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Pioneers Park Nature Center Programs

Fall/Winter 2014

Download the full Fall/Winter Program Guide for contact information, hours and fees.

Programs for all ages

Grandparent’s Nature Fun Day
Bring the family and celebrate Grandparent’s Day by spending a fun filled afternoon at the Nature Center doing a scavenger hunt, meeting a live animal and exploring some local artifacts. Register by Sept 4.
Date: Sunday, Sept 7   |   Time: 2-4p
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $5/person

Backyard Composting
Learn how to compost in your backyard! Training session provided by UNL Extension and the City Recycling Office at the Nature Center’s backyard composting demonstration area. Two participants will receive a free soil thermometer and everyone gets a voucher for a plastic compost bin. Program is approximately 1 hour.
Date: Saturday, Sept 27 or Oct 11   |   Time: 10a
Location: Composting Demonstration Area   |   Fee: Free

Hayrack Rides
Rides for everyone! Load up and head out on a wagon ride through the woods and prairie of Pioneers Park. Afterwards enjoy a campfire with beverages and entertainment.
Date: Fridays Sept 26, Oct 10, Oct 24   |   Time: 7-8:30p
Location: Parking Lot   |   Fee: $7/person
Private Rides: Schedule your own private group ride for 30-90 people. Available from September 13 – November 1, 7:00-8:30 pm. Call 402-441-7895 for rates and availability.

Wild Fall Festival
Celebrate fall with this FREE family friendly event! Explore hands-on activities including nature photography, journaling, wildlife sketching, geocaching and live animals, go on a guided nature walk, enjoy a campfire and hayrack rides $3/person for a tour through the park. Food will be available for purchase.
Date: Friday, October 17   |   Time: 4-8p
Location: Nature Center   |   Fee: FREE

Prairie Run
Want to experience the Nature Center in a whole new way? We are hosting our second trail run. One mile and a 5 K trails have been mowed through our northern and western sections of prairie to make room for this event. Everyone who registers by October 16th will get a special t-shirt for the event. Income generated from the event will support our land management program of restoring and maintaining our prairie and the animals that live there.Register online at today!
Date: Sunday, Nov 1   |   Time: 9a
Location: School House   |   Fee: $10/kids 1 mile, $20/adult 5K

Pop-up Card Making Class
Learn how to make extra special cards for fun or the holidays. Supplies with be provided, you bring the creativity and when the class is done you will have something unique to share. Participants ages 8 and up are welcome to attend. Register by November 4.
Date: Sunday, Nov 8   |   Time: 10a-12p
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $10/person

Night Hike
Who whooo’s out there? Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Nature Center on a moonlit walk. We will look and listen for owls and other animals of the night. Register by Nov 11.
Date: Friday, Nov 14   |   Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $7/person

Winter Walk
Celebrate the Winter Solstice with a winter hike. We will look for animal tracks, signs and do some bird watching. After the hike we’ll enjoy some hot chocolate in the auditorium and watch the sun go down.
Date: Sunday, Dec 21   |   Time: 3-4p
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $5/person

Programs for Youth

Hand in Hand: Fall Fun I & II
Together you and your child will discover the wonder of fall through hikes, games, crafts and stories. Please dress for the weather, since we will be spending a portion of each class outside. A snack will be provided. Ages 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 year olds and accompanying adult. Register by Sept 5. Call 402-441-7895 for more information.
Fall Fun I: Sept 15, 22, 29, Oct 6, 13 & 20
Day:: Mondays   |   Time: 10:00-11:30 am
Fall Fun II: Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 11, & 18
Day:: Sundays   |   Time: 9:30-11:00 am
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $50/child/6 week session

Sticky Webs and Crawly Bugs
Come and discover some of the many invertebrates found in Nebraska. We’ll search for spiders, crickets, and so much more. Dress for exploring outdoors! Register by Oct 9.
Date: Monday, Oct 13   |   Time: 10-11a
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $3/person

Drop N’ Shop
Got some last minute Christmas shopping to finish or holiday preparations? Leave your kids at the Nature Center for a morning of fun activities. Children ages 4 and up are welcome from 9:00 am – noon. We’ll have crafts, games, snack and outdoor exploration. Spaces are limited so reserve your spot by Dec 19.
Date: Monday, Dec 22   |   Time: 9:00 am - noon
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $20/ child $15/additional sibling

Playful Puppets: Animals in Winter
Enjoy a puppet show and learn what the animals of the Nature Center are up to in the winter. Are they sleeping? Where do they find their food? There will also be fun interactive activities following the show. Register by Dec 26.
Date: Monday, Dec 29   |   Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $3/person

Music and Story Time
Make some music, listen to stories and get your sillies out! Register by Dec 30.
Date: Friday, Jan 2   |   Time: 10:00-11:00 am
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $3/person

Birthday Parties at the Nature Center!
Reptiles Rock, Insect Investigations, Nature’s Scavenger Hunt, Amazing Birds, Marvelous Mammals or Grow in the Garden: choose the theme that will make for an exciting birthday celebration! There is time for a nature hike/activity and your birthday activities. We provide the space, program, a favor bag for each child and a special gift for the guest of honor. You provide the refreshments.
Call 402-441-7895 for reservations at least two weeks in advance.
Locations and Fees: Birthday House, $75 for 10 children and 3 adults, $7 each additional child, 15 maximum. Auditorium, $100 for up to 10 children and 5 adults, $7 each additional child, $3 each additional adult.


Upon request, staff will work with leaders for Naturalist or Forester badge programming with the following fee schedule:
2 hours or less: $8/scout; minimum of 10 scouts or $80

Scout Hikes
One hour naturalist-led hikes are available. Call 402-441-7895 to schedule.
Fee: $4/scout/minimum 10 scouts or $40

Naturalist Badge for Webelos
Register by Oct 1
Trees are an important part of our lives. Complete requirements 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 with the help of Nature Center staff.
Days: Saturday, OCt 4   |   Time: 9:30a-12p
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $10/scout

Junior Naturalist Series
Inspired by the “It’s Your Story, Tell It” journey, explore nature to discover how you and wildlife lead healthy lives. This is a series, so sign up for one day or all of them. Fee includes instructor, supplies, snacks and recognition. Come dressed for the weather, we’ll be outside for at least part of the time! Register through the Girls Scouts at This program is designed for Brownies but any girl in the scouting program is welcome to register. Registration deadline: two weeks before each program. Dates/Theme: May 18 - Grow in the Garden
Sept 14 - Solar Powered
Oct 12 - Naturally Poetic
Nov 16 - Wild Eats
Dec 14 - Telling Tales
Dates: Sundays   |   Time: 1- 3:30p
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $15/scout


Mystery on the Prairie
Join the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center for an 1890’s Murder Mystery on the Prairie. Be prepared to think on your feet, decipher the clues and have a fantastic time with your friends. Come in costume to be eligible for prizes and meet in “The Old Saloon” for a chili dinner and drinks.
Date: Friday, Sept 12   |   Time: 6:30p
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $100/4 person team; tickets must be purchased in advance.

Hawk Watching Trip
The fall migration is the perfect time to observe hawks. Let us take you on a bird watching trip to see and learn more about hawk identification and migration. We will go to Hitchcock Nature Center in Crescent, Iowa to participate in their annual Hitchcock HawkWatch. Birding volunteers will be on site to help spot birds. Be prepared to walk around and explore the site. Bring your binoculars, we’ll provide transportation and a catered sack lunch. Register by December 4.
Date: Saturday, Oct 4   |   Time: 8:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Meet in the Nature Center Parking Lot   |   Fee: $45/person

Holiday Greenery Workshop
Grab a mug or basket from us or bring your own container to decorate. We provide greenery, pine cones, ribbon, wire and the know-how. You'll have a couple of finished decorations for your home or for gifts. Register by December 4.
Date: Saturday, December 6   |   Time: 9-11a
Location: Prairie Building   |   Fee: $25/person