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Community Progams

Join us for a program

We offer a wide variety of programs from archery to kayaking to bird watching. Our programs are geared towards all ages and knowledge levels. Check out our calendar as we update our programs frequently.


Designed for children to have fun exploring Michigan's natural and cultural history

We offer day camps for children between 4-16 years old that include themes such as kayaking, art, wildlife, archery, and Michigan culture. Camps will not only take place in summer but may also be offered during seasonal school breaks.

Park Passport

Explore local parks and earn prizes!

This booklet guides you to 16 local parks and natural areas within our nature-rich community. Learn about each site while exploring forests, beaches, dunes, lakes and trails. 

Birthday Parties

Let our staff help you plan your child’s birthday party.

Birds of Prey
Best for ages 6 and up. Bird of prey presentation with at least 4 live birds. Touchable items include beaks, talons, wings and feathers.
Catch and Release Fishing
Children under 7 years old may use bamboo poles versus rod and reel combo. Guests may bring their own equipment. Summer fishing – bamboo poles; Winter fishing – ice fishing.
Children under 8 years old may have a hard time keeping snowshoes on their feet. Must have at least 4 inches of snow.
Insect Safari
Great for all ages. This program is best between July and September. Children will be able to use nets to catch insects.
Feathers, Fur, Scales and Slime
Great for all ages. See, touch and handle a variety of live animals. May be conducted entirely inside or as a guided hike where live animals will be “found” along the trail depending on weather
Guided Nature Exploration Hikes
Great for all ages. Your hike may be done during the day, evening, week day or weekend. Popular hikes include owl prowls, bug hunts, bird watching, and sensory hikes.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Great for preschool-aged children. Guided scavenger hunt with live animals as an added option.
Knee-deep in a Wetland
Great for all ages. Investigate a wetland for aquatic life using dip nets. Best between April and October.
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2023 Program Fee: $150 | Deposit: $50

Facility Rentals

Host an Event at the Outdoor Discovery Center

Need a new and unique space to hold your meeting or event? The Outdoor Discovery Center has indoor and outdoor facilities available to rent. There is also a rentable space at Dragonflies Discovery Preschool in the Dragonflies Learning Lab.

School Programs

Work with our naturalist staff to provide hands-on learning experiences about Michigan's natural and cultural history

We offer a wide variety of Natural and Cultural History programs for all grades and class sizes. Field trip registrations begin on the first Monday of August.

Library Programs

Have our staff visit your library for a fun and interactive wildlife experience!

Have you ever explored your backyard jungle? Rolled over a log? Or turned over a rock? So many wild animals call our backyards home, or at least pass through. Come join the Outdoor Discovery Center as we go on safari and explore our wild backyards with the help of our captive animal ambassadors.

Live animals, taxidermy and artifacts will be used during the presentation. Depending on the size of the audience, animals may be shared during the presentation or at its conclusion for an open format exploration time.

The Center’s birds of prey, including hawks, owls and falcons, will be used to share their life history and habitat. Depending on the group size, birds will be walked around or brought out after the presentation for viewing. Hands-on artifacts will include skulls, feathers, pelts, and talons.

Michigan is home to a diversity of reptile species. We are fortunate to house a number of live, native reptiles that can be used in educational programs. Audiences will learn how a reptile differs from other animal groups and how to identify them. Hands-on artifacts include skins, skulls, eggs, and shells of several species native to Michigan.

A wetland is a home for a wide variety of plants and animals. Our staff will share live examples of both vertebrate and invertebrate organisms that can be found in and near wetlands in Michigan. Animals may include toads, frogs, salamanders, fish, leeches, dragonflies, damselflies and more. Our naturalist will offer insight into the organism’s life history and habitat. A number of animals will be used and available to touch during the program.

This program focuses on introducing audiences to Michigan wildlife. Live animals including reptiles, amphibians and birds will be used during the presentation. People will learn unique characteristics of animals and how they fit into our diverse ecosystems. Hands-on artifacts include skins, skulls, wings, feathers and talons of several species native to Michigan.

Owls capture the attention of almost anyone who is lucky enough to encounter them in the wild. This live bird program will highlight several common owl species and show participants how they can encourage them to live in their backyard. Hands-on artifacts include feathers, pelts, skulls, and talons.

2024 Program Fee: $290 - contact us for virtual options

Program Length: 1 Hour

2024 Travel Fees:

Free: Ottawa, Allegan, Kent, Muskegon
$75: VanBuren, Kalamazoo, Barry
$100: Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta Montcalm, Ionia
$150: Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare, Isabella, Gratiot, Clinton, Eaton, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph, Cass

Wildlife Booths

Have the ODC Network visit your next large gathering with live animals, hands on artifacts, and experienced naturalists.

Our wildlife booth will be sure to excite guests at any event, young or old. Our naturalists will bring animals that can be touched or viewed in containers, touchable artifacts like skulls or furs, and a variety of interesting items meant to invoke wonder about the natural world. Pictures can be taken with our animals and our naturalist staff are always happy to answer any wildlife questions people may have.

Animal Program or Guided Hike

Have the ODC Network visit your next large gathering with live animals, hands on artifacts, and experienced naturalists.

Have your group visit one of our natural areas, meet us at a local park, or we can visit your site in this truly customizable experience. Design a program to fit your needs that could include activities like a guided nature hike or wildlife like our birds of prey. These programs are great for scouting groups, daycare centers, church groups, senior centers, and more.