Family Nature Adventure Days


Join our youth education team for FREE monthly themed family days! These drop-in style programs will be held on the last Saturday morning of each month from March through September. The new time for this year will be 9AM-12PM. There will be activities, crafts, scavenger hunts, kids’ equipment to borrow for exploration hikes, and visits from live animal guests with Nature’s Educators (select months).



Learn about the tracks and signs animals leave behind! Play an animal tracks matching game, and make your own mold of your favorite animal track to take home. Borrow our binoculars and animal signs field guides, and search for real animal signs during your hike. March is a great time to find footprints from animals like prairie dogs, rabbits, mule deer, and even coyotes! The beavers also leave a lot of interesting signs behind on our site, especially chewed down trees, stripped bark, and even a dam across Sand Creek.



See and touch real bones and animal pelts! Learn about the animals that can be found at Bluff Lake, and the way their bodies and habits help them thrive. Look through the collection of small bones we’ve found around the site (cleaned and whitened), and see if you can identify which animal and part of the body they came from. You can even look for your own bones during the hike, and take home instructions for how you can clean and whiten them yourselves. Field guides showing common skulls and bones will be available to borrow during your hike.

May 30th: DIG DEEP
*Live animals with Nature’s Educators 9:30-11:30am

Lots of animals spend some or all of their time underground. Meet some of these animals live during a visit from Nature’s Educators (9:30-11:30am), and see how many you can spot during a nature hike around the site (binoculars provided). Learn about the animal homes and life cycles that are hiding right below us for creatures like prairie dogs, foxes, cicadas, badgers, rabbits, wasps, and ants. You will even get a chance to practice doing some digging for yourself—borrow one of our shovels and play in the dirt exploration zone!


The bug search is one of our most popular activities! Learn about arthropods such as insects, spiders, and crayfish, and see and touch some specimens in our bug collection. Borrow one of our nets and see if you can catch crayfish in the creek, or go on a bug hunt using our butterfly nets, bug boxes, and magnifying glasses (catch and release). Borrow our insect field guides to see what you can identify! You will also be able to complete a butterfly craft to take home with you, to help you remember how insects help the environment as important pollinators.

July 25th: CREEK LIFE

Learn about aquatic animals and what they need to thrive! Enjoy games and lessons about a frog’s life cycle, then borrow a water monitoring kit to test the quality of Bluff Lake’s water yourself! You’ll get practice with a test tube, sample collection jar, and pH and dissolved oxygen test tablets. You can also borrow nets or water shoes to look for crayfish or frogs in or around the lake or creek – this is also a great way to cool off on a hot day! Use one of our Pond Life field guides to practice identifying the different species you find.

*Live animals with Nature’s Educators 9:30-11:30am

Visit our Nature’s Educators booth to meet some live animals that can be found in outdoor spaces of Colorado (9:30-11:30am). Check out our DIY compass and sundial, and learn how you can make them for yourself. Think about what you would put in a good hiking survival kit, and learn about some outdoor signs you can use to find your way. Practice navigating with our compasses and maps during your hike, and use them to complete the Bluff Lake Quest! On this scavenger hunt you’ll collect colorful beads to add to a bracelet you can take home.

September 28th: MAD SCIENCE

See some of nature’s most interesting science at work with fun outdoor experiments! Swirl up a tornado in a bottle, use a glass of water in the sun to make a rainbow, and learn how colors can separate and spread using water, a coffee filter, and markers. (Bring your colorful creation home with you afterward!) You will also get a chance to look through our microscopes. You can look at some interesting slides we have prepared, or search for things in the nature around you to examine. These hands-on experiments will be quick, easy, and great for all ages.