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 

 

October 24 | Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
While out searching for food, fruit bat Stellaluna and her mother are attacked by a vicious owl. Stellaluna is separated from Mother Bat and taken in by a family of birds where she must put aside her bat habits to fit in with her new family.

October 31 | Just Say Boo! By Susan Hood
If three dinosaurs roar when you open your door, what do you say? "Boo!" of course! In this charmingly spooky story by Susan Hood, little trick-or-treaters learn just what to say in every Halloween situation.

November 7 | Dinosaur vs. The Library by Bob Shea
Dinosaur is going to one of his favorite places: the library! On the way, he invites his friends--a lonesome turtle, a sad owl and more-- to roar along with him. But how will his roaring go over at the library? Has Dinosaur finally met his match in Storytime?

November 14 | Feathers Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart
Young naturalists meet sixteen birds in this elegant introduction to the many uses of feathers. A concise main text highlights how feathers are not just for flying. More curious readers are invited to explore informative sidebars, which underscore specific ways each bird uses its feathers for a variety of practical purposes.

November 21 | Round by Joyce Sidman
If you look closely, you will find that the world is bursting, swelling, budding, and ripening with round things awaiting discovery—like eggs about to hatch, sunflowers stretching toward the sun, or planets slowly spinning together for billions of years.

November 28 | How Do Dinosaurs Go to School by Jan Yolen and Mark Teague
Everyone's favorite dinosaurs are back--and this time they are going to school. More fun dinosaur antics await. These prehistoric pupils are in a class of their own! Yolen and Teague capture children's rambunctious natures with playful read-aloud verse and wonderfully amusing pictures.

 

Farm Country 

 

October 25 | The Runaway Pumpkin
When Buck, Billy, and their little sister Lil spy the biggest pumpkin they've ever seen, they can't resist. Buck and Billy try to roll the pumpkin down the hill to show everyone, but it's too big! Before they know it, it's bumping and thumping and rolling down the hillside out of control.

November 1 | Black Book of colors by Menena Cottin
Living with the use of one's eyes can make imagining blindness difficult, but this innovative title invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery.

November 8 | My Car / Mi Carro by Byron Barton
Byron Barton deftly explores concepts such as transportation, signs and signals, night and day, language, and occupations. What kind of vehicle did you ride in to get here today?

November 15 | There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems
Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In There Is a Bird On My Head! Gerald discovers that there is something worse than a bird on your head-two birds on your head! Can Piggie help her best friend?

November 22 | Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoomaker
Eula is the only square cat in town. Everything that normal cats do is hard for her -- she can't get her square paw into mouseholes, she can't wear her favorite circle skirt, and all her friends are round! Eula is sad until her two best friends show her just how well a square cat can fit into this round world.

November 29 | Hi Pizza Man by Virginia Watter
'What will you say when the doorbell rings and we open the door?' asks Mom. 'Hi, Pizza Man!' replies the thoughtful child.  But what if it's a pizza woman? a pizza kitty? a pizza duck?

  

Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

October 26 | The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard...clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!

November 2 | Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson
Boy and Bear both love to explore the outdoors. There are so many neat things to see, and so many strange things to find. These explorers are prepared for anything . . . except each other! 

November 9 | Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
"I want my mommy!" Three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, and they can’t help but wonder where she is. What is she doing? When will she be back? Stunning illustrations from striking perspectives capture the anxious little owls as they worry. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.

November 16 | Who Ate the Cookie Dough by Karen Beaumont
Kanga wants to make cookies, but someone has eaten all the cookie dough. Who could it be? Join in the fun and find out! The refrain will remind teachers and kids of the preschool game Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar.

November 23 | No Class
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30 | We found a Hat by Jon Klassen
Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat. The delicious buildup takes an unexpected turn that is sure to please loyal fans and newcomers alike.

 

 

Ashton Gardens

 

October 23 | Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
Learn how to identify all sorts of leaves from red maple to sycamore by their color, shape, and other characteristics. What else do you notice when the seasons change to fall?

 

 

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

 

October 24 | Fun to Try
Come see what can happen when we do our best and try!  It can be fun! Laugh, sing, and play as we try. The take home instrument today will be a creative shaker made from a seed packet.

October 31 | Halloween Fun
Come join us as we parade around in our Halloween costumes set to music. Wiggle, giggle, play and dance.  Pretend to be your favorite zoo animals.  Let’s explore the fun of imagination and pretend. What are you going to be for Halloween?  Take home a zoo animal stick puppet.

November 7 | Move to the Beat
It’s time to move to the beat and shake it up.  Move, clap, and make a beat to various rhythm patterns as we use shakers, maracas, and drum sticks to enhance the music. Make a ribbon wand made from a straw shaker.

November 14 | In the Ocean
We will be featuring music to explore the amazing creatures under the sea. Do a Jellyfish dance, swim like an octopus and explore the ocean floor by walking like a crab. What are your favorite ocean creatures?  Make a Jellyfish plate shaker today.

November 21 | It's All About Food
With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, you can have fun learning songs about food.  What about a song about mashed potatoes? Apples? Bananas? We will make a fun instrument today made from a straw.

November 28 | Around Town
Learn the actions to Wheels on the Bus and many other songs as we learn about transportation - trains, cars, rockets and more.  The take home instrument today is an egg shaker maraca with ribbons.

 

Farm Country                                         

 

October 26 | Travel to the Moon
There is more than one way to travel like trains, cars, and how about a rocket to the moon. Imagine that you can be an astronaut and travel to space. Some songs can take us on a journey through our imagination. Join us today as we sing, play, and pretend.  The take home instrument today will be a plate rhythm maker.

November 2 | Shake Your Sillies Out
It’s time to see how to move and shake it up.  Learn about how our bodies can move and how they wiggle about. The take home instrument today will be a shaker.                 

November 9 | Musical Games
It’s fun to play and dance to silly songs and musical games. Do the Chicken Dance, the Goofy Dance, and play musical games like the Freeze and the Limbo.  It’s fun to play and dance to silly songs. We will make a silly ring-a-ling thing for the instrument today. 

November 16 | Move to the Beat
It’s time to move to the beat and shake it up.  Move, clap, and make a beat to various rhythm patterns as we use shakers, maracas, and drum sticks to enhance the music. Make a castanet to take home.

November 23 | No Class
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30 | On the Farm
Old MacDonald had a farm and we love all the animals on his farm.  Come explore with us as we learn songs about the many animals you can find on a farm including BINGO the farmer’s dog. We will make a Kazoo today.

  

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  

November 11 | Bean Museum-'Cool Comparisons"
Come compare some amazing animals and their features with help of the Bean Museum! How are tigers and elephants different? How are they the same? Come discover this and many other things with the Bean Museum! 

Farm Country

October 28 | Cluck, cluck! It's Chicken Time!
Come on down to the farm and make friends with some feathered friends who help us humans more than we may realize! Are all chickens the same? How and why do they lay eggs? Come discover and meet new friends!

November 25 | BaaBaaBaa!
How do sheep work? what are they made of? What can we use from sheep? What do they feel like? WOW! So many questions! Make some fleecy friends on this special day at the farm!

 

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

November 4 | Tools of the Trade

Birds have many tools to get food, protect themselves, and much more! But how would we fare if we had to replace our tools with theirs? 

 

Museum of Ancient Life

October 21 | HOO HOO HOO

Halloween has some spooky Characters- but one of our favorites is the Owl! Why are owls associated with Halloween? Why are their eyes so striking? And how can they turn their heads to well? Come discover this while visiting with live owls!

November 18 | Brrrrrd!

How did dinosaurs and Birds do in the cold? Join us as we discover and amazing history behind the seasons' change and our feathered/scaly friends!



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. 

When

 4:30 - 7:30 pm.  Location varies by season.  See below. 

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

Upcoming 

 

Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

October 23 | Imagination and Play

Halloween is right around the corner, so come join us today as we dress-up, play games and explore the world of Kidopolis in the Museum of Natural Curiosity.  Build a city, make a play, make a decorative mask, or roam around for a game of I Spy.

October 30 | Roaming the Rainforest

What animals and critters live in the rainforest? What is the weather like? Pretend as we climb the rainforest canopy and discover the different animals that live there. Explore with us and you can be a ranger of the rainforest.

November 6 | Animal Habitats

Where does your favorite animal live? In a house, a cave, the sea, or a tree? Discover animal habitats around the globe, help create a habitat, and learn more about our animal friends.

November 13 | Air is Everywhere

Hold onto your hats as we explore wind, weather and other wonders about air, and sky.   Explore tornados in bottles, play a game with the wind and make air contraptions that can float, fly, or hover. What is air?  It might just blow you away!

November 20 | Leap into Science: Design it, build it

What do you know about the design process? Design a structure, test unique materials, learn about the fundamental shapes of sturdy structures and enjoy building games.  Make a catapult, build a marble track and find out how much fun it is to design and build.

November 27 | All About Art - Winter Themes

What is your favorite Winter Holiday? Come create a holiday decoration that highlights your best holiday memory. Make a mosaic, create a masterpiece, and discover the magical world of imagination through art. We will also be making ornaments from pinecones.

 

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  

 

October 20 | Crazy about Cards | Museum of Natural Curiosity

What is your favorite card game? Come join us for a family night of card games! Create your own game and teach it to your family!

 

November 3 | Match It! | Museum of Natural Curiosity 

Can you match it? Come test your skills and play our fun matching games.

 

November 17 | Thanksgiving Bingo | Museum of Natural Curiosity 

Is it luck or strategy? Create your own Thanksgiving bingo card and play our fun board games!

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

October 21 | Protect Your Brain Design Challenge

How important is your brain? It does so much and yet it’s squishy, almost like a water balloon. How does it stay protected, especially against the ghouls and zombies showing up on Halloween? Come build a structure out of various materials to protect your precious “brain.” Then test your creation based on how well it protects a water balloon. All supplies will be provided.

November 18 | Bungee Jumping Turkeys

Some turkeys would rather jump off a cliff than hang around this time of year. They'll need a bungee to help them survive the jump. Come experiment with various materials to build a bungee for your "turkey" as they attempt to escape their fate at thanksgiving dinner. Test your bungee by dropping a weighted object from a designated height to see how close you can get to the ground without hitting it, allowing your "turkey" to escape successfully. All supplies will be provided.

 

 

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