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Nature Fun for Kids

Join Parks Naturalists Faye and Shawn for fun in the outdoors! These relaxed and playful nature programs are geared towards children of all ages, (except where noted). Bring the whole family--activities and information levels will vary to offer something for a range of ages. Learn, Play, Explore, Discover...with Washtenaw County Parks!

Program Details

2015 Session Details

Nature Fun: Cloudspotting

Saturday, June 13, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

County Farm Park, Platt Road Lot

Late June is thunderstorm weather in Michigan. Can you look at the sky and tell when a storm is on the horizon? Learn the ancient art of mariners and pilots--forecasting the weather by reading the clouds. Also, hear the story about a man who fell through a thundercloud and lived to tell the tale! (Shawn Severance leads this program.) 


Nature Fun: Dipping in the Pond

Thursday, June 18, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

Rolling Hills County Park, park in The Lodge Lot (vehicle entry fee required)

This program is a hands-on opportunity to learn about some of the smaller creatures that live in the pond. Use nets to carefully dip for crayfish, water beetles, fingernail clams, snails and more. Nets and containers will be provided. All animals will be set free at the end of the program. Appropriate for any age. (Faye Stoner leads this program.)


Nature Fun: Hiking the Highest Hill

Saturday, June 27, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

Park Lyndon, south lot

Lyndon is home to one of the highest hills in Washtenaw County, created by melting ice from a glacier thousands of years ago. On this hike, we will learn a bit about the glaciers that once covered  Michigan, and hike up and down this very steep hill, while learning about the woods we will be hiking through. Water, long pants, sturdy shoes, and insect repellent are recommended. **For children ages 6 years and older** (Faye Stoner leads this hike.)


Nature Fun: Living Like a Pioneer

Thursday, July 2, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

Parker Mill County Park

What did the Parkers eat for dinner before there were grocery stores and all the things electricity makes possible? Join us at the one-room log cabin along the banks of Fleming Creek to learn about living off the land. Hike to the confluence of Fleming Creek and the Huron River, while learning about the wild plants that grow there. (Shawn Severance leads this hike.) 


Nature Fun: Monarchs and Milkweed

Saturday, July 11, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

County Farm Park, Platt Road lot

Discover the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly and learn about their incredible yearly journey. Learn how to identify milkweeds, which is the host plant for Monarch caterpillars and a prime nectar source for many other fascinating creatures. After a short orientation, we’ll hike in search of monarchs and other butterflies in the open fields. (Shawn Severance leads this program.) 


Nature Fun: Wading the Stream

Thursday, July 16, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

Parker Mill County Park

This program is an “immersion experience.” We will hike downstream along the park trail and then step into the water and wade the stream to make our way back! Along the way, learn about some of the plants and animals that live in Fleming Creek, including creatures that we might catch using our seine net. A few aquatic dip nets will be brought along too. NOTE: For safety, all participants must wear boots or closed toed shoes to be able to wade in the water--no barefoot wading. Walking in the stream is fun but a bit challenging in places. Also, if by chance Mother Nature provides lots of rain some days before July 16, we will not wade in the water, for safety. **For children ages 6 and older. Children younger than 8 must be accompanied by an adult**  (Faye Stoner leads this program.)


Nature Fun: Fishing Fun

Saturday, July 25, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

Independence Lake County Park (vehicle entry fee required)

Independence Lake is a great place to catch sunfish and more! We will supply a pole, bait, and fishing instructions, plus help with baiting the hook and taking fish off the hook. This program is open to children of all ages; beginners welcome. NOTE: Fish are typically returned to the lake after the program; however, fish that are legal may be taken home. (Faye Stoner leads this program.)


Nature Fun: Make a Wildflower Bouquet

Thursday, July 30, 10:30AM to 11:30AM

County Farm Park, meet at the pavilion at the Platt Road lot

The open fields of County Farm Park were once used for agriculture and now abound with wildflowers. Learn the names of flowers and how to categorize them into families. At the end of the hike we will create a beautifully untamed bouquet using our foraged flowers, plants, and trees. (Shawn Severance leads this program.) 


Nature Fun: Going on a Skull Hunt

Saturday, Aug 8, 10:30-11:30

County Farm Park, Platt Road lot

Look! I found this skull In the woods! What is it? Bumps and hollows, teeth, and marks can tell us much about how an animal lived. Look at bird, turtle, and lots of mammals skulls! Plus, go on a skull search, and see how well your eyes can spot skulls hidden on the ground. (Shawn Severance leads this program.) 


Nature Fun: Along Came a Spider!

Thursday, Aug 13, 10:30-11:30

County Farm Park, Platt Road lot

Learn about different types of spiders--wolf spiders, jumping spiders, fishing spiders, and more! Explore the special adaptations spiders have that make them such successful predators. We will go on a spider hunt, looking for spiders on walls, picnic tables, and in the grass using sweep nets. Also, make a craft spider to take home. All spiders will be set free after the program. Appropriate for any age. (Faye Stoner leads this program.)



Pre-registration is required for participation in these programs. Online registration is provided for your convenience - please click here.


For more information about children’s programs, call our administrative offices at (734) 971-6337 and ask to speak with a Parks Naturalist or email us at

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