Floodplain Trail Closure: Fontenelle Forest’s Wetlands and Mink Trail at Neale Woods are closed due to flooding.

Floodplain Trail Closure: Fontenelle Forest’s Wetlands and Mink Trail at Neale Woods are closed due to flooding.

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Event Series Event Series: Acorn Academy

Acorn Academy

September 5 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Acorn Academy invites homeschool students ages six years and older to learn at Fontenelle Forest every Tuesday and Thursday! 

Each week, our students engage with a different nature-based topic through science experiments, creative writing, group projects, crafts and more. The program materials, activities and lessons are designed to accommodate students of a variety of ages and learning styles.

At the Acorn Academy, students are encouraged to follow their interests, explore nature and make new friends!


When: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Age: This program is for children ages 6 and older.
Location: Fontenelle Forest Nature Center Cafeteria
Program Fee: $8 per child. Members must sign in to receive discount. Non-member price: $8 per child + daily admission. Pre-registration is required.

Registration is available by individual session – OR – you can also sign up for a full month of Acorn Academy at a time!   

Please see our most recent COVID-19 guidelines here.

Acorn Academy’s schedule follows the Bellevue Public Schools calendar and will not run during the summer.


August Schedule

Tuesday, August 27 and thursday, August 29

Theme: Salamanders

Uncover the truth about Nebraska’s slimiest residents: salamanders! We will look at the unique features of amphibians, explore their habitats, and examine one of our salamander ambassadors.



September Schedule

Tuesday, September 3 and Thursday, September 5

Theme: Beavers

Join us as we talk about one of Nebraska’s keystone species, the North American beaver! Students will explore the lives of these wetland engineers, see how they build their homes, and look at the history of beavers in Nebraska.

Tuesday, September 10 and Thursday, September 12

Theme: Weather

Where do rainbows come from? Does lightning start in the sky or the ground? What causes a tornado? This week is all about answering your burning questions about the weather!

Tuesday, September 17 and Thursday, September 19

Theme: Insects

Grab your bug jars and butterfly nets, it’s time to learn about insects! We’ll talk about the different ways insects are classified, identify insect body parts, examine artifacts, and much more as we demystify these creepy crawly creatures.

Tuesday, September 24 and Thursday, September 26

Theme: Sense of Taste

Our senses help us learn about the world around us, but how do they work? This week we will be diving into the science of taste! This week’s tantalizing topic will cover different tasting appendages in the animal world, the human experience of taste, and how taste helps us survive.



October Schedule

Tuesday, October 1 and Thursday, October 3

Theme: Spiders

You might know that spiders have eight legs, build webs, and eat flies, but there is more to arachnids than meets the eye. We will look at artifacts, investigate webs, and try to understand the role that these frequently misunderstood creatures hold in our ecosystems.

Tuesday, October 8 and Thursday, October 10

Theme: Hawks

What makes a hawk different than a falcon or cardinal? Do hawks mate for life? How do hawks find and eat their food? Join us as we dive into the anatomy, behavior, and adaptations of these powerful predators.

Tuesday, October 15 and Thursday, October 17

Theme: Bats

Which animal sleeps during the day, has webbed “fingers”, hibernates through the winter, and navigates with their sense of sound? That’s right, this week we’re looking at bats! Come learn more about these unique flying mammals!

Tuesday, October 22 and Thursday, October 24

Theme: Leaves & Colors

What happens in the Forest when fall comes around? Join us as we dive into the science behind leaves changing colors, learn how animals adapt to seasonal changes, and experience this special annual transition first-hand.

Tuesday, October 29  and Thursday, October 31

Theme: Biomes & Halloween

This week is all about the diverse biomes found here at the Forest, and beyond. Let’s see how various plants, animals, and fungi interact with their habitats! On Thursday, we will get spooky with some Halloween-themed crafts and activities.



November Schedule

Tuesday, November 5 and Thursday, November 7

Theme: Woodpeckers

From Hairy to Downy to Piliated, the Forest is full of woodpeckers! Come with us as we learn how to identify different species of woodpeckers, look at a real woodpecker nest, and see how many woodpeckers we can find on the trail!

Tuesday, November 12 and Thursday, November 14

Theme: Bullsnakes

It’s time to talk about Nebraska’s largest snake species: the bullsnake! Slither over to the Forest to meet our resident bullsnake while we learn about the diets, anatomy, and adaptations of these beautiful reptiles.

Tuesday, November 19 and Thursday, November 21

Theme: Sense of Smell

How do turkey vultures find carrion for dinner? How do coyotes find water in the sandhills? What are snakes really doing with their tongues? This week is all about the sense of smell! From scent receptors to Jacobson’s organs, let’s explore the stupendous science of scent.

Tuesday, November 26

Theme: Turkeys!

What do jake, tom, and jenny all have in common? They are all names for Nebraska’s largest bird: the wild turkey! Let’s talk about turkey terminology, bust myths, and learn how to tell the difference between male and female turkeys.



December Schedule

Tuesday, December 3 and Thursday, December 5

Theme: Squirrels

Small and playful, with a tail so fluffy and eyes so bright; they leap between tree branches, collecting nuts day and night. Who are we learning about this week?

Tuesday, December 10 and Thursday, December 12

Theme: Animal Coverings

Fur, feathers, and scales, oh my! Let’s investigate different types of animal coverings to understand how they help animals survive in their habitats.

Tuesday, December 17 and Thursday, December 19

Theme: Happy Holidays!

The end of the year is a popular time for celebration around the world! This week we will learn about the shortest day of the year, share eco-friendly ideas for wrapping gifts, and reflect on the past year of learning and growth.




September 5
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Event Categories:


Fontenelle Forest
1111 Bellevue Blvd North
Bellevue, NE 68005 United States

Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

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