2018-01-03 / Front Page

The Nature Museum kicks off 2018 with winter animal programs

Families are welcome to take part in new programming at the Nature Museum in Grafton. - Courtesy PhotoFamilies are welcome to take part in new programming at the Nature Museum in Grafton. - Courtesy PhotoGRAFTON — Looking for an interactive experience the whole family can enjoy? The Nature Museum at Grafton is offering families two affordable, outdoor adventures in January of 2018. “The Secret Lives of Winter” on Jan. 6 welcomes the whole family to get outside and explore the winter world. “Winter Animal Wonders” on Jan. 12 is a program for preschoolers and their parents which invites young Vermonters to learn about animals in winter.

The Nature Museum’s “The Secret Lives of Winter: Active Animals and Finding Their Clues,” is scheduled to take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6.

When you look out into the winter landscape in northern New England, it is often hard to believe that there is much of anything happening in the seemingly-quiet forests and fields. However, life abounds in these snowy lands. To discover this winter world and how animals thrive in the winter, participants will look for hints and clues in this hands-on winter program. Those taking part in the program will be able to learn how to spot the evidence and identify the clever animals of winter, feel real animal pelts, learn the basics of animal tracking, and be ready to head out on snowshoes to test out their winter detective skills.

“The Secret Lives of Winter” is the first Kindred Spirits program in 2018. Kindred Spirits, a monthly nature program for families held on the first Saturday of the month, is an opportunity for families to discover and appreciate nature together. Programs offer hands-on activities both indoors and out. All ages are welcome.

Kindred Spirits programs take place rain, snow, or shine. Pre-registration is encouraged for planning purposes, but drop-ins are always welcome. Admission is by donation, and includes the opportunity to explore the Museum's exhibits at your own pace after the scheduled program.

Snowshoes are required for this program. A limited number of child and adult sized snowshoes are available to loan to participants. Ask to reserve a pair.

For more information, and to register, visit www.nature-museum.org, or call (802) 843-2111.

The Nature Museum will also present “Winter Animal Wonders: How Animals Survive the Winter,” a hands-on nature program for preschoolers, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12.

Participants will learn about the amazing animals of northern New England and how these crafty creatures adapt to winter. All animals and humans need warmth, shelter, food, and water to survive the cold winter months. How do animals find food in the snow? Where do they sleep when it’s so cold outside?

The group will start indoors with a story, and participants will be able to touch and observe different animal artifacts to learn more about winter adaptations. Afterwards, the class will bundle up and head outside to move, explore, and learn more about animals in winter.

The Mighty Acorns Club is a preschool program designed for young explorers to discover the wonders of nature. This club for budding naturalists aged 3-5 and their caregivers meets on the second Friday of every month of the school calendar year.

Environmental Educator Jay DeGregorio loves designing and leading Mighty Acorns Club programs, according to a press release. The young and wide-eyed “wonderers” are able to see the magic in nature; each lesson becomes an exciting puzzle piece which the young explorers use to understand the larger world around them. Through stories, games, hands-on items, and crafts, the Mighty Acorns Club helps children connect with nature, according to the Museum.

Drops-ins are always welcome. The drop-in cost for Mighty Acorns Club is $8 per child. To save money, The Nature Museum encourages participants to pre-register online for $5 per child. Caregivers attend for free.

Snowshoes are required for this program. A limited number of child- and adult-sized snowshoes are available to loan to participants; ask to reserve a pair.

For more information, and to register, visit www.nature-museum.org.

The mission of The Nature Museum is to connect people and planet through a series of nature programs for all ages. For more information on Kindred Spirits or Mighty Acorns Club, visit www.nature-museum.org or call 802-843-2111. They are also on Instagram or at www.facebook.com/naturemuseumatgrafton. The Nature Museum is located at 186 Townshend Road in Grafton.

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