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
Scout or other organizational groups must book a separate class or program than those being offered to the public.
SCULPT-A-FOX – Sun. Dec. 9, 2:30 pm
Do you love foxes? Join Ranger Jess to learn how to sculpt a fox out of clay using nothing but your fingers! Time permitting, we’ll bake and paint them too. Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season! FEE: $6 per person.
PRINCIPLES OF FIRECRAFT – Sat. Dec. 15, 11 am–1 pm
Basic firecraft skills are very important for campers. Learn how to be the family camp-out firestarter in this session on the safe and efficient way to build and tend to a fire. Ranger Dan will teach us about wood gathering, fire safety, and fire starting with only one match. We’ll even roast some marshmallows! Children must be accompanied by an adult. FEE: $6 per person.
NEW YEAR’S DAY HIKE – Tues. 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. Please call to register. Inclement weather cancels.
REPURPOSE OLD CANDLES – Sun. Jan. 13, 2:30 pm
Wondering what to do with all of your old, burnt out candles? Bring them to this class! Ranger Jess will show you how to melt down wax from your old candles and make brand new candles out of them. Bring an old glass jar with you to hold your new candle. For adults and children 11 and up. Please pre-register, as class size is limited. MATERIALS FEE: $3 per person.
23RD ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S LEGACY OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE – Sun. Jan. 20, 12 noon–4 pm; Mon. Jan. 21, 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.
NATURAL FIBER CREATIONS – Sat. Jan. 26, 1:30 pm
Make your own natural fiber bracelet with Ranger Amie. Materials from the Nature Center grounds will be used to create this simple woven bracelet. For the ambitious, learn how to make a beautiful basket using a birds’-nest weave. Parents with children ages 5 and up are welcome to join. Bring a pair of scissors; all other materials will be provided. FREE.
GRUMPY GROUNDHOGS – Sat. Feb. 2, 1:30 pm
You’d be grumpy too if someone forced you to wake up when you weren’t ready! Come learn all about the best winter nappers of all. For all ages. A short hike to discover a groundhog den, a craft and a story are planned. Pre-registration required. FREE.
IT’S ALL IN THE BARK: Winter Tree ID – Sun. Feb. 3, 1 pm
Tired of straining your eyes trying to discern leaves to determine what type of tree you are looking at? Never worry about leaves again! During this guided hike, Ranger Jess will show you how to identify at least 20 common woodland trees by their bark alone! For adults and children 9 and up. Dress for the weather and wear footwear appropriate for hiking. FREE.
SWEET TREATS FOR VALENTINES – Sat. Feb. 9, 1:30 pm
Join Ranger Dawn and make a basket filled with chocolate dipped goodies that we will make for your favorite Valentine! Please pre-register. FEE: $5 for a small basket, $10 for a large basket.
FUNDRAISER: Creature Parade – Sat. Feb. 16, 12 noon–3:30 pm
Our Nature Center animals 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, how they’ve adapted, and where they came from. The cost of their care is considerable; your contributions will help with their specialized diets, daily care, and creature comforts. You’ll get a chance to hold a dove, pet a snake and high-five a spider. Each animal will get a 20-minute spotlight during this fundraiser. A schedule of animal showings will be listed on our website. This program is for all ages. DONATION: $6 per person / $15 per family.
SNOWSHOE SUNDAY: Getting Ready for Bluebirds – Sun. Feb. 17, 1 pm
Need to get outside? 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; please pre-register.
WINTER BREAK: Winter Wonderland Activities – Tues. Feb. 19, 1–3 pm
Come for fun outdoor activities on this day off from school. There’s nothing better than gliding through the cool air on your sled. We’ll take the whole family to our awesome hill for sledding fun; toddlers should ride with a parent. Everyone should be well-bundled in layers to stay warm. After our adventure we’ll 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.
THE ART OF ANIMAL TRACKING WITH ANDY DOBOS – Sat. Feb. 23, 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 EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Feb. 27, Mar. 6, 13, 20; 10 am
Join us for this 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 the interests 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 SYRUP PROGRAM FOR FAMILIES – Sat. Mar. 2, 1 pm
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. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
JUNIOR EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Mar. 6–Apr. 10; 3:30–5 pm
Join us for this 6-week program for children ages 6-10. Participants will have fun exploring nature every week in these outdoor classes. Children may also have the opportunity to learn about and handle the Nature Center’s Animal Ambassadors! We will go outside for a hike and to explore nature every class so please dress for the weather. TUITION: $60 for all 6 weeks, cash or check payable to Ansonia Nature Center, due at first class. Class is limited to six 6 to 7-year-olds and eight 8 to 10-year-olds. Please call 203-736-1053 to register.
FIELD TRIP: Kaycee Farm Sugar Shack – Sat. Mar. 9, 10 am
Each year in late winter, as the days start to lengthen, the sugar maple trees at Kaycee Farm in Hamden are tapped for their sweet sap. Join Nature Center staff for a tour of this beautiful New England family-run farm to learn how sap is collected, boiled down, and bottled. Bring some cash to purchase your own pure Connecticut maple syrup. Space is limited. Please call to register and for directions. FREE.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Registration begins Thurs. Mar. 14
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. 11 at 3:30 pm. Parental permission is required. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
BEEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS – Sat. Mar. 16, 1:30 pm
This class is an introduction to the fascinating hobby of beekeeping. Join Ranger Dawn to learn about beekeeping tools and equipment, how to begin a starter hive, and how to identify honey bees and what they are doing. Our observation hive at the Nature Center is a great place to see this incredible system. For ages 14 and up. FEE: $6 per person. Please pre-register.
OWL PROWL: Raptor Woods Hike – Fri. Mar. 22, 6 pm
Whoooo’s awake in our forest? Join Ranger Jess for this adventure! We’ll test our eyes by walking flashlight-free through the dark forest, our ears listening for the “Whooo’s awake? Me tooo?” of the Great Horned Owl. We may even stumble upon an owl nest! For adults and children 9 and older. Dress for the weather and wear footwear appropriate for hiking. FEE: $3 per person.
BEAUTIFUL BIRD HOUSES – Sat. Mar. 23, 1:30 pm
Join Ranger Amie and paint a bird house for spring! Children and adults will paint simple bird houses for our feathered friends. Each finished bird house will include hanging hardware and cordage. Ages 8 and up. MATERIALS FEE: $6 per person. Please register; class size limited.
**And look ahead to Spring!**
GETTING YOUR GARDEN READY – Wed. Apr. 17, 6–8 pm
Join Massaro Community Farm and the Ansonia Nature Center for a workshop here at the Nature Center. We’ll share steps to prepping or starting your garden for spring and summer plantings. Learn organic techniques to grow a healthy garden and plants for a bountiful season. Register online at MassaroFarm.org.
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.
Karate Club – Tuesdays, 5-week sessions: Jan. 22–Feb. 19; Feb. 26–Mar. 26, 5:45–6:15 pm
This afterschool program at the Nature Center is for children 3-12 years old. 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: $40 (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 Program Coordinator Theresa at 203-506-3816, 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.
***THINGS TO COME (Spring 2019)***
Earth Day Celebration • Spring Clean Up Day • Spring Jr. Rangers