Experience the beauty of nature throughout Minneapolis parks. Choose from a variety of classes and events, or choose your own adventure. 

Education

Nature Education Programs

Classes are held for children at Recreation Centers throughout the city.  You can browse for programs by topic, age, location, etc by selecting options in the left column on the Activity Search page.

Nature Nuts

For preschool aged children.

Junior Naturalists

For school-age children ages 6 to 12. 

Adult & Family Programs

Nature Play Group

For children 5 and under WITH their parents/guardians.

Fees and schedules vary by park, but scholarships are always available.  Come with your little one to play and have fun in nature with other children and parents/guardians. Each day will be different but will have nature themes including animals, birds, and seasons. This is a Parent/Child interactive activity program that encourages families to get out and enjoy nature together.

Come Out and Play

For kids of all ages and their parents/guardians, including babes-in-arms.

Come Out and Play is a free, no-registration, no-obligation program that encourages families to get out and enjoy nature. Each month the club leaders pick a new location in a Minneapolis park to explore. The club meets on weekdays and weekends.

Emailnatureclub@minneapolisparks.org
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Environmental Programs for Adults and Families are also available at:

Other Programs

Canines for Clean Water

More than 100,000 dogs reside in Minneapolis, and tens of thousands of dogs from outside the City accompany their owners to enjoy Minneapolis parks. Dog owner decisions to pick up – or not pick up – after their pet, directly impacts the health (and beauty) of our water bodies.

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Impact of Dog Waste in Our Water


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Impact of Salt and Sand in Our Water


Events

Participate in annual events that celebrate nature and the environment. Learn about volunteer opportunities.

Earth Day Clean Up

The annual Earth Day Cleanup has become the biggest community service project in the city.

Arbor Day

Minneapolis has celebrated Arbor Day for more than a century, reminding the community about the importance of urban forestry, trees and tree care.

Urban Birding Festival

Birders of all ages and skill levels are welcome at the Urban Birding Festival. Learn more about birding with a variety of activities and participate in citizen science.

Get Outdoors Day

National Get Outdoors Day encourages healthy, active outdoor fun. Try new activities such as standup paddle boarding, geocaching, birding, mountain biking, and more.

Pollinator Party

Buzz over to the Pollinator Party, a celebration of the life and work of honey bees and wild bees.

Monarch Festival

The annual Monarch Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly's amazing migration from Minnesota to Mexico and raises awareness of the need to provide and protect monarch habitat.

Explore

Walk, Run, Bike

Explore 102 miles of Grand Rounds trails: 51 miles walking; 51 miles biking and more than 50 interpretive sites. Also enjoy the off-road cycling trail year-round.

Visit the Gardens

From landscaped gardens to natural wonders, our 12 gardens offer beautiful places to explore nature.

Canoeing

Take a canoeing class, bring your canoe to one of our boat launches, or rent a canoe to paddle the lakes and Minnehaha Creek.

Bee Keeping

Participate in bee keeping programs to learn about the social structure of honey bees, how they compare to other insects and pollinators, and why honey bees are critical pollinators to 1/3 of everything we eat.

Birdwatching Programs

Head out on your own, or join one of our naturalists and other bird enthusiasts to look for birds in Minneapolis parks and waterways. 

Fishing

Minneapolis lakes offer several shore fishing locations in the summer, and ice fishing in the winter. 

Snowshoeing

Explore the snow-covered wooded trails of Theodore Wirth Regional Park, join a naturalist-led trek, or set off on a snowshoeing adventure of your own.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country ski 20 miles of groomed trails including open areas with spectacular views of Downtown Minneapolis, to wooded trails overlooking scenic lakes.

Recreation Fee Assistance

Minneapolis residents who cannot afford instructional fees because of economic need may apply for fee assistance through the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Fee Assistance Program.

Browse All Nature Programs

Use ActiveNet to browse and register for Environmental Programs, or check with a Recreation Center near you.