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Connecting with Nature through Education!

There are so many things to learn and explore at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium! You will find all you need to know about our amazing youth and adult education programs here. Find the program that suits your needs and get learning!

School Backpack

Homeschool

Boat by the Bank

Nature Explorers

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Preschool

Beach at Sunset

Explore the Shore

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Nature Speaker

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Night Hikes

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Field Trips

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Planetarium Shows

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Homeschool at Calusa!

Homeschool

Join us for our Homeschool-ology classes! Each month will focus on a different “ology” study topic like Zoology, Entomology, Ornithology, and more! Classes will be built upon each other; however, students may also pick and choose classes from the series.   

Classes will be held rain or shine so please prepare appropriately. Our current class format is a drop-off program. Parents and siblings not registered for the class are not allowed to stay for the entirety of the class. There will be time at the beginning and end of each class for you to see the activity stations, interact with your child, and ask any question and gather take home materials. Each class will contain classroom instruction time and may include activities such as crafts, outdoor exploration, a live animal encounter, and short hikes. Students should bring a labeled refillable water bottle and preferred bug spray & sunscreen.   

Homeschool Topics for 2024 

 

We have changed our program offering! Due to excessive popularity and demand for additional bookings, we will now host the first Tuesday and Thursday AND the third Tuesday and Thursday each month! (15 students) At this time all homeschool classes are a drop-off style program. 

Sessions may fill up before we have a chance to note they are full on our website! If you are unable to view or book a session on the ticket purchase page, then please contact our Education Coordinator, Carrie by emailing her here to be put on a waitlist.

The cost is $15 per non-member child or $12 for members.

Homeschool Thursday ticket prices do not include general CNCP admission, which can be purchased separately but is not required for this program. General CNCP admission is required for access to CNCP after the end of the program time. Proof of membership is required for the discount, please bring your membership card with you.

Ages 5-8 from 10 am - 12 pm

(Drop off from 9:50am-10:00am and pick up from 12:00 - 12:10pm)

Ages 9-12 from 1 pm - 3 pm

(Drop off from 12:50-1:00pm and pick up  from 3:00 - 3:10pm)

  • Homeschool at Calusa (Ages 5-8) - Water Wonders!
    Homeschool at Calusa (Ages 5-8) - Water Wonders!
    Multiple Dates
    Tue, May 07
    Fort Myers
    May 07, 2024, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    May 07, 2024, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    In this class we will learn about one of our most valuable resources necessary for life on Earth, WATER! Through a variety of activities students will explore where water comes from, what forms water can change into, and how it moves through the water cycle. This class will include hands-on activiti
  • Homeschool at Calusa (Ages 9-12) - Water Wonders!
    Homeschool at Calusa (Ages 9-12) - Water Wonders!
    Multiple Dates
    Tue, May 07
    Fort Myers
    May 07, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    May 07, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    In this class we will learn about one of our most valuable resources necessary for life on Earth, WATER! Through a variety of activities students will explore where water comes from, what forms water can change into, and how it moves through the water cycle. This class will include hands-on activiti
Natue Explorers

Nature Explorers

Nature Explorers is limited to 15 children per day, please be aware that this program may sell out!

This is a Drop-Off program. Ages 5-11, $10 / child

 

We have modified certain procedures to reduce the sharing of items (such as craft supplies) between children, and to reduce physical contact. Our programs are designed to take place almost entirely outside, where children will have lots of fresh air and space to spread out!

  • Nature Explorers - Keystone Species
    Nature Explorers - Keystone Species
    Membership Offer
    Sat, May 11
    Fort Myers
    May 11, 2024, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    May 11, 2024, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    What are keystone species? What do they have to do with our environment? Why are they important? join us and find out! Nature Explorers is a drop off program.

Preschool Wednesdays

Join us on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 10 am -11 am for our Preschool Program!

Designed to capture a preschooler's sense of curiosity and cultivate a connection to the natural world, each program may include a story, craft, short hike, and/or live animal encounter (depending on class topic).

Ages 3-5 • CNCP Members $7 | Non-Members $10

 The price is per child and includes one adult per child. It does not include museum admission.

Sessions may fill up before we have a chance to note they are full on our website!

If you are unable to view or book a session on the ticket purchase page, then please contact our Education Coordinator, Carrie, by emailing here to be put on a waitlist.

The cost is $7 for CNCP Members and $10 for Non-Members.

Preschool Wednesday ticket prices do not include general CNCP admission, which can be purchased separately but is not required for this program. General CNCP admission is required for access to CNCP after the end of the program time. Proof of membership is required for the discount, please bring your membership card with you. 

Preschool
  • Preschool Wednesdays (Ages 3-5)
    Preschool Wednesdays (Ages 3-5)
    Multiple Dates
    Wed, May 01
    Fort Myers
    May 01, 2024, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    May 01, 2024, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    How does water travel from the ocean to a rain cloud? Do we drink the same water today that dinosaurs drank millions of years ago? How does water from the Arctic glaciers end up in the Gulf of Mexico? Come learn all about the water cycle with us!

Explore the Shore: Guided Offsite Walks

Explore the Shore

Join us the fourth Wednesday of every month for a beachcombing trip at Bowditch Point Park from 8:30am-9:30am. 

 

Have you ever wondered what animals used to live in the shells you find at the beach? Or how to identify all of the little birds flying and feeding along the shoreline? Maybe you’ve wondered how the dune plants are able to withstand big storms? And what about those weird, slimy blobs that wash up on the sand when the tide goes out? Come along on a beachcombing trip where one of our naturalists will answer these questions and more. You’ll learn about all sorts of impressive wildlife found on our local beaches as well as how to find and identify them.

 

Participants will meet a Naturalist at Bowditch Point Parking Lot and please be aware there is an additional $2 parking fee. You will be outside at the beach for the entirety of this program. Please dress accordingly and bring your preferred sunscreen & bug spray, plenty of water, a hat, and closed-toed shoes that can get wet. For questions regarding this program please email isabellek@calusanature.org 

  • Explore the Shore
    Explore the Shore
    Wed, Apr 24
    Fort Myers Beach
    Apr 24, 2024, 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    Fort Myers Beach, 50 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931, USA
    Apr 24, 2024, 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    Fort Myers Beach, 50 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931, USA
    Join one of our Naturalists on a beachcombing trip to learn about the intriguing wildlife that can be encountered on our local beaches!

NIGHT HIKES
Admission: $20
Ages: Recommended 6+
Watch the sky for bats, listen for owls, and search the night sky for constellations. This walk starts just after sunset so please wear close-toed shoes and be prepared for rain and mosquitoes. These night hikes are an awesome educational experience with minimal flashlight use, while wonderful for most ages, it may not be appropriate for very young children.

Night Hikes
  • Night Hike
    Night Hike
    Sun, May 26
    Fort Myers
    May 26, 2024, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    May 26, 2024, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
    Fort Myers, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA
    Watch the sky for bats, listen for owls, and search the night sky for constellations. Through a series of hands-on activities you will learn how animals use their senses to thrive in the darkness.

Nature Speaker Series

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium invite you to attend our Nature Speaker Series.
Join us on the second Wednesday of each month (Oct-April) at 7:00 pm in the Planetarium.
 
Members: Free | Non-Members: $15

This monthly series will feature experts from many different wildlife, conservation, and environmental fields. Each speaker is unique and will bring fascinating stories of their work and passion to our guests.

Nature Speaker

Nature Speaker Series on Summer Break

Field Trips

Field Trips

Bring your school classes, homeschool groups, scout troops, or other groups of any age out to Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium for a field trip!

Choose from a variety of offerings for your field trips! There's something here for every group, from guided nature walks to private planetarium shows. Mix and match our 45-minute programs to give your group a visit that meets your educational goals and interests!

Field trips start at $10 per child and $15 per adult and include up to three programs. Additional programs can be added for $3 per person per program.

  • Guided Nature Walk - Explore our trails with a guided walk tailored to grade-level topics and interests.

  • Live Animal Talk - Meet some of our animals up close and personal and learn about their adaptations and habitats.

  • Butterfly House and Birds of Prey Aviary Tour - Explore our butterfly house and learn about our bald eagles.

  • Planetarium Movie - Experience a full-dome planetarium movie selected for your group's age and interests.

  • Planetarium Q&A Session - Meet one of our planetarium educators for a tour of the night sky as they answer your questions about the stars.

  • Museum Exploration and Gift Shop - Discover our natural history museum and visit our gift shop in this self-guided exploration time.

Field trips are available Monday-Friday during normal operating hours (normally starting at 10:00 am) and must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance. We require a $100 non-refundable deposit to hold your place, please be prepared to pay your deposit within 5 business days of your request.

Maximum group size: 80 participants (or 3 classes) per day. Larger groups will need to be split over multiple days.

For Scout troops, we now offer special badge programs to help complete requirements to earn your badges! Scout programs run for approximately 3 hours, start at $15 per person, and can be customized based on the ages and interests of your troop. Please indicate which scouting organization your troop is part of when you submit your request form.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact our Education Director, Carrie, by email here or by calling (239)-275-3435

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