Quick! Which came first, the turtle or the egg? Wait, what?? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about chickens here? Learning that birds aren’t the only creatures that can lay eggs is just one of the many educational and entertaining programs on the calendar as spring comes alive at Hickory Knolls.
The “Who’s Hatching” program on Saturday, April 14 from 9 to 10am is the first of several new programs being introduced this year.
“Our focus will be to look at a lot of different animals that lay eggs, such as reptiles, amphibians and insects,” said Laura McCoy, Nature Programs Supervisor. “We have many examples of these creatures living both inside and outside the Discovery Center.”
Children ages 6 to 10 will get a chance to meet some of these amazing animals and participate in “hatching” an egg of their own to take home a toy critter. Weather permitting, an outdoor hike will let kids look for evidence of animal homes where babies may be nesting.
Suitable nesting sites are only part of the storybook existence animals enjoy at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. Stories themselves are a huge part of how children learn about the secret and not-so-secret lives of animals. Children of all ages are welcome to come dressed in their PJs and bring along their favorite stuffed animal for “Tales with the Tails” story time. Scheduled for Thursday, April 26 from 6:30 to 7:15pm, this pre-bedtime program lets kids snack on cookies and milk while listening to stories and playing interactive games that feature some of Hickory Knolls favorite critters. Children can help staff tuck the resident animals in to bed before heading off to their own!
Speaking of night time animals, what’s the first one that comes to mind? Bats, of course! Thanks to their awesome hunting and flying skills, it’s no wonder bats have become superheroes in their own right. Children ages 3 and older can dust off their favorite superhero costume and come ready to test their own amazing skills during the “Super Bat Extravaganza” on Thursday, May 10 from 6 to 7:30pm. Enjoy pizza and dessert, then try some cool hands-on games and maybe even a walk outside to see one of these frequent flyers in action.
Bats aren’t the only winged creature to capture the imagination. With their intricate and vibrant markings, butterflies are like the garden’s roving art ambassadors. Dads can escort their own little beauties when they invite their daughters to the popular “Butterfly Ball,” scheduled this year on Friday, May 4, from 6 to 8pm. A night of dancing, pizza and activities will make this a spring night to remember for both dads and daughters.
“These spring programs are a great way for kids to really get into the spirit of the season and shake off the last of winter’s cabin fever,” said McCoy. “Along with our ‘Tree-mendous Thursdays’ series of drop-in programs, they can help families enjoy the season’s longer days by getting outdoors to experience everything from scavenger hunts to nature hikes.”
And while spring is the focus of Hickory Knolls new and returning seasonal programs, McCoy advises that it’s not too early to be thinking ahead for summer and the full roster of nature camps available for children as young as two years old.
For more information about the spring programs, contact Laura McCoy at 630-513-4393 or visit Hickory Knolls’ web site at www.stcnature.org.