School Programs

Welcome to Fontenelle Forest! Whether you’re planning your first visit or are already a regular visitor, we hope our educational programs inspire a deeper connection with the natural world. All programs invite you to explore the quiet wild of nature and discover the many diverse aspects of Nebraska’s natural landscape. We offer a range of topics and options for all ages and group size. If you don’t see something that fits your needs, please get in touch. Come discover Fontenelle, Nebraska’s backyard!

Request a program

At the Forest

All programs are 2 hours unless otherwise noted 

We are currently evaluating how to best move forward with our school programming while following the recommendations set forth due to COVID-19. If you have questions about school programs (on-site, off-site, or virtual programming), please call 402.731.3140 and ask to speak to our School Programs Manager.


Up High, Down Low**

(Formerly Fall Inquiry/Wild About Winter)

Fall, Winter, Spring                             Pre-K, K, 1st

Look up high, down low, and all around to discover the interconnected layers of the forest.

Naturally Sense-ational**

Fall, Winter, Spring                          Pre-K, K, 1st

Using your senses, come explore the Forest with us!

Soil Science**

Fall, Spring                                            K, 1st, 2nd

Do a little digging into our Loess soil and examine how the soil of Fontenelle Forest interacts with tree roots and more.

Habitat Adventure 

Fall, Winter, Spring                          1st, 2nd, 3rd

Compare wants and needs in this fun program searching for food, water, shelter and space in the forest.

A Plant’s Life

Fall, Spring                                      2nd, 3rd, 4th

Take a closer look at the importance and structure of plants, then make observations of plant species in the forest.

Renew or Not?

Fall, Spring                                        2nd, 3rd, 4th

Discuss natural resources and explore the forest to find these resources firsthand, brainstorming all they can be utilized for!


Fall, Winter, Spring                           3rd, 4th, 5th

Food chains are everywhere- let’s hike and build a few together using the plants and animals at the Forest.

Awesome Adaptations

(Formerly Sharp Claws)

Fall, Winter, Spring                    3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th

Discover the physical and behavioral adaptations of plants and animals in this exploratory program.

Who Goes There?

Fall, Winter, Spring                 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 

How do we know what animals live in the forest if we never see them? Dive into this fun program where we explore the signs left behind by our forest friends.

Agents of Change

Fall, Winter, Spring                              4th, 5th

Explore how wind, water, and ice cause erosion and deposition in Nebraska and Iowa.

Birds of a Feather

Fall, Spring                                       4th, 5th, 6th

Learn about the amazing world of birds by taking a close up look and listen at the wide array of adaptations, calls, and more!

Green’s the Thing   

Fall                                                               5th, 6th

Compare and contrast prairie and forest ecosystems through observation and data collection out on the trail.

Backpack Forest Exploration

All Year                                               Pre-K – 12th

Using self-guided backpack activities you’ll help kids become scientists making close observations and discovering the variety of life in the forest.

Request a Backpack program

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Critters On-Site *

All Year                                                 Pre-K – 12th

Come face to face with some of our amazing critters and learn all about why they are so neat!

Request a Critter program

Raptors On-Site *

All Year                                                        K-12th

What is a raptor? Find out in this up close and personal encounter with our educational raptors.

Request a Raptor program
* 1 Hour long
** 1.5 hours long – include 30 minutes to NATURE PLAY OUTSIDE

School Program Pricing

$7.75 per student

Teacher/Adult free up to 1:10 ratio

$11 per additional adult

Frequently asked questions

Nature On-The-Go

Bring the Forest into your classroom with Raptors, Critters, or a Naturalist!


Critters              Pre-K – 12th

Come face to face with some of our amazing critters and learn all about why they are so neat!

1 Hour Program – $130

Additional Program – $205

Request a Critter program

Naturalist                K – 5th

Want nature in your classroom? We can bring it to you! Choose from the above themes and we’ll work with you to bring an outdoor experience, inside.

1 Hour Program – $130

Additional Program – $205

Request a Naturalist program

Raptors                K – 12th

What is a raptor? Find out in this up close and personal encounter with our educational raptors.

1 Hour Program – $150

Additional Program – $225

Request a Raptor program

Home School Science

Designed to supplement home school education through observation, exploration, and investigation with fun, interactive, hands-on activities and a naturalist-guided hike. 

So what is the science of studying nature? The “-ologies” series: 

Embrace your inner “-ologist” as we start our year of learning about the studies of various branches of nature study- the “-ologies.”

Recommended for students 2nd – 4th grade. All sessions 9:30 am – 11:30 am.


January 13, 2020


From beavers to bats, and deer to foxes, mammals are all around us. In this session, we’ll take a closer look at the group we belong to and see the similarities and differences between us and other mammals.

February 3, 2020


If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. But in the meantime, let’s see what the clouds and sky can tell us in this weather filled session. We’ll try our hand at interpreting the sky and looking at the water cycle and atmosphere.

March 9, 2020


Dive on into this session where we’ll focus on the fish swimming in the wetlands and rivers of Nebraska. We’ll follow the flow of water to learn more about the water cycle and how fish thrive in their watery habitats.

April 6, 2020


There’s more to the forest than trees – and they play an important role in the forest habitat – the plants! In this session, we’ll get to the root of the secret life of plants.

May 4, 2020


Did you hear the latest buzz? Insects are everywhere and there’s so much to learn from them. We’ll do our best in this session to hunt for the common and uncommon insects and see what these little invertebrates have to teach us.

Home School Science Pricing


$10 per student

$4 per tag-along child

Teaching Adults are free up to 1 adult per 2 students

Additional adults subject to daily admission.

Non-member daily admission is not included.

New for 2019-2020 school year: Semester Passes

Member-exclusive benefit:

Those with household (family) memberships can purchase a full semester pass for $40.

Attend 5 sessions for the price of 4 (a cost savings of $10).

buy a $40 spring semester student pass (5 sessions)

Non-members can purchase a household (family) membership, and also receive the discounted semester pass.

In addition, you’ll be providing your family with access to the Forest and all free and discounted member events throughout the year.


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

Make a tax deductible donation NOW

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