Friday night is family night!

kid looking at a homemade lava lamp

Spend Friday evenings as a family at the Dickinson County Nature Center’s monthly Family Nature Night.

Environmental educators have plenty of fun planned for the next two Family Nature Nights 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 and March 27.

The February program’s theme is Leap Into Nature — in honor of Leap Day the following day — and will feature a night hike through Kenue Park.

“We’ll Leap Into Nature and enjoy the crisp, winter air and the stars,” said Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator. “We’re going to encourage no flashlights to encourage people to use their night vision.”

Dickinson County environmental educators always say, “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing,” so they request everyone to bundle up and be prepared for an evening outdoors.

families outside looking at a telescope

“I’ve been wanting to do a night hike, but in summer, it’s not dark at 7 p.m.,” Kuhlman said. “So in order to do a night hike, we need to do it this time of year. It’s also fun to do two things you don’t usually do — go outside in winter and go out at night.”

Kuhlman and naturalist Ashley Hansen are excited to get people to head outside, even in winter’s chill.

“Nature is alive and thriving at all times and in all weather,” Hansen said.

In case of below-0 temperatures, a back-up program will be held inside the nature center, but registrants should still come ready to head outside.

Kuhlman and Hansen have both been excited for the Rock Kitchen theme for Family Nature Night March 27. Kuhlman will portray a geologist and Hansen a chef as they talk about different rock types, show examples and then make an edible recipe that exemplifies each type of rock.

Families will get to try some edible samples, participate in hands-on demonstrations and will take home recipes to make other “rocks” on their own.

“We thought it would be a lot of fun for Family Nature Night, because it’s a clever way to show different types of rocks and help people remember the different types of rocks and how they’re formed,” Hansen said.

“It’s going to rock,” Kuhlman said.

Family Nature Night is a free monthly program held 7 p.m. the fourth Friday of each month. Each program lasts approximately one hour.

The programs are limited to the first 60 registrants, so please call 712-336-6352 to pre-register your family for the February and March programs.

You can find out more about Family Nature Night themes for the year and about other Dickinson County Nature Center programs here. Keep up on the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  1. Amanda Veit on February 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I have an almost 3 year old that may be interested. I see the program starts at 7, and you let me know how long the program goes til?

    • kiley on February 27, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Family Nature Night usually lasts about an hour