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Westwood Nature Center Family Programs

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Open Range Archery

Ages 7 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Come and refine your archery technique. Bows, arrows, and targets will be provided as well as an archery safety refresher. Previous registration in a beginning archery class is required.
Saturday, April 26, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$8 per person who shoots (resident) / $10 (non-resident)
Activity #7673
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Beginning Archery

Ages 7 and up (children must pay and be accompanied by an adult)
Here’s your chance to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow! Instruction will be given on the history of archery, and the proper way to shoot a bow and arrow safely. Bows, arrows and targets will be provided. (There will be a 10-minute hike to get to our archery range and then back to the building again.)
Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. – Noon
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$8 per person who shoots (resident) / $10 (non-resident)
Activity #7670
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Evening Canoeing for Adults

As evening settles in, enjoy an early spring paddle on Westwood Lake. Dock below the nature center and hike up to the building for pie and coffee. End the evening with a return paddle back at twilight. Space is limited to 18 people so register early. This program meets at the General Mills Boulevard. Park and Ride lot. Call for directions to the Park...


Moss Gardens

All ages (children must pay and be accompanied by a paid adult)
Take a closer look at the often overlooked - but intriguing - mosses and lichens. Then go on an expedition to collect mosses, lichens and other cool objects to build your own miniature landscape. Bring your own small, shallow container to create your moss garden.
Sunday, May 4, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$5 per person (resident) / $6 (non-resident)
Activity #7675
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Nature for the Very Young (NVY)

These programs encourage awareness and appreciation of nature through outdoor exploration, stories, puppets and hands-on activities. Children need to bring along an adult to share the morning. Register for each class individually.

NVY: Nature Awakenings
Ages 3 – 5 (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Come celebrate and explore with us the wondrous rejuvenation taking place outside in spring. Discover how the plants and animals seem to reappear or come alive. Gain an appreciation for this annual process through first-hand experience.
Monday, April 14, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$8 per child (resident) / $9 (non-resident)
Activity #7697
Registration deadline: when program is full.

NVY: Life Under a Log
Ages 3 – 5 (children must be accompanied by an adult)
What wiggles, crawls and hides under a log? More than you might think! Discover for yourself the special creatures that inhabit these dark, damp spaces. Learn fun facts about the important work these critters do for the forest.
Tuesday, May 6, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$8 per child (resident) / $9 (non-resident)
Activity #7698
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Planting Green Open House

All ages (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Groups welcome! Stop by the nature center and help us beautify the park! With your help, we will be planting wildflowers along the Wildflower Trail, as well as trees on the hill behind the center. When you are done planting, grab a refreshment and visit Westwood’s resident red-tailed hawk.
Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m. – Noon
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
FREE
Activity #7676
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Mother's Day Mystery Open House

Westwood Hills Nature Center: a serene location, prime habitat for animals, plenty of natural beauty for people…but wait, what is this? There is a new creature in the area. Don your detective hat and follow the clues along the trail to help solve Westwood’s latest mystery. After you identify the culprit, create some art and enjoy some...


Puppet Story Time: Pond Romp

All ages (children must pay and be accompanied by a paid adult)
Bobby and Jesse want to explore the pond and discover what animals live there, but they need a little (maybe a lot of) help. Afterwards, join us for our own pond exploration at Westwood Lake.
Monday, May 12, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$4 per person (resident) / $5 (non-resident)
Activity #7695
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Arbor Day & Tree Climbing Championship

Come lend a hand and give back to the earth. We’ll gather to plant a ceremonial tree then break out into teams to plant lots more trees in the park. Hear environmentally inspired music by Kid Power with Rachel. Watch professional arborists perform feats of skill and danger, as they compete for the best tree climber in the state. Afterward, enjoy...


Tuesday Turtles Preschool

Here’s a great opportunity for preschoolers to learn lots about nature in a fun, interactive environment. Zany puppets, engaging stories, outdoor discovery hikes, creative arts and nature games are just some of the many ways in which preschoolers stay actively involved from the time they arrive until the time they leave! Each class explores a...


Family Canoeing

Explore the marsh by canoe! Paddling is a terrific way to see wildlife and experience a different side of Westwood. Meet at the Nature Center and hike with the naturalist to our canoe launch on the north side of the lake. Instruction in basic canoeing strokes and boating safety will be included. Canoes, paddles and life jackets provided. (1 to 2 adults...


Puppet Story Time: Urban Birding Festival

All ages (children must pay and be accompanied by an adult)
The puppets at Westwood Hills have stories and things to share with the young ones all about birds! You will also make your very own feeder to share with the birds in your neighborhood, and visit some of the special places for birds in the park.
Friday, June 6, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$5 per person (resident) / $6 (non-resident)
Activity #7730
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Tell Me a Story

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

0 – 5 years old (children age 2 and up must pay and be accompanied by a paid adult)
Accompany the Westwood puppets as they step through the pages of favorite pond storybooks. Visit with the indoor pond animals and venture out on the dock to scoop up smaller critters. Story times at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with other activities ongoing.
Monday, June 9, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$5 per person (resident) / $7 (non-resident)
Activity #7714
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Get Out and Play

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 4 – 8 (2014 – 2015 school year)
The wilds at Westwood are a perfect place for active adventure! Exploring the marsh by canoe, hunting for hidden clues on our GPS course, and aiming for a bulls-eye on our archery range is an exciting way to challenge your skills and kickoff your summer fun.
Tuesday, June 10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$24 per child (resident) / $29 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7715
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Nature Detectives

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 1 – 5 (2014 – 2015 school year)
A mark here…a spot there…a track across the path…help Westwood naturalists unravel a mystery. Learn how to decipher animal clues and follow the tracks to determine what happened to the deer. Get experience using cameras, binoculars and magnifying glasses during your day as a nature detective.
Wednesday, June 11, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$24 per child (resident) / $29 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7716
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Safari Escapade

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 1 – 5 (2014 – 2015 school year)
Wild animals are everywhere at Westwood! Join us for a full day of venturing into different habitats in search of our native wildlife. We’ll use nets, scopes, binoculars and more to find and observe many of the fascinating creatures that make their home in the park.
Thursday, June 12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$24 per child (resident) / $29 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7717
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Wild About Animals

Grade 3 – 5 (2014 – 2015 school year)
Snakes, turtles, frogs and more! We’ll have the chance to take Westwood’s animals out from behind the glass, touch them, feed them and learn how to responsibly care for them. We will also have plenty of time to unearth what lives outside.
Monday – Wednesday, June 16 – 18, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$70 per child (resident) / $78 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7718
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Animal Super Powers

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 1 – 3 (2014 – 2015 school year)
It’s strong as an ant, keen as a hawk, it’s…it’s…it’s Super Animals! Discover what super powers the animals at the Nature Center possess and the secrets to those abilities. Then head outside to observe animals in action, and test your own powers with games and activities.
Monday – Wednesday, June 16 – 18, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$70 per child (resident) / $78 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7719
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Big and Small, Come One, Come All...

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

All ages (child must be accompanied by an adult)
…to the Nature Center! Kids, bring your grown-ups for this day of camp. Share stories, play games, and enjoy activities fun for everyone such as bird watching, pond dipping, or GPS orienteering. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it after camp.
Thursday, June 19, 9 a.m. – Noon
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$13 per child (resident) / $18 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7720
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Outdoor Exploits & Overnight

updated: Friday, March 28, 2014

Grades 5 – 6 (2014 – 2015 school year)
Natural spaces are the best places to play, and Westwood’s got them! We’ll take full advantage by building forts, practicing survival skills, exploring with GPS, canoeing and more. End with an overnight camp-out at the Nature Center (tents and food provided for the overnight).
Monday – Wednesday, June 23 – 25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 26, 1 p.m. – Friday, June 27, 9 a.m.

Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$130 per child (resident) / $142 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7721
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Your Creative Nature

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 1 – 5 (2014 – 2015 school year)
Scour the Nature Center’s fields, forests and ponds for natural materials and inspiration. Then REALLY get your artistic juices flowing by using a variety of mediums to explore the limits of your imagination. All masterpieces created will be yours to keep and proudly display.
Monday – Thursday, June 30 – July 3, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$105 per child (resident) / $117 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7723
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Traveling Puppet Show

updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Westwood’s legendary puppets are taking their show on the road for one week only! Choose from three productions: Insect Metamorphosis; The Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; or What’s Happening in the Woods. Each program includes puppet show and related activities. Call the Nature Center at (952) 924-2544 to ask for more details or...


Challenge Accepted!

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grade 4 – 6 (2014 – 2015 school year)
There’s a butterfly – click! What image will you capture? Does your boat float? Will your rocket fly? Stretch your creativity and imagination by working through obstacles posed by Nature Center staff, participating in Citizen Science projects and attempting to solve engineering puzzles. Will you rise to the challenge?
Monday – Thursday, July 7 – 10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$110 per child (resident) / $122 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7724
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Wiggles to Walks

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grade 1 (2014 – 2015 school year)
Babies wiggle and adults walk: we all grow up, but how? Find out when chicks learn to fly, how tadpoles change into salamanders and how a nymph becomes a dragonfly. Learn about different animals each day by playing games, exploring outdoors, reading stories and watching Westwood’s wacky puppets.
Monday – Thursday, July 14 – 17, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$94 per child (resident) / $104 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7725
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Discoverers

Grades 2 – 3 (2014 – 2015 school year)
Get your hands dirty and your feet wet as we get off the beaten path and explore every corner of the Nature Center. Each day campers choose from a variety of engaging outdoor activities such as cattail walks, bug hunts, critter catching and camouflage games. You never know what we will find!
Monday – Thursday, July 21 – 24, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$94 per child (resident) / $104 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7726
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Freedom to Ride

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Don’t be left bored at home, instead make the most of Fridays this summer as we set out by bike for adventure and excitement around town! Gain skills and independence by planning and taking expeditions to destinations such as the Aquatic Park, regional parks, swimming beaches and others places, all within five miles of riding each way. Helmet...


Super Sneaky Nature

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 1 – 5 (2014 – 2015 school year)
In the quest to eat or be eaten, being well-concealed can make all the difference. Learn what techniques and adaptations different animals use to stay hidden and survive, then put them into practice. We’ll employ stealth and camouflage to go undercover, evade detection and spy on some sneaky creatures. Shhhhh…!
Monday – Thursday, Aug. 4 – 7, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$94 per child (resident) / $104 per child (non–resident)
Activity #7727
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Expedition North

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Get out of the city! Experience the Northwoods and stay at the extraordinary Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Conquer the high ropes and climbing wall, hike the trails, canoe Raven Lake and stargaze at the northern sky. Dormitory lodging, food and transportation included in cost; 16 registered participants needed by June 20 in order for camp...


Pollywogs Preschool Camp

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Come to play! Come to hike! Explore and create in a beautiful setting that fosters the imagination! We will be outside using our senses to delve into the nature center woods and marshes, investigate some of the animals that call Westwood home and meet the puppets. Each session has a different theme so sign up for one or all three. Choose either the...


Act It Out

updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grades 1 and up (2014 – 2015 school year)
Places everyone, places! We’ll spend time each day improving our acting skills and put them to work by collaboratively writing our very own play about nature. We will have plenty of time to practice, but also make sure to have fun outside by the pond and in the woods.
Monday – Thursday, Aug. 18 – 21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Performances will be on Thursday, Aug. 21, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$105 per child (resident) / $117 per child (non-resident)
Activity #7729
Registration deadline: when program is full.



Puppet Story Time: Don't Bee Afraid!

All ages (children must pay and be accompanied by a paid adult)
The raccoon is freaked out about being stung. To calm it down, the honeybee shows the raccoon just how amazing bees are. Intrigued, the raccoon tries his paw at being a honeybee, with comic results. Other activities will include stories and a visit with a beekeeper at Westwood’s bee hives.
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
$4 per person (resident) / $5 (non-resident)
Activity #7696
Registration deadline: when program is full.



More Links

Westwood Hills Nature Center
8300 West Franklin Avenue
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Phone: (952) 924-2544 Email: info@stlouispark.org