Family Programs

Each week at Thanksgiving Point are tons of educational and fun activities for families of all ages and abilities! Our Family Programs include, Tales for Tots, Monday Night Activities, and Design Challenge, just to name a few. All activities are FREE for Thanksgiving Point Members, as they are included with venue admissions.

The programs are always adapting and changing throughout the year so check back often for updates. They are also led by our trained educational team to ensure each person at the activity has a great time learning and playing together as family and friends. Click each drop-down menu below to learn more about these one-of-a-kind educational opportunities at Thanksgiving Point and to see dates, locations, and times for each one. See you soon!

Join us for our hands-on storytelling adventures, Tales for Tots, held each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 11 am. Each day a new story is read followed by a fun activity that goes along with that story.

Monday  (June - October) –Ashton Gardens 
Tuesday – Museum of Ancient Life
Wednesday – Farm Country
Thursday– Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

Upcoming Schedule:

 

Museum of Ancient Life 

 

May 23 | The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo. Laszlo lives in a house. The dark lives in the basement. One night, the dark comes upstairs to Laszlo's room, and Laszlo goes down to the basement. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.

May 30 | Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
Just how big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that is bigger than your head? In this visually stunning book, seeing  is believing as Steve Jenkins illustrates animals both large and small.

June 6 | Bring Me a Rock by Daniel Miyares
When a power-hungry grasshopper king wants a throne to loom over his bug subjects, he summons each of them to “bring me a rock!” One by one, the bugs bring him the biggest rocks they can carry, but one little bug can contribute only a very small pebble but he might be the only one who can save him.

June 13 | TEK “The Modern Cave Boy” by Patrick McDonnell
Tek is a cave boy in love with tech: his tablet, videogames, phone, and TV keep him deep in his cave, glued to his devices, day in and day out. Can anyone in the village convince Tek to unplug and come outside into the big, beautiful world?

June 20 | We Are Growing by Mo Willems and Laurie Keller
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

June 27 | Follow the Silver Trail
The pages of Follow the Silver Trail reveal that Ant has a mysterious problem. Once Ant discovers Caterpillar has a very similar problem, the chase is on. Follow the trail to find out what or who has been leaving this silvery strand.

 

Farm Country 

 

May 17 | Is Your Mama a Llama? By Deborah Guanrino
With humorous rhymes, six lovable animals help Lloyd the llama discover what kind of animal his mama is. Can you help Llama find his mama?

May 24 | In My Heart by Jo Witek
Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. 

May 31 | Farmer in the Dell Illustrated by John O’Brien
The farmer has tumbled down into the dell, and everyone from his wife and nurse to the cat and the rat come running to his rescue. Hand in hand, they make a human chain to pull the farmer out of the dell. Everyone makes the effort--except for that haughty slice of swiss cheese. Will the farmer ever get out of the dell?

June 7 | Sally Goes to the Mountains by Stephen Huneck
Sally, the black Labrador dog takes a trip to the mountains, where she encounters new friends, new smells, new games, and, best of all, new adventures.

June 14 | Fix-It Man by Susan Hood
Meet Joshua James, the fix-it man. If he can’t fix it, no one can! When a stinky problem arises, Joshua James takes matters into his own hands with a little help from his younger sister, Sophie.

June 21 | Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes bunny was left behind. Find out what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

June 28 | Bees, Snails, and Peacock Tails by Betsy Franco 
The peacock's flashy tail is a masterpiece of color and shape. A buzzing beehive is built of tiny hexagons. Even a snake's skin is patterned with diamonds. What patterns and shapes can you discover with the animals on the farm? Come explore the hidden shapes and patterns in nature.

 

Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

May 18 | Monster Musical Chairs by Stewart J Murphy
Every time the music stops, one more monster is OUT! Kids won't be able to sit still for this musical introduction to subtraction at its simplest. Come enjoy the magic of math and music exploration.

May 25 | 
Who’s Story is this Anyway? By Mike Flaherty
Our humble narrator thinks he’s got a great story for you, but he barely begins before he’s interrupted by a scallywag pirate with a thrilling legend of mermaids and sea monsters! Soon an entire cast of colorful characters derails the boy’s saga.

June 1 | The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz
“There was a hippopotamus who hiccupped quite-a-lotamus. And every time he got’emus... he'd fall upon his bottomus!” Calamity ensues when an elephant, a centipede, and a rhinoceros try finding a cure for Hippo’s colossal case of hiccups. 

June 8 | Cinder-Eyed Cats by Eric Rohmann
Come join a little boy’s journey to a tropical dream world and to a mysterious island where cinder-eyed cats move like shadows, boats float above the ocean, whales fly across the dawn sky, and a parade of fish dance in the light of a campfire.

June 15 | Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman
One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun. But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he's sick. The usual remedies—applesauce, reading a story—don't help, so Boy tucks the sick Bot in, and then falls asleep. What happens next will surprise you.

June 22 | Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems
Nannette is on her first big solo trip to the bakery. But...will Nanette get the baguette from baker Juliette? Or will Nanette soon be beset with regret? Get set to crack into an irresistible tale you won't soon forget!

June 29 | What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? By Steve Jenkins
What would you do if something wanted to eat you? Walk on water? Stick out your tongue? Play dead? Animals in the wild use all kinds of methods to protect themselves from their enemies. Can you think of any fascinating animal adaptations? 

 

Ashton Gardens

 

June 5 | I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty
Frog wants to be anything but a slimy, wet frog. A cat, perhaps. Or a rabbit. An owl? But when a hungry wolf arrives—a wolf who HATES eating frogs—our hero decides that being himself isn’t so bad after all.

June 12 | Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino
Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download.  Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug . . . unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery.

June 19 | Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive Bus by Mo Willems
When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you've never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate.

June 26 | Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi
Grab your magnifying glass! Find your field guide! And come hop, hide, swim, and glide through this buggy backyard world!  Enjoy this field trip type exploration of backyard-bug behavior.

Bring your tots and enjoy a fun morning of exploring music and movement at the Museum of Natural Curiosity and Farm Country.  Led by our education staff, Melody Makers is the perfect opportunity for little kids to dance and move in a fun and friendly environment.  Included with regular venue admission.

Tuesdays at 11 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Thursdays at 11 am: Farm Country

 

Upcoming:

Museum of Natural Curiosity

  

May 23 | The Clock is A-Ticking!
Explore time with us today as we count out the beat with songs like Hickory Dickory Dock! Make a comb rhythm instrument today.

May 30 | Be a Cool Cat
Learn about some cool cats like tigers, lions and even a jaguar! Can you pretend and move like one of these? Come sing songs and learn to move like these and other zoo animals!  Make a unique ribbon wand to dance with.

June 6 | Time to Dance
Put on your dancing feet and come explore different dances with us.  We will be learning how to dance like a chick and other animals.  The take home instrument today will be a dancing ribbon.

June 13 | Learn to Rhyme and Have a Good Time
Learn about rhyming with some simple words and practicing some rhythm patterns! Tongue twister   enthusiasts need apply!  Today’s instrument is a key wind chime.

June 20 | Visit the Orchestra
Explore music with us as we learn about the instruments in the orchestra and make up rhythms to go with the songs. Make a rubber band and box instrument today.

June 27 | Splish-Splash!
Summertime is a great time to take a cool bath or go for a swim!  Come relax with some of our favorite water songs!  Make a decorative, unique water bottle shaker.

 

Farm Country

  

 

May 18 | Hoedown Farm
Put on your cowboy boots and come have a blast as we sing and dance to classic country songs.  We will even learn how to line dance!  The take home instrument today will be a 2-cup rhythm maker.

May 25 | Rocking with the Robins
Come explore the aviary world with us as we sing just as sweetly! Tweet-Tweet! Can you pretend to be one of our feathered friends?  Make a wrist egg shaker to take home.

June 1 | Singing Sounds
How many different sounds can you make?  We can make different sounds just like instruments do!  Come put those silly sounds to music as we practice things like humming and clicking.  The take home instrument today will be a cup shaker.

June 8 | Rainbow of Colors
It’s time to explore a rainbow of colors: red, blue, and many more. Join as we learn the colors and sing songs about rainbows.  Colors make the world a brighter place. Make a bead water bottle shaker.

June 15 | Sprout and Shout
Help us plant the seeds of music with these upbeat spring and summer garden songs! Each of Us is a Flower growing in life’s garden. Make a spoon flower clacker today.

June 22 | Leaping Lizards
Come learn about our fantastic scaled friends by becoming a dragon, and snapping with the alligators!  Make and take a percussion instrument made from plastic lids.

June 29 | Wiggle and Giggle
It’s time for silly songs today.  Try to make a funny face, make a silly sound, or try a few silly phrases as we sing, dance and play to silly songs. Wiggle and giggle and join us for fun and games through songs. Today’s instrument to make and take is a kazoo.

 

It’s not every day you could meet an alligator or greet a skunk. Animals are all around us, some live in your backyard, some live far away, but all are important to our world. Come get up close and personal with some of the most interesting animals you will meet as we explore some of the curious critters that make our world wonderful.

Second Saturday of each month at 11 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Fourth Saturday of each month at 11 am: Farm Country

 

Upcoming:

Museum of Natural Curiosity  

June 10 | Featuring Clint's Reptile Party
We live in a world of amazing creatures. Each one plays an important part. Come visit with Clint and his friends to learn more about some great cold blooded friends.

 

Farm Country

May 20 | Hatching Eggs and Cheeping Chicks
It’s Spring and chicks and goslings are everywhere at the Farm. Can you tell the difference between chicken eggs, turkey eggs, and goose eggs? What about after they hatch? Come learn about our baby feathered friends.

June 24 | Cute and Cuddly
The bunnies at the Farm are exceptionally cute. Come learn with us about what makes them special.

Have you ever wondered about winged warblers? Have you been curious about carnivorous condors? Come explore at our Birdosity program. Discover the life of birds, brush up on your identification skills and learn about a variety of bird related topics. Whether you are an eggs-pert or have a new found love of birds, Birdosity is a program the whole family will enjoy.

First Saturday of each month at 10:30 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Third Saturday of each month at 11 am: Museum of Ancient Life

 

Upcoming

Museum of Natural Curiosity

June 3 | Birds in Motion
Join us in the Discovery Gardens as we learn about brightly colored parrots- birds of prey and the lives they lead! Explore more of what it means to own a bird and what responsibilities come with it, you just might be surprised!

 

Museum of Ancient Life

June 17 | History of Birds
Come take a peek into history- living history! Get up close and personal with some serious modern day dinosaurs at this amazing program!



Featuring new activities each week, Monday Nights at Thanksgiving Point focus on a single theme with various activities designed to entertain and educate the whole family.

January, February, March: Museum of Ancient Life
April, May, September, October: Farm Country
June, July, August: Ashton Gardens
November, December: Museum of Natural 
Curiosity

Upcoming
 

Farm Country

May 22 | Leap Into Science with Your Senses | 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Join us today as we explore the world outside through the eyes of fun science experiences.  What can you measure? What sounds can you hear?  How do the senses help us explore? Come explore science at the farm in a whole new way!

May 29 | Farm Favorites | 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Come explore with us at Monday Nights at the farm. We will be presenting some of our favorite activities from the previous Monday Night farm activities.  Tell us about your adventures at Farm Country.

 

Ashton Gardens

June 5 | Flowers in the Garden | 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
What flowers can you find and identify in the garden? Learn how to preserve and keep the beauty of your garden?  Learn how to press flowers and make leaf rubbings. Draw your favorites with oil pastels and watercolors.

June 12 | Birds in our Garden | 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
What birds live in the gardens? Come explore our winged and feathered friends.  Observe eggs, feathers, nests and listen for bird songs. 

June 19 | What's in the Pond? | 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
What is in the pond? What do fish eat?  Come learn about the life cycle of a frog, feed the fish and observe a lily pad.  You can even try your hand at painting a picture of the pond using textures and patterns.  

June 26 | Leap in to Science Day: Air is Everywhere | 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Come explore wind and weather in the gardens. Observe the many attributes of air flow, wind and weather patterns.  Design a kite or air sock. 

Looking for a fantastic Friday night activity? On the first and third Friday of every month from 5:30-7:30 pm, get your game on with a variety of classic and new board games during our Family Game Night. Family Game Night is a family-focused evening for kids and parents of all ages. 

First & Third Friday of each month at 5:30 pm: Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

Upcoming  

 

May 19 Balance Games
There will be tons of toppling and tipping tonight as we explore balance through games! Join us for some of our favorite balance games like Jenga, Suspend, and more.

June 2 | Observation Games
What can you see when you look closely? Tonight you’ll have to use your observation skills to make matches and find hidden pictures with games like Spot It, Q-bitz, and Dixit.

June 16 | Parachute - located at the Ashton Gardens
There are so many ways to play with a parachute! Come help us as we use our parachute to build a fort, play popcorn, make waves, or even mix up a fruit salad.

Come have fun while innovating! Design Challenge is a Museum program that gets everyone engaging in the engineering design process. Make a team with your family  and join us! Up to eight teams may compete at each challenge. It is free to compete and all supplies will be provided but if you wish to take your project home there will be a small fee to cover the cost of supplies. Come ready to design, build, test and prototype a solution to a given problem. The top three winners for each challenge will receive a trophy and every team will receive a participation certificate.

Third Saturday of each month from 2-4 pm: Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

Upcoming

 

May 20 | Stomp Rocket and Launcher

Shoot for the stars! Learn about engineering and aerodynamics. Design and build a stomp rocket and launcher that will launch a rocket over an obstacle and will travel the longest distance. All materials will be provided. The rocket and launcher must be finished and ready to test by 3:30 pm.

June 17 | Catapults

The first recorded catapults were built in a Greek town called Syracuse in 400 BC.  It was a large machine on wheels with a basket attached to a long wooden arm and a power source for hurling projectiles.  Since that time, many different types and sizes of catapults have been made. For our June Design Challenge, you will be creating your own catapult. It needs to be strong and accurate to win first prize. All materials will be provided. Eight teams may sign up for the competition. Come and hurl marshmallows in our Discovery Gardens and try out your engineering skills.  Design Challenge will be held in Urbania plaza of the Museum of Natural Curiosity’s Discovery Gardens.

 

 

Do you know the people in your Neighborhood? What are their jobs and hobbies? Come meet a diversity of guests at Thanksgiving Point and get to know them and their passions.

Dates and locations vary, see below for details. 

 

Upcoming

*no programs are scheduled at this time.  Please check back soon*

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