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The Butterfly House is open Wednesday through Sunday 11am-4pm weather permitting. For inclement weather please call ahead. The Butterfly House is closed Monday & Tuesday and will remain closed after October 1st.

Programs for Pre-school & Kindergarten groups

More than 1100 groups of area children and scouts come to the Tenafly Nature Center each year. With their boundless curiosity, they touch, observe and listen to the natural world. This year you can join our professional educators as they bring classroom concepts to life and lead your students in hands-on learning and close observations in our 380-acre living museum.

Our programs are designed to help educators meet some of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards, Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework, Next Generation Science Standards, and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and have been developed for students ages 3 and up.

If a subject of interest to you does not appear below, please contact the Education Director for more information on how we can design programs to reinforce your curriculum.

You may also visit our After School Series page for information about our other offerings.

Field Trips for Pre-School & Kindergarten Groups

Pre-School & Kindergarten Field Trip Pricing

   1 hour  Half Day
 (2 programs)
 Full Day
 (3 programs)
 Up to 15 students  $105  $150  $180 
 Up to 20 students   $140  $200  $240
 Up to 25 students   $175  $250  $300 
  • There is no additional charge for teachers and aides.
  • Maximum Pre-school & Kindergarten group size is 25 children per TNC educator. 
  • A maximum of 120 students can be accommodated at TNC at one time. Larger groups can be divided between morning and afternoon, or scheduled over several days.
  • Programs require one teacher per class and one adult chaperone per five students who may attend for free. 
  • In order to obtain adequate staff, advance notice of additional students and adults is required. We reserve the right to limit the number of non-registered participants on the trail to the number originally registered on the confirmation form.
  • Please separate Pre-school & Kindergarten students into groups of 25 max (or one class) prior to arrival.
  • If your funds are limited, please consider applying for a scholarship (we strive to make nature accessible to everyone).

Current Field Trip Programs (All programs are one hour):

 Sample Schedule  Half Day
 9:15 am  Groups arrive at TNC
 9:30 am-10:30 am  Program Option #1 (ex. Maple Sugaring)
 10:30 am-10:45 am  Snack Time in reserved space
 10:45 am-11:45 am  Program Option #2 (ex. What is a Tree)
 11:45 am  Group departs TNC
   
 Sample Schedule  Full Day
 9:15 am   Groups arrive at TNC
 9:30 am-10:30 am  Program Option #1 (ex. Maple Sugaring)
 10:30 am-10:45 am   Snack Time in reserved space
 10:45 am-11:45 am  Program Option #2 (ex. What is a Tree)
 11:45 am-12:30 pm  Lunch Time in reserved space
 12:30 pm-1:30 pm  Program Option #3 (ex. Leaf Shapes)
 1:30 pm  Group departs TNC

  1. Apple Cider Making (September-November Only)
    Students investigate simple machines and the differences in plant parts, as they use an old-fashioned screw press to make and sample fresh apple cider. In the process, they learn about the history of the cider making from colonial times to the present.


    F
    ield Trips Add-Ons

    1. Butterfly House (30 min.)
      (open Memorial Day-October)

      Come visit our new 12 x 24' butterfly house filled with native butterflies. This add-on offers visitors a total immersion experience as it introduces students to the wonders of metamorphosis.

      Fee: $1 per person

    2. Self-guided Seasonal Walk
      (all year)

      Grab a trail map and guide your students on one of our trails.

      Fee: Free

  2. Bird is the Word
    Students learn what makes a bird unlike any other animal. Through activities, hands-on artifacts, and games, classes will learn what attributes birds share with other animals and which adaptations set them apart from the various avian species. The program concludes with an up-close visit with a live bird.

  3. Creative Camouflage
    Is it a stick? Is it a rock? Students discover how various creatures are shaped or colored to blend into their surroundings. Classes meet animals that survive by using camouflage and play a hands-on game to see if they can do better than nature at keeping animals hidden!

  4. Invertebrate Safari
    Students examine live insects in an introduction to the vast array of insect life. They will be taught where to find insects outside and how to identify them. By observing life stages and adaptations, students will learn to identify different insects in a variety of habitats.

  5. Maple Sugaring (February-March Only)
    Students learn about the history of maple sugaring in North America by observing a TNC educator tap our Sugar Maple trees. (We encourage sap tasting, if enough has been collected.) We demonstrate both Native American and colonial syrup-making techniques outdoors. We challenge students to try to distinguish between corn syrup and 100% maple syrup by taste alone.

  6. Seasonal Discovery (Fall/Winter/Spring)
    Students will explore the wonders each season brings to the forest. On a walk along the trails, your class will learn to observe and record temperature, weather, and wind direction. They will learn how each of these measurements, as well as plants and animals, respond to seasonal changes! Your students can bring this knowledge back to the classroom to make their own observations! 

  7. Sleep, Stay, Run Away
    Students learn how animals know winter is on the way and how they prepare for it. Students will investigate winter strategies with hands-on activities, artifacts, and live animal observations. Discussions include adaptations, hibernation, migration and animal behavior.

  8. What is a Tree
    Through role-playing, songs, games and a journey into our woods, your class will discover the inner workings of a tree and the physical characteristics that define some of the common species found here in NJ. Students learn how animals and humans alike use the different parts of a tree, and who here at the Nature Center calls a tree home.

  9. Wonderful Wiggling Worms 
    Dig in and discover the slimy yet satisfying wormy world under our feet! Students learn about the roles worms play in the ecosystem and how they recycle and convert scraps into nutrient-rich soil. Through hands-on interactions, songs, preschoolers will develop an understanding and appreciation of nature, and help build up their observation skills.

  10. A World of Weather
    Students use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. While they discover what questions can be used to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

Accessibility at TNC

Many of the programs Tenafly Nature Center offers can be altered to accommodate participants with special needs. We ask that you disclose pertinent information with a minimum of two weeks notice about any students that have any special needs (particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioral difficulties). This information enables us to make the necessary accommodations needed to meet the needs of your group.

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TNC to Go for Pre-School & Kindergarten Groups

TNC to Go programs are designed to be taught at your location, however you can also schedule a field trip to Tenafly Nature Center to participate in these same experiences.

TNC to Go Pricing

 30-Minute Individual Class

 (<25 students)

 60-Minute Individual Class

 (<25 students)

 1st Program (NJ & NY)  $125  $200
 1st Program (NYC boroughs)  $250*  $325*
 Consecutive Programs  $100  $125

  • There is no additional charge for teachers and aides.
  • *Additional fee is included to the First program fee for all New York City boroughs visits to cover NYC permit requirements.
  • A mileage charge of the current IRS rate per mile round trip is added to the program fee if the location is outside of Tenafly.
  • One parking space must be provided near the entrance of your location (if no parking is available at your site then a fee will be added to cover any associated garage fees).
  • Consecutive classes are programs held one right after another, for different classes, in the same school with no more than a 60 minute break between two of the programs.
  • Maximum Pre-school & Kindergarten group size is 25 children per TNC educator. 
  • If your funds are limited, please consider applying for a scholarship (we strive to make nature accessible to everyone).

Current TNC To Go Programs (All programs are 45-60 minutes):

  1. Creative Camouflage
    Is it a stick? Is it a rock? Students discover how various creatures are shaped or colored to blend into their surroundings. Classes meet animals that survive by using camouflage and play a hands-on game to see if they can do better than nature at keeping animals hidden!

  2. Creature Double Feature
    Students use their senses to meet live animals. They will discover how they are different and similar to these creatures. Focusing on how each species adapts to survive in its environment (what it eats, what covers its body, etc.), helps children gain a respect for and decrease their fears of several animal species.

  3. Incredible Invertebrates
    Students meet several live specimens as they learn what makes an insect different from other invertebrates By observing life stages and adaptations, students will learn how unique each creature is and why they are important to the environment and people alike.

  4. Rapp’n with Raptors
    Students will observe several live raptors up close and learn about their behavior, physiology, adaptations, ecological importance and natural history. Hands-on artifacts and demonstrations will capture the imagination of young and old.

  5. Sleep, Stay, Run Away
    Students learn how animals know winter is on the way and how they prepare for it, Students will investigate winter strategies with hands-on activities, artifacts, and live animal observations. Discussions include adaptations, hibernation, migration and animal behavior.

  6. What is a Tree
    Through role-playing, songs, games and a journey into our woods, your class will discover the inner workings of a tree and the physical characteristics that define some of the common species found here in NJ. Students learn how animals and humans use the different parts of a tree, and who here at the Nature Center calls a tree home.

  7. Wonderful Wiggling Worms
    Dig in and discover the slimy yet satisfying wormy world under our feet! Students learn about the roles worms play in the ecosystem and how they recycle and convert scraps into nutrient-rich soil. Through hands-on interactions, songs, preschoolers will develop an understanding and appreciation of nature, and help build up their observation skills.

  8. The World Beneath Our Feet
    A hole in the ground is always mysterious as it invites curiosity and wonder. Learn about the creatures that live underground as we shed some light on the mysteries under our feet. Discover what other unseen organisms might share this world and how they affect our lives from below.
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