Programs for families & individuals

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Celebrate your child's birthday party with us!

Celebrate your birthday with us!

Kids love nature and outdoor fun. Treat your child to one of our many outdoor discovery adventures for their next birthday party.

Length

Programs run 1 hour unless otherwise specified on the theme. This is followed by a half-hour of your own activities and refreshments. Use of our indoor facilities in the Ashland Nature Center, Coverdale Farm Preserve education building, Abbott's Mill Nature Center's "wet lab" room, DuPont Environmental Education Center's "snapping turtle" room, and also these sites' outdoor spaces are available for your festivities.

Group size

Maximum 15 children including siblings. Groups of over 15 would be an additional $50 as a second instructor would be required to maintain our level of quality and safety for our programs. Adults are welcome at no additional costs. Note: the limit for a party at the Coverdale Farm is 12. Over 12 will require an additional instructor at a cost of $50.

Cost

$150–$200 for Members, $200–$250 for Non-members unless otherwise specified on the theme.

Reservations

Birthday Parties must be reserved at least 30 days in advance. Pre-payment is required in order to hold your time slot. A $50 deposit is due at time of reservation with the balance due within 2 weeks of your scheduled date.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be made within 2 weeks of the scheduled date in order to receive a refund.

Food/Decorations

All of our indoor facilities have tables and chairs available for your use. You may bring food and are responsible for all decorations, table linens, tableware and silverware. We ask that you please refrain from bringing balloons, pinatas and noisemakers, etc.

Additional Items

Each party participant will receive a "$5 off" coupon applicable towards any Delaware Nature Society program.

Fun and professional staff

Learn about our highly professional, background-checked, safety certified education staff and our Youth Protection Policy.

Schedule your birthday

Party setup/cleanup and logistics

Please arrive no more than 30 minutes before and after your party for setting up and cleaning up. Tables and chairs will be provided in the indoor facilities at our three locations. Weather permitting, the outdoor picnic tables and benches can be used at Ashland, Abbott's, or Coverdale.

During the program, we ask for the assistance of two adults, who can help maintain safety and order.

Please make it understood by your guests that we will be outside for part of the program (weather permitting). We recommend that you make a note on your invitation that children should dress for the outdoors and possible weather – old clothes, boots, old sneakers and raincoats are appropriate.

Please make sure another adult is on hand to supervise your child and guests. A game, song or outside walk will help keep the children engaged. Your instructor will be busy preparing for the program.

The staff person assigned to your group will be available to assist you with clean up afterward but the majority of clean up is your responsibility.

Party Themes by location

Ashland Party Themes

Year-round

Animals of Ashland

Meet live and taxidermy examples of native Delaware animals, then hike the trails to search for them in the wild.
Cost: Members/Non-members: $150/$200

Night Noises & Campfire (Evening Program)

Walk our trails and listen for the noises of nature. In the spring, hear the peeping of wood frogs and spring peepers. In the fall, listen for owls as they prepare for their breeding season. Finish up with a campfire and of course, s'mores! Program includes supplies for making s'mores.
Cost: Members/Non-members: $200/$250

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Test your observation skills on fun scavenger hunt. Look for animal tracks in the mud, bird nests in trees, and mammal burrows. How many signs of local wildlife can you find?
Cost: Members/Non-members: $150 / $200 Program Duration: 1 hour

Themes for winter

Maple Sugaring

Learn how Native Americans developed the technique of producing sugar from trees. Discover why settlers relied on this source for many years and how syrup farmers make this product today. See how trees are tapped at Ashland and then boil down some sap into syrup.
Cost: Members/Non-members: $150/$200

Themes for spring

Herp Hunting at Ashland

Become a Herp Hunter and learn what a herp is. Look for herps in the forest, marsh, pond and streams. Meet Ashland's live herps and learn about how they adapt to different habitats.
Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200 Program Duration: 1 hour

Themes for summer

Butterflies

Visit Ashland's Butterfly House and explore the meadow to discover a variety of colorful butterflies. Try your hand at catching them and adding to our Butterfly House collection. Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200 Program Duration: 1 hour Water Wonders & Pond Study - Discover animals that live in ponds, marshes and streams. Catch aquatic animals; find tadpoles, frogs, toads and fish in watery habitats.
Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200 Program Duration: 1 hour

Abbott’s Mill Party Themes

Year-round

Fantastic Fish

Meet the many fish of the Abbott’s Pond. Reel in fish, haul in fish traps, and use dip and seine nets to try your luck. Examine the features of a variety of fish to learn what they eat and how they live. Excludes winter season; fishing equipment provided but we encourage to bring your own. Cost: Members/Non-members: $150/$200

Reptiles and Amphibians

Explore around Abbott’s for frogs, toads, snakes, turtles, and salamanders! Listen to the frogs' chorus, use nets to catch live amphibians and view them up close, and find eggs and tadpoles in the pond. Cost: Members/Non-members: $150/$200

Native Wild Animals

Meet live and taxidermy examples of native Delaware animals, then hike the trails to search for them in the wild. Cost: Members/Non-members: $150/$200

Animals in Winter

Learn about different animals native to Delaware and their strategies for winter survival. Investigate which animals hibernate, which stay awake, and which migrate south with live and taxidermy specimens. Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200

Owls of DelMarVa

Examine the structures and adaptations of our four resident owl species on Delmarva. Study mounted specimens, listen and learn owl calls, and dissect owl pellets to explore the eating habits of owls. Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200

Pond Study

Discover animals that live in our ponds, wetlands, and streams. Strap on waders to catch aquatic animals with dip and seine nets; find tadpoles, frogs, toads and fish in watery habitats. Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200

Unhuggables

Spiders, bats, snakes, and lizards are all animals that make many people shudder, Learn about the remarkable role these less popular animals play in the balance of nature and explore their wondrous adaptations with both live and taxidermy specimens. Cost: Members / Non-members $150/$200

Campfire and S'mores

What makes birthdays even more awesome than presents? Topping things off with a campfire, and of course, s'mores! (adds 30 mins to program; firewood/s’mores included). Cost: additional $50

Coverdale Party Themes

Year-round

Coverdale Farm Exploration

Celebrate your special day down on the farm. Bring your friends to Coverdale Farm and feed our sheep, hold a chick, and visit with the cows, chickens and pigs. See what's up in the garden. Party down with cake, candles and presents in the Great Room of the Education/CSA building or outdoor picnic tables. Note: Only one party per month can be scheduled at the Coverdale Farm.

Farm and Kitchen Adventure

Cook up an awesome birthday party farm-style! Head into the Coverdale Kitchen and play the role of farm chef as you build your own party pizzas made with seasonal toppings. Compliment your culinary creations by making a healthy greens salad and dressing. Celebrate and enjoy your makings with friends and family in the Education Room or outside on picnic tables. Age: 6 and up, Minimum/Maximum Participants: 12/15, Program Duration: 2 hours, Cost: Members: $300.00 for group of 12. $20.00 for each additional child. Non-members: $350.00 for group of 12. $20.00 for each additional child.

DEEC Party Themes

Year-round

Marshy Adventures

Explore the biodiversity of a marsh habitat in this outdoor adventure! Look for marsh residents in the air, on land, in the soil, and in the water. Examine plants and animals closely using nets and magnifiers. Learn about marsh food chains, the water cycle, and why the Christina River is so important to Northern Delaware.

What's in the Water?

Head out to the marsh and explore what's in the water! Use nets to catch animals in the pond and bring them into the lab to examine with magnifying lenses and microscopes. Discover how the animals and plants in the marsh depend on each other and construct your own marsh and pond food chain to take home. Excludes winter season.

Fantastic Fish

Meet the many fish of the Christina River and the marsh. Watch as fish are caught in a spinning cast net, reel in fish traps, and use dip nets to try your luck. Examine the features of a variety of fish to learn what they eat and how they live. Excludes winter season.

Marsh Mammals

Hunt for animal tracks and other evidence that the furry residents of the marsh leave behind. Learn how they survive in the marsh and touch real animal furs. Use clues to identify which animals are using the pond when no one is looking! Excludes winter season.

Themes for spring

Marsh Amphibians at DEEC

Explore the marsh for amphibians; frogs, toads and salamanders! Listen to the frogs' chorus, use nets to catch live amphibians and view them up close, and find eggs and tadpoles in the pond.

Themes for summer

Marsh Insects at DEEC

Hunt for insects found in the air, land and water at DEEC. Collect and observe insects up close, learn insect anatomy, assemble a marsh food web puzzle, and discover some of the important jobs insects have in nature.

Themes for fall

Marsh Insects at DEEC

Hunt for insects found in the air, land and water at DEEC. Collect and observe insects up close, learn insect anatomy, assemble a marsh food web puzzle, and discover some of the important jobs insects have in nature.

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