Thanksgiving Point

Thanksgiving Point’s Nature Explore Classroom invites families to connect to nature in playful ways.

Located in the 5 -acre Discovery Garden at the Museum of Natural Curiosity, the spaces takes advantage of the many mature trees and shrubs that are the hallmark of this immersive natural area creating a context for meaningful learning and family interaction.

In addition to a winding pathway that draws people into and through the area, there are many opportunities to explore off the beaten path and have adventures. There are rough trails through groves of trees, a tunnel through the hillside, and a footpath through a fairy house village.

A bi-level birdwatching area allows guests to watch our feathered friends from seats at the base of the trees or to have a face to face experience on the upper level lookout tower, where they can keep birdfeeders filled and learn to identify who they see perched amongst the branches.

Other areas for free-choice play include a stage for music and dance, a giant sandbox, an area filled with logs, sticks, rocks and tires for building creative structures, and a living willow path where families can help weave together willow branches to create rooms and hallways.

The Nature Explore Classroom is open year round and enjoyed by over 500,000 guests annually. Educators, called Explorers, play alongside families, encouraging them to make observations, discuss their ideas, and contribute to resources by sharing their wildlife sightings in guest-created field guides.

Making personal connections to nature can be transformative and lead to new appreciations and understandings, and so we are dedicated to providing families access to the space and programs that cultivate connections to the natural world and to one another.