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: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 11:00am to 11:30am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Join Volunteer Naturalist Joyce Tolliver as she reads a nature story and shares activities with your 2-6 year olds. Please, no organized groups. No registration required.

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Cardinals add a splash of color and a burst of song to the winter landscape. Come brighten your day as we explore the world of cardinals. Please, no organized groups.

Register by December 11

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Nature knows no limits in providing materials to make “Nature Creations.” Using honeysuckle, grape vine, Virginia creeper and pine cones (just to name a few), the Twin Pines staff will help you learn how to construct a holiday wreath. This program is designed for ages 4 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. Reservations are required. Reservations can be made on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov\twinpines or by calling 888-283-0364. For further information call 573-325-1381.

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Cardinals add a splash of color and a burst of song to the winter landscape. Come brighten your day as we explore the world of cardinals. Please, no organized groups.

Register by December 11

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Nature knows no limits in providing materials to make “Nature Creations.” Using honeysuckle, grape vine, Virginia creeper and pine cones (just to name a few), the Twin Pines staff will help you learn how to construct a holiday wreath. This program is designed for ages 4 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. Reservations are required. Reservations can be made on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov\twinpines or by calling 888-283-0364. For further information call 573-325-1381.

Register by December 11

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Nature knows no limits in providing materials to make “Nature Creations.” Using honeysuckle, grape vine, Virginia creeper and pine cones (just to name a few), the Twin Pines staff will help you learn how to construct a holiday wreath. This program is designed for ages 4 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. Reservations are required. Reservations can be made on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov\twinpines or by calling 888-283-0364. For further information call 573-325-1381.

Register by December 12

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required on-line for each family member attending (families with children ages 6+) Create a new holiday tradition with your family this year as we create edible decorations for the wild winter residents of Burr Oak Woods. Then we will venture out into the night forest to garnish a tree for especially for them. Dress to be outside for part of the program.

Date: Friday, December 14, 2018 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Enjoy the serenity of a winter night as you stroll along our trail. We’ll light the path for you and provide hot, winter beverages for your enjoyment. After your walk, stop inside the nature center to warm up and view our exhibits. Our trail is paved and accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Youth and adult groups welcome. Program is free.

Register by December 14

Date: Friday, December 14, 2018 - 6:00pm to Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins October 2 (ages 10+)
Make a beautiful cork decoy to use for waterfowl hunting or as unique art. Learn duck identification, duck ecology and decoy history as you sculpt and paint your own decoy. Cost for materials is $15. Please make $15 check to MCHF or we can do a credit card transaction. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or getting paint on. May not be the best class for those with asthma or breathing difficulties. An adult must attend with children younger than 16.

Register by December 14

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 8:15am to 5:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Enjoy a hike through the Mark Twain National Forest at Noblett Lake with Volunteer Naturalist Mike Mihalik. Meet at the nature center and carpool. Bring a sack lunch and water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Hike is five miles and rated moderate to difficult.

Register by December 15

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 9:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

The weather outside may be frightful or delightful, it all depends on your perspective. Join us as we discover how animals deal with the snow. Program is free.

Register by December 15

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

The weather outside may be frightful or delightful, it all depends on your perspective. Join us as we discover how animals deal with the snow. Program is free.

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (all ages) Do you sleep more during the winter? You're not alone, some of Missouri's critters take winter slumber to extreme levels. Some hibernate while others brumate. Come in to learn more about the sleepy animals living in this great state.

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Thinking of making the holidays a little greener this season? Then join us for one of the Discovery Center's holiday traditions. Learn to decorate using all native plants and trees. Fashion a festive holiday swag to hang using red cedar, prairie grasses, wild nuts, berries, seeds and your imagination.

Date: Saturday, December 15, 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, December 15, 2018 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Stop by anytime to make some simple holiday crafts from natural and recycled materials. We’ll supply the materials, you bring the creativity, and parents provide the guidance.

Date: Saturday, December 15, 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, December 15, 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 December 13

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required on-line for each participant attending (ages 10+; ages 10–16 must be accompanied by a participating adult) Put away the smartphones, tablets and GPS receivers to learn to navigate through the woods the old school way…and have some real fun! This program will present the basics of topographic maps, a baseplate compass and how to use both tools to travel from point to point. Bring a water bottle and dress for trekking off trail.

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

No registration required (all ages)
Get the family out of the house and stop by to have some holiday family fun. We’ll have a few different crafts for all ages to make and take home. We’ll bring the supplies, you bring the enthusiasm!

Register by December 20

Date: Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Join us as we celebrate the close of another successful year of Conservation TEENS. After viewing photos of the year’s outings, we’ll enjoy refreshments and vote on possible outings for 2019. Teens ages 12-17 and their families are welcome to attend.

Date: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (all ages) This winter we will be participating in the citizen scientist project ‘Project Feeder Watch’. Help us collect data that The Cornell Lab will use to track broad scale movements and populations of winter birds. Birders of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Bring your binoculars or borrow a pair of ours.

Date: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 10:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

No Reservation Required
Need a last-minute gift from the heart with a natural touch? Bring the family out for some holiday fun. There will be nature inspired crafts for all ages to make and take home. Continue the holiday spirit through an outdoor holiday scavenger hunt. Program will be in the lobby and families can come anytime between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Date: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Cardinals add a splash of color and a burst of song to the winter landscape. Come brighten your day as we explore the world of cardinals. Please, no organized groups.

Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Have you ever wanted to learn more about Missouri birds? During the holiday break families are invited to take part in some free nature fun that is all about the feathered friends. Learn how to identify common backyard birds, go on a birding hike and make your own bird feeder. There will be fun for all ages!

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