All Wetland trails SOUTH of Gifford Road remain closed. All Wetlands trails NORTH of Gifford Road are now open.
Click here to see current trail closures.
All Wetland trails SOUTH of Gifford Road remain closed. All Wetlands trails NORTH of Gifford Road are now open.
Click here to see current trail closures.

Mudpies is a structured program for children ages 3-5 that encourages exploration of nature and interaction between a child and their caregiver. Each week, a natural science topic is explored through crafts, outdoor exploration, songs, stories, hikes and more!

Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Forest

Looking for a unique setting in which to have fun with your child while learning about the natural world?

Mudpies is a structured program for children ages 3-5 that encourages exploration of nature and interaction between a child and their caregiver. Each week, a natural science theme is explored through crafts, outdoor exploration, songs, stories, hikes and more! Each session will feature a different craft or activity, along with storytime and a guided hike. Come discover the joy of sharing nature with your child!

This program is for children ages 3-5 accompanied by a caregiver. One adult is required for every two children.

When: Every Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, Habitat Hollow, *New*  Mudpies Education Room (Lower Level)

Member price: $5 per child. Members must sign in to receive discount. Non-member price: $5 per child + daily admission for each accompanying adult(s).

Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited to 15 students.

Registration is available by individual session – OR – you can also sign up for a full month of Mudpies at a time (a new feature this year)!   

We are not currently offering a Mudpies membership. Mudpies will run following the Bellevue Public Schools calendar and will not run during the summer.

Please see our most recent COVID-19 guidelines here

May Schedule

Tuesday, May 3

Theme: Snakes, Session 1

Come learn about the snakes of Fontenelle Forest and what makes them snakes! 

Thursday, May 5

Theme: Snakes, Session 2

What makes snakes special? Come learn about snake sheds, scales, and more! 

Tuesday, May 10

Theme: Bees, Session 1

What are pollinators? Learn how insects (and more) move pollen from flower to flower!  

Thursday, May 12

Theme: Bees, Session 2

Are bees pollinators? Come learn about different types of pollinators and search for them at the Forest! 

Tuesday, May 17

Theme: Wetlands, Session 1

What is a wetland? Come learn about this wet and wild habitat!  

Thursday, May 19

Theme: Wetlands, Session 2

Come discover what lives in a wetland as we search “around the pond.”  

Tuesday, May 24

Theme: Happy Summer!

Come join us for our summer sendoff! We’ll have an end of the year party and enjoy the beautiful summer weather together!  

Register for May Classes


Mudpies will return in August!

During the summer months, our naturalist educators are busy inspiring kids of all ages to love nature during our Summer Camps. But don’t worry, we have a fall schedule packed full of Mudpies adventures!

If your little ones can’t wait until fall to get their nature fix, check out our Lil’ Acorns Camp (for ages 4 to 5, accompanied by an adult). Two week-long sessions are available (June 20-24 and August 1-5). Camps feature a different theme each day. Choose from the morning OR afternoon option.

Learn more about Lil’ Acorns Camp


August Schedule

Tuesday, August 16

Theme: Ants, Session 1

Come learn about the tiniest engineer in the animal kingdom – ants! We’ll learn about ant colonies and how they work together to build themselves homes.

Thursday, August 18

Theme: Ants, Session 2

Come discover the secret lives of ants, the colonies they live in, and observe them out in the Forest!

Tuesday, August 23

Theme: Flowers & Fungi, Session 1

What makes up a mushroom? Come discover the fascinating fungi that fill Fontenelle Forest and make one of your own!

Thursday, August 25

Theme: Flowers & Fungi, Session 2

Learn about flowers and the pollinators that rely on them as we explore the flora of the Forest!

Tuesday, August 30

Theme: Salamanders, Session 1

What is a salamander? Fish, reptile, amphibian? Come learn about salamanders and what makes them amphibians!


Thursday, September 1

Theme: Salamanders, Session 2

Come explore salamanders and the wetlands they make their home in!

Register for August Classes


September Schedule

Tuesday, September 6

Theme: Beavers, Session 1

Discover how beavers build and live in their lodges and dams as we learn about these engineers of the wetlands!

Thursday, September 3

Theme: Beavers, Session 2

Learn about the tools beavers use to engineer their environment! These tools aren’t hammers and nails, but teeth and tails!

Tuesday, September 13

Theme: Weather, Session 1

What makes thunder? Lightning? Tornadoes? Learn about storms as we explore weather this week!

Thursday, September 15

Theme: Weather, Session 2

What makes the weather? Come learn about how seasons affect weather!

Tuesday, September 20

Theme: Insects, Session 1

What makes up an insect? Come learn about heads, thoraxes, abdomens, and more as we learn about insect body parts!

Thursday, September 22

Theme: Insects, Session 2

How many types of insects can we find in Fontenelle Forest? Grab your nets and bug catches and come explore the insects of the Forest!

Tuesday, September 27

Theme: Sense of Taste, Session 1

How does a butterfly eat? Join us as we learn about butterfly proboscis and how they use them to eat from flowers!

Thursday, September 29

Theme: Sense of Taste, Session 2

Does a butterfly taste with its’ tongue? Or something else? Learn about butterfly feet and the weird ways animals taste their food!

Register for September Classes


October Schedule

Tuesday, October 4

Theme: Spiders, Session 1

How do spiders make a web? Discover how spiders are different than insects and how they make their homes!

Thursday, October 6

Theme: Spiders, Session 2

Come learn about spider webs and all the different ways they engineer homes and traps with their silk!

Tuesday, October 11

Theme: Leaves & colors, Session 1

What happens when fall rolls around? What are some signs that summer is ending and fall is here? Come learn about the changing seasons!

Thursday, October 13

Theme: Leaves & colors, Session 2

Learn about fall leaves and why they change colors as we examine the changing seasons!

Tuesday, October 18

Theme: Hawks, Session 1

What makes hawks different from songbirds? Come learn about all the features that make these birds special!

Thursday, October 20

Theme: Hawks, Session 2

How do hawks survive the winter? Discover how hawks migrate and how far they go!

Tuesday, October 25

Theme: Echolocation, Session 1

Do bats turn into vampires? Or drink blood? Come discover something new about bats and learn about their 6th sense – echolocation!

Thursday, October 27

Theme: Echolocation, Session 2

How do bats find their food in the dark? Or avoid crashing into trees? Come learn about echolocation and the other senses these animals have!

Register for October Classes


November Schedule

Tuesday, November 1

Theme: Halloween

Feeling spooky? Come learn about bats, spiders, snakes, and more during some Halloween-themed myth-busting!

Thursday, November 3

Theme: Woodpeckers

Investigate these winged engineers that make the Forest trees their home! Come learn about woodpecker nests and how they’re made!

Tuesday, November 8

Theme: Enthusiastic Eaters, Session 1

From storing nuts in a tree, caching food under bark, to eating more to fatten up, we’ll learn about all the different ways that animals get ready for winter!

Thursday, November 10

Theme: Enthusiastic Eaters, Session 2

Come learn about nuthatches, squirrels, gophers, and more animals that fatten themselves up or store food for winter!

Tuesday, November 15

Theme: Bullsnakes, Session 1

Come learn what makes up a snake, from their tongues to the tips of their tails!

Thursday, November 17

Theme: Bullsnakes, Session 2

Join us as we learn about the largest snake in Nebraska and meet the Forest’s resident bullsnake!

Tuesday, November 22

Theme: Turkeys

Learn about the largest (and noisiest!) bird at Fontenelle Forest just in time for turkey day!

Thursday, November 28

No Class


Tuesday, November 29

Theme: Sense of Smell, Session 1

How do turkey vultures find the carrion that they eat? With their nose, of course! Come learn about nature’s scavengers and their strongest sense!

Thursday, December 1

Theme: Sense of Smell, Session 2

Come explore turkey vultures. Meet a resident turkey vulture and learn about their (usually) smelly adaptations!

Register for November Classes


December Schedule

Tuesday, December 6

Theme: Squirrels, Session 1

Explore some of the most unexpected engineers of the animal kingdom – squirrels! Come learn how they engineer their homes!

Thursday, December 8

Theme: Squirrels, Session 2

Discover something new about the fluffy critters you find in your backyard! Learn about how squirrels engineer the ecosystems they live in!

Tuesday, December 13

Theme: Animal Coverings, Session 1

Fur, feathers, and scales, oh my! Come learn about animal coverings and how they help animals survive!  

Thursday, December 15

Theme: Animal Coverings, Session 2

Why don’t fish have fur? Why don’t foxes need scales? Does a frog need feathers? Learn about animal coverings and how they help animals adapt to their environment!

Tuesday, December 20

Theme: Happy Holidays!

Come learn about the shortest day of the year and other exciting holiday celebrations around the world!

Register for December Classes

QUESTIONS? CALL 402-731-3140.


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

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