is an additional fee.

Join Irvine Nature Center every Friday at 10:00am for FREE Storytime. Hear a story, sing songs, watch a puppet show, and meet an animal friend. All ages welcome!
Every Friday
10-11 a.m.
Free for everyone

Animal Caretakers Drop-Off Program
If your child wants to be a veterinarian, a scientist, or a park ranger, then they will love our Animal Caretakers series! Drop off your child as they assist animal care naturalists to take care of Irvine’s animals. We will work as a team to explore, respect, and protect nature! Attend one session or the whole series!! Ages 5-10
Sundays November 17 & December 1
10 a.m. – 12 P.M.
Each Session: $15 members, $25 non-members

Come and join Hoot in the holiday fun! Make your own gift for a loved one, play some winter-themed games, and even enjoy some Hot Cocoa. Fun for all ages!
Sunday, December 15
1– 3 p.m.
$10 per child (age 2 + under are free…so are parents)

Looking for something to do with your whole family? Have family who haven’t been to Irvine before? Come to Irvine and do your self-led winter bingo. Fun for all families!
Saturdays December 21 and 28, Sunday December 29
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Free for everyone, no registration required!

Join a Naturalist to learn all about the exciting new program at Irvine! Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a hands-on environmental program sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in which students raise trout from eggs to fingerlings, manage chilled tank water quality, engage in stream habitat study, learn to appreciate water resources, develop a conservation ethic, and are taught to understand ecosystem connectivity. Participants will learn all about the process, why it is important, and even view our TIC tank!
Saturday January 11
10 – 11 a.m.
$10 per child

If your child likes art, animals, food and nature, then they will love our Naturally Creative series! Drop off your child as they unleash their inner artist by painting with the possum, crafting with critters, and even creating their own EDIBLE art. Attend one session or the whole series!! Ages 5-10 – this is a two-hour drop off program.
Sunday January 5
Sunday February 2
Saturday February 22
Saturday March 14
Purchase all four sessions 
10 a.m. – 12 P.M.
All 4 sessions: $65 per child
Each Session: $25 per child

There’s magic in our trees! Join Irvine’s naturalists in a quest to make delicious syrup. Learn to identify maple trees, properly tap a tree to collect its sugary sap and convert the sticky fluid into syrup. You’ll even get a taste of this liquid gold as a reward for all the hard work! All ages (with adult).
Saturday, February 8th 10-11:30 a.m.
Saturday, February 8th 1-2:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 15th 10-11:30 a.m.
Saturday, February 15th 1-2:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 9th 10-11:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 9th 1-2:30 p.m.
Sunday, February
16th 10-11:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 16th 1-2:30 p.m.
$10 per participant (Children under 3 are Free)

Irvine Nature Center is participating in Project Clean Stream again! Every spring, tens of thousands of volunteers come together to pick up trash from local streams, creeks, rivers, parks, and neighborhoods — the largest cleanup event in the Chesapeake Bay region! Cleanups take place across the entire Chesapeake watershed, in all 6 Bay states and DC. Irvine will be focusing on Garrison Forest Road and surrounding areas including our trails. To volunteer or to lead a cleanup closer to you, please contact Ben Fertig,
Sunday, April 5
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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