Weekend Programs

Weekend Programs

Click on the each program title to register.  Programs with an (*) are eligible for a member discount (Pacesetters and above). 

Youth and Family Programs

*Frog Frenzy for Families
Do you know the difference between a frog and a toad? Find out as we explore Irvine’s wetlands for frogs, toads and dip for tadpoles. At the tent, meet some of our ambassador amphibians up close to practice your identification skills. Try your hand at an origami frog, play games, and have an un-frog-ettable afternoon of fun. For dipping, we will head to Irvine’s wetlands, a 15-minute walk down a short hill. Wear waterproof boots but expect to get a little wet and muddy. This program is ideal for children ages 5-10; other ages are welcome.

Instructors: Irvine Naturalists
Sunday, April 2nd
Cost: $10/children 3+ (Adults and children 2 and under are free)
Pre-registration Recommended

*Family Forage: Fun Plants for Food and First Aid
A special class for families with children 6+ interested in finding out about the useful plants around us. Discover plants that are safe and easy to identify for tasty trailside nibbles or treating itches and scrapes while in the woods in this fun class. Ideal for families with children age 6+

Instructors: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Sunday, April 16th
Cost: $8 per participant or $25/family

*Earth Day Celebration-Free Admission Saturday
Celebrate Earth Day with Irvine. Meet Irvine’s resident animal ambassadors and learn how we can protect wildlife and their natural surroundings. Explore the exhibit hall and take a hike on Irvine’s 211 acres. Good for all ages. All are welcome. No registration necessary. 

Instructors: Irvine Naturalists and Animal Caretakers
Saturday, April 22nd
9:00AM-5:00PM – trails & outdoor exhibits open
1:00PM-3:00PM – special activities including planting, composting & more
Cost: Free

*SpringFest for Families
Celebrate Spring at Irvine. Lots of fun for all the family with games, crafts, and nature activities. Try your hand at building a bird’s nest and decorate an egg, plant flower seeds to take home, explore the woodland garden, look for birds along the woodland trail and more. Ideal for ages 3-7. 

Instructors: Dr. Clare Walker and Irvine Naturalists
Sunday, April 30th
Cost: Early Bird $10/child 2+, After April 15th price is $15/per child 2+ 

*BIRDING: Weekly Warbler Walks
Irvine’s mix of woods, wetlands and meadows make it a top local birding destination. Enjoy the peak of spring bird migration and a chance to see orioles, warblers, tanagers and more on these weekly walks with Irvine’s Director of Education and lifelong birder. This program is intended for ages 10+.

Instructor: Brian Rollfinke, Director of Education
Offered Monday, May 1st, Monday, May 8th, Saturday, May 13th, and Sunday, May 21st
Cost:$10/participant per date
Pre-registration is encouraged. Program will be canceled if minimum is not met.

*Family Full Moon Campfire
Enjoy an evening hike to Irvine’s campsite for a chance to see the animals that start to emerge at dusk. At the campsite, we will light a fire and enjoy s’mores and stories as we wait for the full moon to rise over the meadows. Then, use the light of the moon to hike our way back to the building. This program is ideal for children ages 6+.

Instructors: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Friday, May 5th
Cost: $10 per participant, $30 per family
Pre-registration encouraged. Program will be canceled if minimums are not met.

*Celebrating Maryland’s Turtles and Terrapins!
In honor of World Turtle Day, come celebrate Maryland’s diverse turtle species by getting an up-close look at some of our terrific turtles! This program offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how Irvine’s Naturalists care for and feed our turtles. This program is intended for children 6+ with accompanying adult.

Instructor: Irvine Animal Caretakers
Sunday, May 21st
1:00 – 2:00PM
Cost: $10/child (accompanying adult is free)
Pre-registration is encouraged. Program will be canceled if minimum is not met.

*WORKSHOP: Beginner Bark Basket Workshop
In this workshop, learn the traditional skill of folded bark baskets – how to ‘slip’ bark from a precut log, score and bend to transform into a basket of your own. Baskets have been fashioned from bark by cultures around the world; in Maryland, the eastern woodland Indians created them from tulip polar. This class can be offered just once a year as there is a short window between May and June when tulip poplar bark can easily be removed and shaped into a basket. This small-group class is suitable for beginners, each participant will start with a miniature basket and progress to a regular sized one. All materials supplied. All participants will make a one-of-a-kind basket. This program is intended for adults and teens 14+.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Sunday, May 21st
1:00 – 5:00PM
Cost: $45/participant
Limited Space, must register in advance!

*BIRDING: A Nest Quest
Did you know that there are about NINETY nest boxes on Irvine’s property and that well over half of them get utilized every spring/summer? In fact, since 2008, we have documented almost 3000 baby birds fledging from our boxes! The vast majority come from three species of ‘secondary cavity nesters’: House Wrens, Tree Swallows, and Eastern Bluebirds.

In May and June, these songbirds are busy setting up breeding territories, building nests, and beginning to lay eggs for this year’s broods. Come witness the nesting process up close (Eggs! Babies!) as you learn about Irvine’s extensive network of boxes and the species that raise their families within. Find out how you can contribute to a nationwide ‘citizen science’ database by tracking nesting birds in your own yard and submitting your findings to Project NestWatch. Then, take to the trails and learn how volunteers statewide are collaborating on the Third MD/D.C. Breeding Bird Atlas. Find out how you can take part-at Irvine or even in your own backyard-by venturing out into nature this summer in search of nesting activity among any birds you encounter. You’ll be contributing to a crucial long-term database, from which scientists study population trends of species throughout the state. No prior birding experience necessary. For adults and children, ages 10+.

Instructor: Brian Rollfinke, Director of Education
Saturday, June 10th

*WORKSHOP: Pine Bark Baskets: From Tree to Basket
Branches of white pine can be trimmed to provide a wonderful basket material that is flexible and easy to sew – if a little sappy. In this workshop, participants will learn the ins and outs of choosing bark, cutting and peeling, making a pattern, and constructing a variety of different shaped vessels. This style of basketry is fun, fast, and provides opportunity to get creative with decoration, materials and shapes. Each person’s project will turn out to be completely unique! Everyone will leave with 1-2 completed smaller baskets. All materials provided. This program is intended for adults and teens 14+.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener
Wednesday, June 21st
Cost: $30/participant
Registration Opening Soon

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