Photo of child smiling

Nature Tots kicks off for 2019

December 28, 2018

Little campers, Nature’s Pals, Magical Rainbows — Nature Tots has a whole new slate of engaging themes for 2019. The series for ages 2-5 kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman said the program continues on each year’s schedule because of…

Photo of deer flagging tail

6 things you didn’t know about white-tailed deer

December 17, 2018

1. Hollow hairs help them stay warm in the winter. Have you ever seen a deer that has snow on its back that doesn’t melt? It makes people shiver to think about walking around covered in snow — isn’t the deer freezing? However, it’s actually that frozen snow that shows…

Photo of a coyote scene

Color this picture for a two-in-one experience

December 17, 2018

I was scrolling through Pinterest when a video caught my eye. I don’t usually like watching videos, but it showed a neat craft where you color one picture, fold it like an accordion and depending on how you look at it, it becomes two pictures. “I can make that,” I…

Photo of hoarfrost

How hoarfrost forms

December 10, 2018

One of the most beautiful times during winter is when frost builds up on tree branches, blades of grass and fences. The whole world takes on a bright, shimmering white hue, and it makes the bitter temperatures worth it. You might even call it a winter wonderland. This type of…

Photo of felt stars on a magnet board

Make your own magnetic stars

December 10, 2018

We have some awesome updates to existing exhibits and some brand new exhibits coming up at winter projects. One of those is to turn our kids area into a space/night theme! (Celebrate winter with a craft stick snowflake) A few parts of the renovation are underway behind the scenes, and…

Photo of a buff-tipped moth

Wallace discovered animals’ secrets to survival

December 3, 2018

Glowing body parts that warn predators, colors to camouflage, body parts that look like other things in nature — animals have crazy cool adaptations that help them survive. Alfred R. Wallace was a naturalist, explorer and biogeographer during the 1800s, and when he was studying creatures around the world, he…

FREE frog mask template

November 26, 2018

Did you know tree frogs’ last bone in their toes is shaped like a claw? Have you read about how about frogs’ bodies freeze during the winter and thaw in the spring? Do you know what a group of frogs is called? Click here to find out. Frogs are really…

Five differences between chorus frogs and leopard frogs

November 26, 2018

A gentleman called last week because he had heard a sound like someone running a finger along the teeth of a comb in his basement. He had found and captured a small frog and wanted to bring it to us for the winter. Frogs usually hibernate for the winter (read…

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Easy pasta creatures

November 19, 2018

The Great Lakes Mall in Spirit Lake hosts an annual Festival of Trees in which local businesses and non-profits can decorate a tree for a chance to be voted to win the top prize. This year, the theme is about our local food pantry through Upper Des Moines Opportunity, and…

Graphic that says mammoth tusks were about 15 feet long

Ground sloths and mammoths once roamed Iowa

November 19, 2018

The Iowa Great Lakes were formed as a result of glacial activity in the area. West Lake Okoboji is thought to have been created by the Wisconsin Glacier about 14,000 years ago as it retreated to the north. The Des Moines Lobe of the glacier is what covered Iowa and…

Photo of a hawthorn leaf

Wonder why leaves change color in the fall?

November 13, 2018
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Can you find them all? Try our indoor/outdoor fall scavenger hunt

November 13, 2018

The weather is chilly, but that doesn’t mean that kids hibernate. Your kids are still as active as ever, and they want something to occupy their time. You want something to occupy their time too. Why not print off our fall scavenger hunt? There are indoor and outdoor items to…