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Spring Nature Programs at Local Parks and Preserves

Get outside and open your mind with these educational experiences to learn about creatures ranging from seals to bats!

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Spring is in the air... or at least the weather is hinting towards it!  Many state parks, nature centers, and wildlife preserves are getting ready for the season with a slew of new events for children, families, and adults to explore and to get them outdoors.  Each of these events requires reservations, and many require you to dress appropriately for the weather. Bundle up and soak up a bit of sun at these fabulous nature programs!

Suffolk County:

Seal Walks
Montauk Point State Park
Date: Every Saturday and Sunday
Time: See link
Before the season is over, head to the Montauk Lighthouse and meet up with an experienced seal walk leader to go on a 3 mile walk (about 2-3 hours) to observe different species of seals, as well as marine birds.  Reservations are required.
Cost: $4 per adult, $3 per child

Downs Farm Preserve - Main Road, Cutchogue
631-765-6450 ext. 205
Date: Saturday, March 14
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Bring the whole family to Downs Farm Reserve to learn all about bats and how they survive.  Be sure to reserve a spot for this program.
Cost: Free

Sensational Snakes
Sweetbriar Nature Center - 62 Eckernkamp Dr, Smithtown
Date: Sunday, March 15
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Families are invited to learn about snakes and even meet several different snakes that live at the nature center.  If weather permits, there will also be a walk to Garter Snake Creek where you will look for garter snakes waking up from their winter’s rest.
Cost: $7 per person/$6 per scout

Spotted Salamander Search
South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center - 377 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton
Date: Saturday, March 21
Time: 8 p.m.
Bring a flashlight and put on your boots to go hiking in the muddy grounds of the South Fork Nature Center as you look for the spotted salamander.  This event is weather dependent, so call the day of the event to confirm that it will be held.
Cost: Free

Family Adventures: Spring Nature Quest
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve – Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike), Smithtown
Date: Sunday, March 22
Time: 1:30-3 p.m.
Follow a scavenger hunt course with your family and try to find all of the items on the list.  You can take the course at your own pace.  Please register in advance.
Cost: $4 per adult/$3 per child

Tiny Tots: Let's Discover Nature
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve – Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike), Smithtown
Date: Thursday, March 26
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Get your little ones outdoors with this program, which is one in a series of many for children ages 3-5.  Kids will learn about space, rainforests, and animals, and do hands-on interactive activities.
Cost: $4 per adult/$3 per child

Fun For Kids: Meet the Animals
Connetquot River State Park Preserve - Sunrise Highway/Route 27, Oakdale
631 581-1005
Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: 1:30-3 p.m.
Meet real life critters that call Long Island home, and find out what they are doing in your backyard!  Please register in advance.
Cost: $4 per adult, $3 per child. 

Family Adventures: Family Nature Walk
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve – Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike), Smithtown
Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Join an experienced trail guide as you see the signs of spring begin to pop up along the trail! Dress for the weather and register in advance.
Cost: $4 per adult/$3 per child

Nassau County:

Family Adventures: Stargazing with the Amateur Observer’s Society
Jones Beach State Park –1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh
Date: Friday, March 27
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.
Observe the stars and constellations with the Amateur Observer’s Society.  Space is limited.
Cost: $4 per person

String Fencing Day
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center - 134 Cove Road, Oyster Bay
Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 10-1 p.m.
Wear sneakers or hiking boots and learn about how to protect beach nesting birds, then put string up to help designate nesting spots and keep these birds safe.
Cost: Free

Sunday Funday: Eat or Be Eaten
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center - 134 Cove Road, Oyster Bay
Date: Sunday, April 12
Time: 1-2:30 p.m.
Bring the kids to play exciting animal-themed strategy games to see what a typical day is like for predators and their prey.  Be sure to register.
Cost: Free