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, Melody Makers, and Dirt on Dinos, 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 weekly storytelling adventure, Tales for Tots, held each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:00am. Staff will engage guests with interactive storytelling as well as movement and/or music activities that connect to the story theme of the day.

Mondays - Museum of Ancient Life
11am-11:20am (Please purchase a 10:30am or 11am ticket for this program).

Wednesdays - Farm Country
11am-11:20am (Please purchase a 10:30am or 11am ticket for this program).

Fridays - Butterfly Biosphere
11am-11:20am (Please purchase a 10:30am or 11am ticket for this program).

Included with regular venue admission.

Family groups will be encouraged to space 6 ft. apart in on open area of the museum. Little to no props will be used and will be thoroughly sanitized after each program. 



Upcoming Schedule:



Museum of Ancient Life 



October 18 | 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...

October 25 | Dinosaurs' Halloween by Liza Donnelly
An encounter with a fellow trick-or-treater whose dinosaur costume is remarkably realistic gives a boy a Halloween full of surprises.

November 1 | I Am NOT a Dinosaur! by Will Lach
Way back in time, astonishing creatures lived on our planet. But they weren’t all dinosaurs! In this fun, fascinating book, you’ll meet some of these amazing prehistoric creatures and learn who was, and was not, a dinosaur. 

November 8 | The Bravest Knight by Mercer Meyer
Come questing with us in a magical land where bad knights are forced to pick flowers for the king, a day’s adventure involves rescuing a cat from a tree, and our hero boldly fights a fire-breathing dragon using his trusty slingshot.  

November 15 | Owl Babies by Martin Waddel
A tender tale to remind the youngest of children that Mommy always comes back. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered 

November 22 | Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks—the question is, where to begin? From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what is most important is being able to share them with family! 

November 29 | Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault
When all the letters of the alphabet race one another up the coconut tree, will there be enough room? 



Farm Country


October 13 | Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Where is he going? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows.

October 20 | Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Once there was a witch who longed for pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the pumpkin she had grown from a seed became so big she simply couldn't get it off the vine!

October 27 | Room on the Broom by Kenard Pak
The witch and her cat are flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away all her things!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.   

November 3 | There’s No Place Like Space by Tish Rabe
Beginning readers and budding astronomers are launched on a wild trip to visit the now eight planets in our solar system. 

November 10 | The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
The zany characters who sniffle, soar and shriek through this book will help kids understand the concept of such emotions as joy, disappointment, boredom and anger.   

November 17 | Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems
Follow our plucky heroine 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?

November 24 | Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
A heartwarming Thanksgiving tale about a bus load of school children who feel sorry for a friendly batch of turkeys and save them from the farmer's ax.  


Butterfly Biosphere 



October 15 | Red are the Apples by Marc Harshman, Cheryl Ryan
What can you find in an autumn garden? A harvest of bright colors, and lots to explore!  Pick out all the luscious fruits and vegetables in a colorful fall garden with a boy and his pet.

October 29 | 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 5 | Bee Gets a Sweater by Keith Faulkner
Bee Gets a Sweater begins a long time ago, when all bees were just plain black. Then, Spider had a brilliant idea...  

November 12 | 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 19 | Baking Day at Grandmas by Anika Denise
Three bouncing little bear siblings, wrapped tight in their winter clothes, can't wait to tromp through the snow for Baking Day at Grandma's!   

November 26 | Frank the Seven-legged Spider by Michaele Razi
Frank loves being a spider, especially the part that involves having eight glorious legs. But one morning Frank wakes up missing a leg, is he still a spider? 

Join us for our popular Melody Makers program. Led by our education staff, Melody Makers is the perfect opportunity for little kids and their adults to dance and move in a fun and friendly environment. Come see what each unique staff member has to offer with a variety of engaging songs and themes each week.

Venues are timed ticketed. Please reserve a ticket for the 10:30 am or 11:00 am time slot to participate in this program.


Tuesdays - Museum of Natural Curiosity
11am-11:20am (Please purchase a 10:30am ticket for this activity.)
Location: Please reserve a ticket for the 10:30am or 10:45am time slot to allow time to meet us near the concessions and restrooms behind the garden’s main amphitheater. Let the music guide you to our special spot. After playing with us, bring a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.

Thursdays - Farm Country
11am-11:20am (Please purchase a 10:30am ticket for this activity.)
Location: Farm Lobby


Included with regular venue admission.

Family groups will be spaced 6 ft. apart in our outdoor area using colored dots to indicate individual dance spaces. Little to no props will be used and will be thoroughly cleaned after each program. The program will run about 15-20 minutes once a week. More offerings will become available as COVID-19 restrictions are released. Masks are required for all participants 3 years of age and above.




Featured Song for October: 

Monsters Stomp Around the House
Have you ever wanted to be a spooky monster? Now is your chance to stomp, jump, and roar around the house with all your monster friends.


Featured Song for November: 

Turkey Hokey Pokey
Get your gobble on, and come join us for some turkey fun as we put our wings, drumsticks, and stuffing in.  Maybe it really is “what it's all about”. 


One Friday a month, visit the Butterfly Biosphere to put your entomologist skills to the test solving the mystery! 


September 10 | 5-8 pm

The Lost Caterpillar

Casey the caterpillar can’t find their mom! All they know is she’s very good at camouflage. Can you help them? Go on a scavenger hunt throughout the Butterfly Biosphere to locate information about Casey’s mom and figure out what species of butterfly she is. Mystery activities will be available for both the younger and older caterpillars in your group.

Butterfly Biosphere
Included with regular venue admission.



Join us for The Dirt on Dinos program at the Paleontology Lab window every Wednesday. Our program will be taking place outside the lab where we will have interesting artifacts on display, in closed cases, for viewing only. Friendly staff will help answer questions from safe distances while wearing masks.  Bring your best questions and imagination! Can you imagine how large a mask would be for a T-rex? Come learn about the science happening every day here at Thanksgiving Point!

Wednesdays - Museum of Ancient Life
10am - 12 Noon

Included with regular venue admission.

Family groups will be encouraged to space 6 ft. apart.

Every fourth Monday of the month from 5 pm - 7:45 pm at the Museum of Natural Curiosity.


September 27: 

Family STEM Night: Physics in Motion

September 27 - Museum of Natural Curiosity
5-7:45 pm

Included with regular venue admission.


Temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Please check back for more information soon.

We are excited to introduce our new Itsy-Bitsy Science sensory bins, happening every Tuesday at the Butterfly Biosphere. Itsy-Bitsy Science is designed specifically for families with children ages 5 and under. This hands-on experience lets children explore insects and the natural world through their senses, making early science concepts playful and fun!

Tuesdays - Butterfly Biosphere

Included with regular venue admission. 

Join us Wednesday mornings at 10:00 am in the Learning Garden at Ashton Gardens for a look at gardening basics! From water and soil to plant parts and pollinators, this program gets the whole family out into the garden exploring and discovering. Geared towards the little ones in your life, this program will help their roots grow deep into the world of gardening.

Wednesdays - Ashton Gardens, Learning Garden (April 7 - October 13th)

10am (Please purchase a 9:30 or 10:00am ticket for this program.)

Included with regular venue admission.

Staff will ensure that materials are sanitized properly after use. Family groups may have their own set of materials if applicable. Outdoor spaces will be used and guests will be encouraged to sit at a safe distance. Masks are required for all participants 3 years of age and above.


Fish Food for Thought: The Alligator Gar is sometimes referred to as a “living fossil” because scientists can trace them in the fossil record back 100 million years!
Join our Museum of Ancient Life staff on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1pm to watch these agile predators hunt for their lunch!

Wednesdays and Saturdays - Museum of Ancient Life

Included with regular venue admission.

Family groups will be encouraged to space 6 ft. apart.

Stop by the critter cart on your trip around the Butterfly Biosphere. At the regular show times (12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm) our Explorers will be handling a bug for you to see. The bugs will be out for approximately 30 minutes. Although you won't be able to hold it yourself right now, you can still engage with our Explorers and their bug friends. Just stop by anytime during one of these half hour blocks to say hello!

Monday-Saturday - Butterfly Biosphere
12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm

Included with regular venue admission.

Staff will encourage families to rotate through display area at safe distances.


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