Drop-in Programs & Places to Play
The Montana Natural History Center has many family-friendly opportunities, from our weekly miniNaturalist pre-K program to bi-monthly Saturday Kids’ Activities to our rentable Naturalist Backpacks. Check out our hands-on Kids’ Discovery Room and our Nature Adventure Garden – there’s fun for the whole family!
The miniNaturalist Pre-K Program engages young children in the exploration of the natural world through fun hands-on activities and games. The program emphasizes observation, sensory skills, and imagination to cultivate a positive connection with nature at an age when children are just beginning to investigate the world around them.
Every session is filled with exciting new activities, art projects, and discoveries. Learn about the wild world of weasels or try to catch felt fish in your feet like an osprey!
Every Thursday, September-May, 10:00-11:00 a.m. Come learn and play with us!
Join us twice a month during the academic year, September-May, for a Saturday Kids’ Activity. These drop-in programs feature activities, art, science experiments, and more. Kids might look for Osprey with binoculars, dissect owl pellets, or walk a model of the solar system. Every month features a new topic. The whole family can be involved, as the exploration and activities are suitable for a wide age range.
Heading out on a hike? Wish you had binocs and a field guide? Borrow one of our naturalist backpacks for a couple of hours or the whole day. Stocked with binoculars (for both adults and kids), field guides, colored pencils, an insect viewer, and other naturalist tools, it’s a perfect addition to your outdoor explorations.
FREE for members; $5 rental for non-members.
This room is just for kids! Curl up with a book, play games, perform an animal puppet show, and explore our touch table. Have fun with rocks and blocks, or see if you can identify all the native species in Melissa Madsen’s beautiful mural!
The Nature Adventure Garden, on the east side of MNHC between the river trail and our building, is designed to be a play area that is almost entirely free of traditional structures. In lieu of swings and typical playground equipment, it features boulders, hills, shrubs, and the natural structure that the research links to creative and healthy play.
Our Nature Adventure Garden provides a fun stop for kids and grownups to visit along the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail. Stop by and play!