• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Adventures in Nature

Ranger Mary Laycock assisting children during an Adventure in Nature program.

Ranger Mary Laycock assisting children during an Adventure in Nature program.

NPS Photo

Are you and your children interested in learning about nature and developing skills to explore the natural world around us? The Adventures in Nature program is a fun and interactive way for you and your children to do just that. These programs are designed to provide children ages 3 to 13 with the knowledge and skills that will encourage them to explore the natural world around them. This is an opportunity for children to experience nature and play in an active learning environment.

The popular children's program Adventures in Nature is back for a sixth winter! New in 2014, the Adventures in Nature program will officially be offered for children up to the age of 13. To better serve such a wide age range, we will be splitting up into smaller groups of children. This will provide a safe and comfortable environment for the younger children and allow us to offer more advanced activities for the older children.

The programs will vary in topic each week and will always include activities, songs, crafts, and a hike that explore the concept of the day and help to awaken a sense of wonder in the children and encourage them to connect with the natural world. This year's topics are listed below.

This free program will be held at the visitor center on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month starting on January 14, 2014. Each program will begin at 10 a.m. and last about 2 1/2 hours. Please plan to arrive by 9:45 so the children can be prepared to start the program at 10:00. We suggest that you provide the children with a snack before we begin the program.

If you are planning to attend the program, please let us know by contacting us either by e-mail or by calling us at 605-745-1134 however, don't worry if you forget, we would still love to have you here! RSVP-ing will allow us to prepare enough materials for everyone. Please include the number of children that will be participating and their ages. If you have older children that you wish to bring along, please do so. They can assist the younger children in their exploration and activities. Also, we all know that winter in South Dakota can be a challenge, so if the weather worries you, please call 605-745-1134 for road condition and to make sure we will be here. We all look forward to spending a fun filled time with all of you again this year.

For any additional information, contact the park visitor center at (605) 745-1134.

 
Ranger Charlie and youngster

Ranger Charlie Baker and young visitor.

NPS Photo

Programs in 2014:

January 14, 2014 - Night Sky
Since the beginning of time, humans have peered into the heavens above and been awed by the beauty of the night sky. Come learn how to identify constellations, planets, and other heavenly bodies. Listen to stories of the stars and discover creatures that go bump in the night.

January 28, 2014 - Rocks Rock!
Rocks are ever present, but what really makes a rock a rock and what does that mean to us? Rocks are such a part of our everyday life that we rarely even think about them, unless they get in our way. However, have you ever thought about what a rock really is, or how it came to be? What can they tell us about the past (or even the future)? Moreover, what role do rocks play in our daily lives? Join us as we crack these questions and more!

February 11, 2014 - Underground Treasures
Secreted deep below the surface are hundreds of miles of twisting passage that make Wind Cave so complex and unique. Get a firsthand look at caves and learn more about how they form and the different types of formations. Put yourself in a caver's shoe to learn about cave exploration.

February 25, 2014 - Gifts from the Bison
Today, visitors to Wind Cave National Park marvel at the many bison living in the park. In the past, Native Americans depended on these amazing animals for survival. For this adventure, we will explore the ways of the bison and how native peoples used them for food, shelter, clothing, and warmth. We will hear stories, conduct a simulated hunt, and make saddlebags similar to those of the Lakota.

March 11, 2014 - Detectives of the Past
History, archaeology, and paleontology are three means we have to 'dig' into the past. Explore how we use these disciplines to delve into the past and learn about the history of the Black Hills and Wind Cave National Park.

March 25, 2014 - Seekers, Navigators, and Survivors

In the world of the prairie, how do animals find their way around? How do predators seek out their prey? How does prey hide and escape detection? If you were lost in the woods, what would you do? Through games and activities, we will learn and practice how various animals find or hide. We'll also learn methods people use to find their way. In so doing, we'll develop our senses, gain insight into the lives of wildlife, and learn some skills that could be useful for survival.

April 8, 2014 - Putting It All Together - Being Nature Spies!
This will be our last session for the year and we plan to spend most of the day hiking and doing outdoor activities. We will be reviewing all of the topics we have explored throughout the season. Join us as we look for clues and evidence that help us understand the world around us. Please come prepared to hike.

Did You Know?

Bull Elk

Elk were the most widely distributed member of the deer family in North America and spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Mexico to northern Alberta. Elk began to disappear in the eastern United States in the early 1800s. More...