Nature Centers

Missouri's nature and interpretive centers help you and your family connect with nature in a variety of ways.

  • Take a walk on an interpretive trail or nature trail.
  • Learn about wildlife through live exhibits.
  • Attend workshops or classes on a multitude of topics, including outdoor skills.

Nature Center Events

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. Ages 3-6. Everyone loves flowers and spring is a great time to see them. Join us for a short hike (weather allowing) as we learn what special jobs flowers do. We’ll make a “flowery” craft to take home. Please no organized groups.

Register by June 9

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

What's as cute as a kitten, as slippery as an eel, and can bite through a tough shell? Why an otter, of course! Slip and slide on over for some otter fun and games. Ages 3-6. Early registration begins May 15.

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. Ages 3-6. Everyone loves flowers and spring is a great time to see them. Join us for a short hike (weather allowing) as we learn what special jobs flowers do. We’ll make a “flowery” craft to take home. Please no organized groups.

Register by June 9

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

What's as cute as a kitten, as slippery as an eel, and can bite through a tough shell? Why an otter, of course! Slip and slide on over for some otter fun and games. Ages 3-6. Early registration begins May 15.

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (all ages) It’s Free Fishing Weekend (June 9–10)! Dive into this fun method of recording your fishy catch! Using rubber fish and water-based paints, artists of all skill levels can create a Gyotaku (Japanese fish rubbing) to take home.

Register by June 11

Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 8:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required. Ages 8+ years, children accompanied by an adult. Please call to register. A cool place on a warm day! We plan to hike the Coakley Hollow trail, a modest 1-mile trail, to enjoy the summer wildflowers, then visit Ozark Caverns. Please bring $10 for the guided tour of this interesting natural cave and its inhabitants. Also, bring water and snacks. Transportation will be provided. 573.526.5544

Register by June 12

Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 9:00am to Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Early registration begins May 15 (ages 7-11) Registration will be -ONLINE-
Child must attend both days.
Are you curious about the outside world? Come see if you have what it takes to be a naturalist! We’ll explore the plants and animals of Missouri as we do fun outdoor activities. Join us for a nature adventure and hone your naturalist skills!

Register by June 12

Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Ages 3-6 years. These beautiful orange butterflies make a long and dangerous journey as they migrate across North America. Fly in to learn what makes the monarch butterfly so loved and so marvelous! Reservations required. 573.526.5544

Register by June 13

Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Adults. Registration required.
From an adult’s characteristic wings to the larva’s black and yellow stripes, monarch butterflies are easily recognized in Missouri. Come join us to learn more about this summertime resident as we color provided pages. We’ll talk about their famous migration and the factors causing their numbers to decline. Bring your own markers or use our colored pencils to relax and create colorful images. 573.526.5544

Register by June 14

Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 9:00am to Friday, June 15, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Early registration begins May 15 (ages 7-11) Registration will be -ONLINE-
Child must attend both days.
Are you curious about the outside world? Come see if you have what it takes to be a naturalist! We’ll explore the plants and animals of Missouri as we do fun outdoor activities. Join us for a nature adventure and hone your naturalist skills!

Register by June 14

Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 9:30am to 10:30am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

(Ages 0–3)

Reservations begin May 31.

It’s always a perfect time to enjoy nature. Join us for a stroller walk outdoors. Discover how nature appeals to our senses no matter what our age.

Register by June 14

Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Ages 0-2 years. These beautiful orange butterflies make a long and dangerous journey as they migrate across North America. Fly in to learn what makes the monarch butterfly so loved and so marvelous! Reservations required. 573.526.5544

Register by June 14

Date: Friday, June 15, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required. Please call to register. Ages 13-17 years. Ready to explore a Missouri cave? Join Runge naturalists as we discover the geologic wonders inside Onondaga and Cathedral Caves. Runge will provide round-trip transportation to and from the caves. Please pack a lunch and bring your own water bottle. Dress for the weather, but don't forget that the cave environment will be on the cool side. Approximately 57 degrees F. You may wish to bring an additional layer. Please wear comfortable hiking/walking shoes - no flip flops. Participants must complete a permission form, which is available at the nature center. 573.526.5544

Date: Friday, June 15, 2018 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. All ages. Let’s get physical as you see what it takes for wildlife to build a home out of stones, pebbles and rocks as we team with the Springfield-Greene County Library during their summer reading program, Libraries Rock! Bring your entire family and enjoy indoor/outdoor activities, stories, crafts and more as we rock to the symphonies of nature. Drop by anytime and plan on spending at least an hour. The Mobile Library will be present during the program so bring your library card.

Date: Friday, June 15, 2018 - 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

No registration reguired. All ages. Have you ever wondered what types of fish inhabit our Runge pond? Here's your chance to find out! Join us for an evening of catch-and-release while relaxing and enjoying the warm summer air. Follow the signs along Raccoon Run trail to find the pond (0.4 miles). Fishing poles and bait are provided. Ages 16 and older will need a valid fishing license.

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Start your weekend feeling refreshed and inspired. Nature provides so many ways to rejuvenate yourself. We will start with 60 minutes of yoga led by Nella Yoga followed by a naturalist led walk through the gardens to experience the birds and native plants that call the Discovery Center home. Participants should meet at the shelter on the south side of the Discovery Center.

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 3-8; all welcome) Join volunteer naturalists for a fantastic journey through forests, streams and other magical places as they read select books. Children will participate in a hands-on nature activity.

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Created in Japan as a method for fisherman to record their catch, gyotaku or "fish printing" is an ancient art form still practiced today. We'll use rubber fish and textile inks to create beautiful wearable works of art of Missouri fishes. Recycled t-shirts will be provided or bring one of your own.

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 3-8; all welcome) Join volunteer naturalists for a fantastic journey through forests, streams and other magical places as they read select books. Children will participate in a hands-on nature activity.

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 3-8; all welcome) Join volunteer naturalists for a fantastic journey through forests, streams and other magical places as they read select books. Children will participate in a hands-on nature activity.

Register by June 16

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Ever wonder what it takes to keep our reptiles happy? Join the naturalist as she feeds our hungry critters. This program is designed for ages 8 to 15.

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. Ages 3-6. Summer evenings will be filled with magic and fun when your little ones discover fireflies with Volunteer Naturalist Nancy Ryan. Please no organized groups.

Register by June 19

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Join us at the nature center as we find a nice shady spot to enjoy a good story together. After a volunteer reads a story or two, parents will have follow along activities to help explore nature together.

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. Ages 3-6. Summer evenings will be filled with magic and fun when your little ones discover fireflies with Volunteer Naturalist Nancy Ryan. Please no organized groups.

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (adults) Let's get outside for a fun filled sunny summer night of outdoor skills adventure! Discover the fun in learning to use a spear-thrower called an atlatl. Test your archery and fire starting skills and participate in other outdoor skills that will enhance your experiences in nature. Make plans to join us for our second annual 'Ladies Night Out' at the Discovery Center!

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