Calendar

Feb
18
Tue
Two for One Tuesdays @ Brenton Skating Plaza
Feb 18 @ 12:00 pm
2 admissions for the price of 1 every Tuesday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Skate Rental  |   $5.00
  • Skate Sharpening  |  $5.00
  • Shoe Check  |  $1.00
Feb
21
Fri
Winter Star Gazing, Constellations, and Stories @ Kuehn Conservation Area
Feb 21 @ 7:00 pm

Preregistration is required for this free program.
One of the tragedies of our culture is that winter, and sunsets, send us indoors where we are insulated by a roof from the wonders of the night skies. Earlier cultures of our place did not suffer from these maladies. Each sunset, was an invitation to look up, and wonder. The Paiute peoples had a phrase, spoken at nightfall, as they turned their gaze, not to Netflix or Fortnite, but to the heavens. This phrase, “Tu Omp I Av, Tu Weep”, translates to–the sky is beautiful, just as the earth. Join us to explore the wonders of the night skies, and in the process we hope that you will be reminded of the wonders underfoot here in the wilds of Dallas County.

Feb
22
Sat
Winter Hike @ Brown's Woods
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm

Join a naturalist for peaceful hike on a winter’s day. We will learn what animals do to survive the harsh Iowa winters and look for early signs of spring’s arrival.

REGISTRATION: None

COST: Free

AGES: 5+

Feb
23
Sun
Bald Eagle Watch @ Saylorville Lake Visitor's Center
Feb 23 @ 12:00 pm
Stop by the Saylorville Visitor’s Center to learn about the bald eagle, then venture outside to view them in their natural habitat. Jester Park Lodge will host a live eagle used for education. Hourly programs start at 1 pm.

REGISTRATION: None

COST: Free

AGES: All ages welcome

Feb
25
Tue
Two for One Tuesdays @ Brenton Skating Plaza
Feb 25 @ 12:00 pm
2 admissions for the price of 1 every Tuesday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Skate Rental  |   $5.00
  • Skate Sharpening  |  $5.00
  • Shoe Check  |  $1.00
Mar
5
Thu
Toddler Tales @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 5 @ 10:00 am

Let your imagination run wild with this fun, nature-themed story time! Hear a story followed by the naturalist’s choice of an activity such as an animal encounter, puppets or a craft. Recommended for ages 3-6. FREE. No registration required.

Mar
6
Fri
First Friday @ Mainframe Studios
Mar 6 @ 5:00 pm

Come make a night of it at Mainframe Studios, where every First Friday of the month we present a new themed art experience that is free and open to the public.

Mar
7
Sat
Geocaching 101 @ Annette Nature Center
Mar 7 @ 1:00 pm

Looking for a fun new outdoor hobby? Want to participate in our county-wide Geocaching Adventure? Come discover the fun and excitement of geocaching, the high tech outdoor scavenger hunt that uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit!

Join a Warren County Conservation Board naturalist for a beginner course to learn about geocaching and how to use a GPS unit. Then head out in the park to find some  “treasures” call caches. GPS units will be provided. Fun for the whole family! After this session, you will be prepared to head out on your own and find the Tree Geocache Adventure caches hidden in all of our Warren County Parks. Please register by March 5th at noon.

GPS Pot of Gold Hunt @ MacRae Park
Mar 7 @ 1:00 pm

Participants will learn how to use a handheld Global Positioning Unit then use the GPS to find hidden “gold coins” in the park. With a little leprechaun luck along the way, they will also find some information about the wildlife that calls MacRae Park home. Move at your own pace and see if you can find the hidden treasures that MacRae Park has to offer. Pre-registration is required.

Tracks & Scat Hike @ Brown's Woods
Mar 7 @ 1:00 pm
Join a naturalist to explore off the beaten path as we search for signs of wildlife in this beautiful forest. Dress for the weather.

REGISTRATION: None

COST: Free

AGES: All ages welcome.

Mar
9
Mon
Full Moon Hike @ Thomas Mitchell Park, meet at pond
Mar 9 @ 7:00 pm
Explore the wonder and beauty of Thomas Mitchell Park at night under a full moon.

REGISTRATION: None

COST: Free

AGES: All ages welcome

Mar
14
Sat
Des Moines St. Paddy’s Half Marathon and 5K @ Iowa State Capitol
Mar 14 @ 8:30 am

A family friendly St. Paddy’s Half Marathon 5K, appropriate for ages 3-99 at the Iowa State Capitol Grounds.

7:00 am Packet Pick-Up, 8:15 am Kids Dash Start and 8:30 am Half Marathon & 5K Start.

Ruby the Red Panda presents Special Guest Storytime! @ Blank Park Zoo
Mar 14 @ 11:00 am

Join us each month for Storytime with Ruby the Reading Red Panda! Ruby is a plush red panda who loves to read! Each month we will read a story and meet a special live ambassador animal from the Zoo’s education department.

During Special Guest Story Times come see Ruby and a special guest who will read a story and pose for photos. During this time children will also meet a live ambassador animal from the Zoo’s education department.

Regular Dates: Regular Storytimes are the 2nd Saturday of each month at 11 am.

Mar
16
Mon
Best Puppet Show Ever @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 16 @ 10:00 am

Join us for an exciting and energetic puppet show. Participants will be laughing, singing, and learning about nature as we entertain them with a scripted show starring a cast of animated puppets and props.

REGISTRATION: None

COST: Free

AGES: All ages welcome

Spring Break Play Week @ Brenton Arboretum
Mar 16 @ 11:00 am

Spring Break Play Week is back for another year filled with all sorts of nature-themed activities to make your stay-cation complete!

REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Only participating children need to be registered, parents and younger siblings do not need to pay.

March 16 – Paper, Paint & Plants

Get crafty by nature and explore your wild side as we mash up art and the outdoors. We’ll make several different art projects for you to take home using materials we find outdoors. Be sure to bring your creativity and imagination!

Best for children ages 5+ with an adult.

March 17 – Green & Gold

We’re celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with Green & Gold. Wear your green for good luck and join us on a gold rush adventure. Team up to set leprechaun traps and follow a rainbow of riddles to the pot o’ gold at the end!

Best for children ages 8+ with an adult.

March 18 – Kitchen Science

We’re cooking up fun with Kitchen Science. Help conduct several food-based science experiments, make a plant-based snack, and plant a kitchen herb garden to take home.

Best for children ages 8+ with an adult.

March 19 – Spring Equinox

We’re celebrating the official arrival of the Spring Season on the Spring Equinox. Get a head start on the season with us as we color eggs with plant dyes, sow grass seeds in decorated planters, and take home a Signs of Spring journal to keep records on the season’s developments.

Best for children ages 5+ with an adult.

March 20 -Mud Kitchen

For the play-bakers and fun-makers! Bring your imagination to this messy cook-off filled with sloppy sensory play opportunities! We’ll finish the program off with a delicious edible “muddy” treat.

Weather permitting, this program will be almost entirely outdoors.
Dress for the weather and plan to get dirty!

Best for children ages 2+ with an adult.

Critter Club @ Jester Park Nature Center
Mar 16 @ 1:00 pm

Come visit Jester Park Nature Center’s resident turtles, snakes, and salamanders to learn about these misunderstood animals. You may even get to touch a turtle or snake. This is an open house program, come anytime between 1:30-3.

REGISTRATION: None

COST: None

AGES: All ages welcome

Spring Break Riding Camp @ Stage Coach Stables
Mar 16 @ 1:00 pm

Campers ages 6-18 years old will receive riding instruction in both Western and English style riding.  Camps will be tailored to the abilities of the riders with one on one instruction.

March 16-18, 2020 at 1:00 to 4:30 pm or
March 18-20, 2020 at 8:30 am to 12:00 noon.

Mar
17
Tue
Geocache Leprechaun Hunt @ Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #3
Mar 17 @ 10:00 am
Learn to use a GPS and go search the woods to find the hidden pots of gold, collecting candy and prizes along the way. Keep an eye out for leprechauns along the way!

REGISTRATION: https://bit.ly/2NZuang

DEADLINE: Register by Friday, March 13

COST: $5/child (ages 3-14)

AGES: 3-14 years

Spring Break Play Week @ Brenton Arboretum
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am

Spring Break Play Week is back for another year filled with all sorts of nature-themed activities to make your stay-cation complete!

REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Only participating children need to be registered, parents and younger siblings do not need to pay.

March 16 – Paper, Paint & Plants

Get crafty by nature and explore your wild side as we mash up art and the outdoors. We’ll make several different art projects for you to take home using materials we find outdoors. Be sure to bring your creativity and imagination!

Best for children ages 5+ with an adult.

March 17 – Green & Gold

We’re celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with Green & Gold. Wear your green for good luck and join us on a gold rush adventure. Team up to set leprechaun traps and follow a rainbow of riddles to the pot o’ gold at the end!

Best for children ages 8+ with an adult.

March 18 – Kitchen Science

We’re cooking up fun with Kitchen Science. Help conduct several food-based science experiments, make a plant-based snack, and plant a kitchen herb garden to take home.

Best for children ages 8+ with an adult.

March 19 – Spring Equinox

We’re celebrating the official arrival of the Spring Season on the Spring Equinox. Get a head start on the season with us as we color eggs with plant dyes, sow grass seeds in decorated planters, and take home a Signs of Spring journal to keep records on the season’s developments.

Best for children ages 5+ with an adult.

March 20 -Mud Kitchen

For the play-bakers and fun-makers! Bring your imagination to this messy cook-off filled with sloppy sensory play opportunities! We’ll finish the program off with a delicious edible “muddy” treat.

Weather permitting, this program will be almost entirely outdoors.
Dress for the weather and plan to get dirty!

Best for children ages 2+ with an adult.

Geocache Leprechaun Hunt @ Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #3
Mar 17 @ 12:30 pm
Learn to use a GPS and go search the woods to find the hidden pots of gold, collecting candy and prizes along the way. Keep an eye out for leprechauns along the way!

REGISTRATION: https://bit.ly/2NZuang

DEADLINE: Register by Friday, March 13

COST: $5/child (ages 3-14)

AGES: 3-14 years