Please call to register for all programs. Dates and times are subject to change.
Parties and organizational groups of more than 15 people visiting the park must call the Ansonia Nature Center (203 736-1053) and talk with a staff member about space availability and are required to rent the picnic pavilion for $125 including a $200 returnable clean up deposit
WINTER WREATH WORKSHOP – Sat. Dec. 2, 10 am
Celebrate winter and the festive season as you create a wreath from fresh locally grown greens, then decorate your masterpiece with natural trimmings. Enjoy some warm mulled cider and a cookie too! Wreath frames and wire will be provided. Please bring your own hand clippers.. MATERIALS FEE: $15. Please call to register.
PRINCIPLES OF FIRECRAFT – Sat. Dec. 9, 1 pm
Basic firecraft principles are very important to know. Whether or not you’re the family camp-out fire starter, knowing how fire works is paramount to safety. Join Ranger Dan in learning about wood-gathering, fire safety, and fire starting with only one match! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the outdoors. FREE. Please call to register.
CROCHET 101 – Sun. Dec. 10, 2 pm
Join Ranger Jess to learn the skill of crochet. She will teach you the basics so you can create a snowman. It’s a great time of the year to create unique gifts for family and friends! MATERIALS FEE: $7. Please call to register.
118TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT – Sat. Dec. 16, 12:30 pm
This annual survey provides important data to assess the increase or decline of avian populations worldwide. After an early morning start, the New Haven Bird Club will stop at the Nature Center for their lunch at 12:30. Be ready to join members of the club to look and listen along the park’s trails. For adults only. FREE. Please call to register.
NEW YEAR’S DAY HIKE – Mon. Jan. 1, 10 am
Bring a healthy start to your new year at the Nature Center. Our ranger will conduct this brisk walk while you learn a little natural history trivia along the way. FREE. For all ages. Please call to register. Inclement weather cancels.
BACK TO BASICS: Natural Lip Balms – Sat. Jan. 6, 2 pm
Soothe your lips with your own homemade lip balm! Join Ranger Dawn and learn how to make lip balm with natural ingredients such as beeswax and essential oils in the easy and fun workshop for ages 5 and up. Take home a sample! MATERIALS FEE: $10 per person. Please register in advance; space is limited.
NATURE AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS – Sundays, Jan. 7, Feb. 11, Mar. 4, 2:30 pm
Do you have a child aged 8–12 with autism and other developmental delays? Would you like to join a new group playtime that meets once a month? Gently led by Ranger Amie, this group will explore ways to introduce your child to playing indoors and outdoors at the Nature Center. Monthly activities include meeting animal friends, taking a walk or easy hike, and nature crafts. Playtime will begin at 2:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm (or however long your child would like to stay). Please arrive on time. We will meet inside at the small classroom and children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the class. FREE. Pre-registration required; group limited to 10 children with adult. Session 1 activity: Planting winter greens and sprouts.
22ND ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S LEGACY OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE – Sun. Jan. 14, 12 noon–4 pm; Mon. Jan. 15, 10 am–4 pm
Join the Nature Center at the Yale Peabody Museum, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. The Peabody will once again offer world-class performances and educational activities for families and visitors of all ages, in honor of Dr. King and his efforts to ensure justice for all people. Admission to the Peabody is FREE for the two days of this event.
BIRD FEATHERS – Sat. Jan. 27, 2 pm
Do you have a collection of bird feathers and always wondered which birds they came from? Nature Center naturalist Jessica can teach you to identify them. Enjoy viewing and touching our collection of over 100 different feathers. FREE; please call to register. For all ages.
BACK TO BASICS: Make an Herb Pillow – Sun. Feb. 4, 2 pm
Enjoy your winter afternoon creating an herb pillow. Herb pillows, or dream pillows, are small soft bags containing perfumed or sweet smelling items such as herbs. They have been around for hundreds of years and used for many different reasons. You will learn the cultural history and uses for these pillows. Create your own herb pillow for yourself or give as a gift for Valentine’s Day. MATERIALS FEE: $8. Please register; class size is limited. For ages 7 and up.
FUNDRAISER: Creature Parade – Sat. Feb. 10, 12 noon – 4pm
The animals at the Ansonia Nature Center serve as ambassadors for their species, here for the purpose of teaching about the natural world. This is a chance to get up close and learn about each animal individually and learn about their adaptations and where they came from. The cost of caring for animals is considerable and your contributions will help with their specialized diets, daily care, and creature comforts. Participants will get a chance to hold a dove, pet a snake and high-five a spider. Each animal will get its own 20 minute spotlight during this afternoon fundraiser. A schedule of animal showings will be listed on our website. This program is suitable for all ages. DONATION: $6 per person / $15 per family.
NATURE AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS – Sun. Feb. 11, 2:30 pm
See Jan. 7 listing for group description. Session 2 activity: Making a bottle bird feeder.
PAINTING ON WOOD: Signs and Nature Scenes – Sat. Feb. 17, 2 pm
Artist Amie Ziner will show you how to paint a miniature sign on wood. Make a cute sign for a child’s room, a holiday gift, or room décor! Bring your own small piece of weathered siding, cedar shingle, timber, or driftwood. There will be samples available for inspiration. Ages 6 and up, with an adult helper. Paint and brushes will be supplied. FREE. Please register; class space is limited.
Rocks in Space: Perseid Meteor Showers – Saturday, August 12, 7:00 pm
Come to Ansonia’s darkest location for some unusual night sky view with Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society. In addi#on to a chance to see the annual meteor showers there will be a short talk about meteorites. You and your family will get to view and touch meterorites from around the world. This night will be the peak of the shower! No need to bring anything except for warm clothing and a chair. Telescopes and binocular are not necessary.
SNOWSHOE SUNDAY: Getting Ready for Bluebirds – Sun. Feb. 18, 1 pm
Need to get out? Enjoy the winter with this guided hike through our woodlands and fields. Join Ranger Dan and snowshoe around the Nature Center grounds to clean out the bluebird boxes. Bluebirds will start nesting again in March and April. Great exercise and fun for adults and children ages 8 and up. We have snowshoes to borrow! FREE, but pre-registration is required.
WINTER BREAK: Winter Wonderland Activities – Tues. Feb. 20, 1–3 pm
Chilly, snowy days are calling your kids outdoors. Come for fun winter activities on this day off from school. There’s nothing better than gliding through the cool air on your sled. We will take the whole family to our awesome hill for sledding fun, but toddlers should ride with a parent. Everyone should be well-bundled in layers to stay warm. After our adventure we will come inside for hot cocoa and a chance to meet one of the Nature Center’s animals. FREE for families and all ages. Registration required; families must bring their own sleds.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Feb. 21, 28, Mar. 7, 14, 10 am
Join our 4 week pre-school/toddler program for children ages 2-5 and their adult explorer. Participants will have fun exploring nature every week in these outdoor classes. The classes are typically loosely structured and influenced by the seasons and interest of the children. We will go outside for a short hike and to explore nature every class so please dress for the weather. Classes will end with a light snack (provided or bring your own) and conversation. TUITION: $40 for all 4 weeks, space permitting (cash or check payable to Ansonia Nature Center) due at first class. Class is limited to 10 children. Please call to register: 203-736-1053.
MAPLE SUGARING FOR FAMILIES – Sat. Mar. 3, 11 am
A very long time ago, the native people of the northeastern part of our country shared their sweet tree know-how with the newcomers from Europe. Join us as the Nature Center staff presents an introduction to making maple syrup the old-fashioned way, and help us to choose just the right tree for tapping into this sweet treat! FEE: $6 per person. Please call in advance to register. For all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
NATURE AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS – Sun. Mar. 4, 2:30 pm
See Jan. 7 listing for group description. Session 3 activity: Bark rubbing / leaf drawing.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Mar. 7, 14, 10 am
See Feb, 21 listing for description of this 4 week program.
CRAFT: Create Your Own Pet Rock – Sat. Mar. 10, 2 pm
Ranger Jess will hold this crafting extravaganza! She’ll take you outside to find the perfect rock-friend for you to decorate and dress up back at the Nature Center building. Paint is just one of the craft supplies we will have available. Come craft with us! This class is for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE. Please call to register.
GREAT GULL ISLAND: Where Terns Rule and People Visit – Sun. Mar. 11, 2 pm
Conservation photographer Sophie Zyla will introduce you to Great Gull Island, a 17-acre island in Long Island Sound that has the largest concentration of Common Terns in the world and Roseate Terns in the Western Hemisphere. Through Sophie’s PowerPoint presentation, you will learn about the terns and the researchers who have devoted close to 50 years to them. Sophie holds an B.S. in Environmental Education and an M.S. in Conservation Biology. Photography is Sophie’s passion, and conservation is where her heart is. FREE.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Registration begins Thurs. Mar. 15
Calling all kids 11 to 14 years old who love nature! Has your child wanted to work with animals, garden, help maintain our trails, and help with special events? This is the opportunity to help the Nature Center in our 8-week after-school program, starting on Thurs. Apr. 12 at 3:30 pm. Parental permission is required. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
THE ART OF ANIMAL TRACKING WITH ANDREW DOBOS – Sat. Mar. 17, 10 am
Naturalist and educator Andy Dobos will take you on a wildlife tracking walk through the Nature Center’s fields and forests. There are always clues left behind by the animals for us to decipher, telling a story of their habits and lives. Get to know our beloved wildlife that much better. Wear good boots and extra layers; there will be a lot of standing and time off trail. For ages 6 and up. FEE: $6 per person.
NATURE AS MENTOR: Building on Your Authentic Foundation with Marlow Shami – Sun. Mar. 18, 2–3:30 pm
Discover with teacher and healer Marlow Shami how every day and anywhere nature can guide, calm, inform, and restore you. Enjoy a beautifully illustrated talk, out-of-door nature connecting activities, and deep guided visualization. Marlow will share both the wisdom of elder/earth based cultures as well as recent empirical research in the fields of ecopsychology and environmental psychology, mindfulness based stress reduction, meditation, and energy medicine. This 90-minute workshop is designed for adults seeking inspirational guidance and healing restoration within their daily lives. Marlow Shami, M.S., conducts Nature as Healer workshops and talks throughout New England. FEE: $6 per person. Please register for this adult program.
OWL PROWL: Raptor Woods Hike – Fri. Mar. 23, 5 pm
Visitors will take a guided hike through the Raptor Woods and explore how our senses change with the setting of the sun. We will learn how nocturnal animals have adapted to the night life. Guests will search for and call the owl species that call CT home. The night will end in the Visitor Center, meeting one of our resident owls! For ages 8 and up. FREE.
ASTRONOMY: Radio Telescope – Sat. Mar. 24, 7 pm
Come to Ansonia’s darkest location for some unusual night sky viewing with Bob Carruthers. View the first quarter moon and geo-stationary satellite using Bob’s small radio telescope. He will explain how he made this fairly simple telescope out of a satellite dish and teach you how you can make your own. FREE; please register in advance.
Pet Loss Grief Support Group – By appointment
Losing a beloved animal can be tragic and a very emotional time for humans. There are numerous resources to turn to for the loss of a human loved one; however, there are limited options for when we lose an animal. Susan Wilson has created this FREE support group for those who have lost an animal or have one in the process of moving on. Please call Susan at 1-802-379-4449 to set up an appointment.
Sunday Guided Hikes – Sundays, 1 pm
Join a Nature Center guide on Sunday afternoons for fun, exercise, and learning about our trails! See the above listings for hikes with a specific theme.
Monday Night Trail Run – Mondays, 5:30-6:30 pm
For all the runners who want something out of the ordinary! Ranger Dan will lead you through our 156-acre network of trails, while you burn off the weekend’s extra calories. This FREE program is the best way to start off your week. Please register and wear appropriate footwear.
Karate Club – Tuesdays, 5–5:45 pm (Karate Kids); 5:45–6:15 pm (Little Dragons).
This after-school program at the Nature Center is for children 6-12 years old (Karate Kids), and 3-5 years old (Little Dragons). Students will engage in martial arts techniques and activities while learning skills such as discipline, focus, self-control, and confidence. They can earn higher-ranking belts as their participation continues. TUITION per 5-week session: $45 for Karate Kids, $40 for Little Dragons (cash or check payable to AMAA), which includes a Karate Club T-shirt and white belt. For more information call Chief Instructor Adam Rylski at 203-671-6903 or 203-931-1979, or the Ansonia Nature Center at 203-736-1053.
Fiber Arts Group – Tuesdays, 6 pm
Get together with others to work on your fiber arts projects! Bring any kind of fiber work—knitting, felting, crocheting, etc. A great way to dedicate time to your handiwork and socialize too. FREE.
Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body – Thursdays, 6:30 pm
Hatha Yoga instructor and practitioner Pam Mellitz will lead us into a healthier lifestyle through stretching, breath control and gentle exercise. The 90-minute classes require a mat or thick towel; dress for easy movement. Class is limited to 12 students. $7 per class. Please call Pam to register at 203-888-4124.
Creature Features – Saturdays, 12 noon
Come to meet our furry, scaly, and feathery animal ambassadors. You’ll have the chance to touch and hold them in this FREE family program for all ages.