Family Programs

Each week at Thanksgiving Point are tons of educational and fun activities for families of all ages and abilities! Our Family Programs include, Tales for Tots, Monday Night Activities, and Design Challenge, just to name a few. All activities are FREE for Thanksgiving Point Members, as they are included with venue admissions.

The programs are always adapting and changing throughout the year so check back often for updates. They are also led by our trained educational team to ensure each person at the activity has a great time learning and playing together as family and friends. Click each drop-down menu below to learn more about these one-of-a-kind educational opportunities at Thanksgiving Point and to see dates, locations, and times for each one. See you soon!

Join us for our hands-on storytelling adventures, Tales for Tots, held each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 11 am. Staff will engage guest with interactive storytelling followed by process-driven and play-based art, literacy, and/or science activities that connect to the story theme of the day.

Tuesday – Museum of Ancient Life
Wednesday – Farm Country
Thursday – Museum of Natural Curiosity
Friday (June - September) – Ashton Gardens 


Upcoming Schedule:


Museum of Ancient Life 


September 25 | Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
This week is National Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. Banned books week brings together the book community in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those considered unorthodox or unpopular.

We’ll start our week with Where the Wild Things Are, which has repeatedly been in the top 100 most frequently banned/challenged books for supernatural themes. Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max wears his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired.

October 2 | Dinosaur Sleepover by Pamela Duncan Edwards and Deborah Allwright
Spending the night away from home can be a daunting prospect and Dinosaur is so anxious that he invents many reasons as to why he can't go: his family will miss him, he won't have his toothbrush and he can't possibly sleep without his teddy! But his little boy helps Dinosaur overcome his fears, and together they discover just how much fun a sleepover can be.

October 9 | I Am NOT a Dinosaur! by Will Lach
Once there was a boy, and that boy loved stars very much. So much so that he decided to catch one of his very own.

October 16 | Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin
Did you know that monsters love to scribble, scribble, mix, dance, and wiggle! Why? Because monsters love to make new colors!

October 23 | Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom

October 30 | Little Boo, 2014 by Stephen Wunderli
The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn't scare anyone . . . not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can! The wind tells him to be patient―he'll be scary soon enough. But waiting is hard. Will the little seed ever be really, truly scary?


Farm Country 


September 26 | Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
This week is National Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. Banned books week brings together the book community in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those considered unorthodox or unpopular.

Today we’ll read Strega Nona: Strega Nona’s magical ever-full pasta pot is intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden, but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results.

October 3 | Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman
Who will help the poor Greenstalk family? Chickens to the rescue! The amazing chickens on the Greenstalk farm race to help various family members and farm animals every day of the week. Every day until Sunday, that is, when Emily Greenstalk has a little trouble . . .

October 10 | Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
Join a young girl as she takes a walk-through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season.

October 17 | We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
There are lots of beautiful fall leaves to find! Three friends have a big adventure hiking over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors.

October 24 | Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo
Peter’s looking for the perfect pumpkin. Come join the search and see what he does when he finds a pumpkin that’s just right!

October 31 | There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro
What won't this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu!



Museum of Natural Curiosity



September 20 | The Old Pirate of Central Park By Robert Priest
A retired pirate and a retired queen - do battle in the sailboat pond in Central Park.

September 27 | Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
This week is National Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. Banned books week brings together the book community in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those considered unorthodox or unpopular.

Today we’ll read Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress: Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up center. The children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses.

October 4 | Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
Eula is the only square cat in town. Everything that normal cats do is hard for her -- she can't get her square paw into mouseholes, she can't wear her favorite circle skirt. Eula is sad until her two best friends show her just how well a square cat can fit into this round world.

October 11 | Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber
This vibrant poem celebrates the beauty of autumn while inviting us all to go ahead and jump in that big, colorful, pile of fall leaves.

October 18 | Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
As kids turn the die-cut pages of this vibrantly illustrated book, they'll watch the Big Green Monster grow before their very eyes. Then, when they're ready to show him who's in charge, they'll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear!

October 25 | The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
Furry old Grover begs the reader not to turn the page . . . for a monster is at the end of the book!

November 1 | Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one's quite sure.

Ashton Gardens


September 21 | Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words.

September 28 | The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This week is National Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. Banned books week brings together the book community in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those considered unorthodox or unpopular.

Today we’ll read The Giving Tree: Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk ... and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.



No Tales for Tots during the Ashton Gardens Winter Season.


Enjoy a morning full of music and movement exploration at the Museum of Natural Curiosity and Farm Country. Led by our education staff, Melody Makers is the perfect opportunity for little kids to dance and move in a fun and friendly environment. Included with regular venue admission.

Tuesdays at 11 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Thursdays at 11 am: Farm Country



Museum of Natural Curiosity


September 25 | Wiggle and Giggle
When we play music, it is fun to connect with the music by the ways we move.  Do you like to move, dance and play?  Join us today and explore new ways to move to the music.

October 2 | I Am Hungry
Have fun with us as we sing silly songs about food: fried ham, sandwiches, apples, bananas, ice cream, 15 pickles and a purple plum.

October 9 | Rhythm and Music
Join us today as we pull out our drumming stations. Create various patterns and sounds, go fast, slow, or somewhere in between.

October 16 | Creepy Crawlies
Be as busy honey bee, crawl like the itsy-bitsy spider and creep like and inchworm. Join the fun as we sing about the many insects in our garden. What would you like to pretend to be?

October 23 | Let's Pretend
Pretend to be a monkey, a chicken, or a dog while we move, listen and play to the music.

October 30 | Goblins, Ghosts, and Witches
Come dressed up in your favorite Halloween Costume. Join us for a fun and musical Halloween Party as we do the monster boogie, sing and show off our cotumes.


Farm Country                                         


September 20 | Around Town
The Wheels on the Bus go round and round all through the town.  Learn the actions to this and other songs as we discover the world around us. 

September 27 | Yummy in my Tummy
Come sing songs all about the delicious food you eat!  Sing about all types of foods and celebrate the joy of the fall harvest. 

October 4 | How Do You Want to Travel?
Could you fly to the moon on a rocket, aboard a boat and sail the seas, ride a bus through town, or hope on a plane and fly the skies?

October 11 | When the Seasons Change
Come join us today for songs about Fall. Sing a song about pumpkin stew and pretend to be a tree as the leaves change colors

October 18 | Kooky and Spooky
Are you Kooky or are you Spooky? Join us as we do the monster mash, sing about the dark and play a game called monster musical chairs. What gives you a fright? Come join us for these and other spooky songs.

October 25 | Fairytale Magic
A dream is a wish your heart makes. What dreams do you have? Sing with us and explore the wonderful world of imagination.

It’s not every day you could meet an alligator or greet a skunk. Animals are all around us, some live in your backyard, some live far away, but all are important to our world. Come get up close and personal with some of the most interesting animals you will meet as we explore some of the curious critters that make our world wonderful.

Second Saturday of each month at 11 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Fourth Saturday of each month at 11 am: 
October-February at the Museum of Ancient Life
March-September at Farm Country



Museum of Natural Curiosity  


October 13 | Animal Adaptations
Animals have a great advantage on living in harsh environments- they are built for it! Come and discover what animals have certain adaptations to thrive in the wild with some help from the Monte L. Bean Museum!

Museum of Ancient Life


October 27 | Ancient Bugs

Bugs and invertebrates have been here for a loooong time. What about them do you think helps them survive so long? They are surely incredible! Come Meet some bugs yourself and see how they compare to their ancient counterparts.


Featuring new activities each week, Monday Nights at Thanksgiving Point focus on a single theme with various activities designed to entertain and educate the whole family. 


 4:30 - 7:30 pm.  Location varies by season.  See below. 

January, February, March: Museum of Ancient Life
July, August, September: Farm Country
April, May, June: Ashton Gardens
October, November, December: Museum of Natural 



Farm Country

September 24 | Corntastic
Come join us for a CORNy adventure learning about different kinds of corn.  Learn about what calls corn fields home and how a corn maze is mapped out, seeded, and grown.



Museum of Natural Curiosity 

October 1 | What's New in the Traveling Gallery?
Our new exhibit is here! Attack of the blood suckers. Examines the what, why, when, and how of mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, leeches and other parasites. Learn why blood suckers are important to the ecosystems and how to make them stay out of your system.

October 8 | Air is Everywhere
Join us for one of our favorite Leap into Science nights. Try our experiments with air, make a contraption to fly in the wind tubes, test out materials to see if they can hold up against strong winds. Then for fun make a windsock from recycled materials.

October 15 | Festive Fun with Fall
What can you make from scraps of fabric, sticks and yarn? How about a scarecrow?  Make scarecrow with us today. Then, explore with us as we learn more about corn, the harvest and the changing color of the leaves of trees. 

October 22 | Bird-A-Rama
What do you know about birds? Where do they live? What do they eat? Take a closer look at their nests, eggs and feathers types. Also, what do you know about crows? And can a scarecrow scare away a crow?

October 29 | Imagination and Play
Halloween is right around the corner.  Do you like to dress up for the occasion?  Join us today as we explore imagination. Make a play, create artwork, make a costume design and more.

Looking for a fantastic Friday night activity? On the first and third Friday of every month from 5:30-7:30 pm, get your game on with a variety of classic and new board games during our Family Game Night. Family Game Night is a family-focused evening for kids and parents of all ages. 

First Friday of each month: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Third Friday of Each Month: Ashton Gardens (June-September)



September 21 | Groovy Games
Get up and move to the music. Tonight we’re playing some music and dance games!

October 5 | Crazy About Cards
Play your favorite card games and create your own at tonight's game night!

October 19 | Halloween Costume Party
Party with us! Enjoy a Halloween twist on your favorite party games.


Come have fun while innovating! Design Challenge is a museum program that gets everyone engaging in the engineering design process. Make a team with your family and join us! It is free to participate. Each month you’ll have the opportunity to come learn about an engineering concept and put your knowledge to the test by designing and completing a challenge. All supplies will be provided but if you wish to take your project home there will be a small fee to cover the cost of supplies. Come ready to design, build, test and prototype a solution to any given problem.

Third Saturday of each month from 2-4 pm: Museum of Natural Curiosity



October 20 | Design Your Own Museum

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to design a museum? Come use your imagination to brainstorm then build your own prototype museum exhibit. 

Next month’s challenge is going to incorporate recycling so start collecting clean materials to bring and design with.



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