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. Each day a new story is read followed by a fun activity that goes along with that story.

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

 

Upcoming Schedule:

 

Museum of Ancient Life 

September 26Tyrannosaurus Dad by Liz Rosenberg
Tobias's father is a lot like other fathers—he likes corny jokes, and doing magic tricks, and works hard at the office. But there the resemblance ends. He has teeth as sharp as steak knives, is forty feet high, and weighs as much as a locomotive. He is, in fact, a tyrannosaurus.

October 3 | Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max's room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are.

October 10 | Sloth Slept On by Frann Preston-Gannon
Who's that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search—never noticing all the posters and news articles about a sloth that's broken out of the zoo—they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. And when sloth wakes up, it's in for a BIG surprise!

October 17 | Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse's belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets other underwater fathers caring for their babies.

October 24 | Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
While out searching for food, fruit bat Stellaluna and her mother are attacked by a vicious owl. Stellaluna is separated from Mother Bat and taken in by a family of birds where she must put aside her bat habits to fit in with her new family.

October 31 | Just Say Boo! By Susan Hood
If three dinosaurs roar when you open your door, what do you say? "Boo!" of course! In this charmingly spooky story by Susan Hood, little trick-or-treaters learn just what to say in every Halloween situation.

 

Farm Country 

 September 20 | Tinyville Town Gets to Work by Brian  Briggs

The series is set in a cozy community where the people are kind, everyone says hello when they’re walking down the street, the bus is always on time, and all the townsfolk do their part to keep things running smoothly. Everyone has a job to do in Tinyville Town.

September 27 | A Place to Grow by Stephanie Bloom
With the help of the wind, the tiny seed floats from place to place looking for its special place to grow. If you could plant a seed, where would your special place be?

October 4 | Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman
On Monday, Farmer Greenstalk dropped his watch down the well. On Tuesday, Mrs. Greenstalk was too tired to make dinner. 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.

October 11 | Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! By Mo Willems
Pigeon returns in another irresistible tale. Hurrying away to brush his teeth, the pajama-clad bus driver implores readers not to let his feathered friend stay up late. Youngsters are thrust into the role of caregiver as the puerile pigeon attempts to talk his way out of the inevitable.

October 18 | Red Are the Apples by Marc Harshman and Cheryl Ryan
What can you find in an autumn garden? A harvest of bright colors, and lots to explore! The antics of a boy and his pets promise a full day of fun as they pick out all the luscious fruits and vegetables in a colorful fall garden.

October 25 | The Runaway Pumpkin
When Buck, Billy, and their little sister Lil spy the biggest pumpkin they've ever seen, they can't resist. Buck and Billy try to roll the pumpkin down the hill to show everyone, but it's too big! Before they know it, it's bumping and thumping and rolling down the hillside out of control.

  

Museum of Natural Curiosity

 September 21 | All the World by Liz Garton Scanion

Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning until night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to the warmth of family connections, to the widest sunset sky.

September 28 | Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Leonardo is truly terrible at being a monster. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn't quite as satisfying as he thought it would be.

October 5 | Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
It's a noisy night in this city building! The residents of each floor can hear their neighbors above them, and are wondering what's going on above their heads. Climb floor by floor and page by page to find out whose singing, dancing, cheering, and cooing are keeping a grumpy old man awake.

October 12 | A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni
The chameleon has no color of his own. He is purple like the heather, yellow like a lemon, even black and orange striped like a tiger! Then one day a chameleon has an idea to remain one color forever by staying on the greenest leaf he can find. But in the autumn, the leaf changes from green to yellow to red . . . and so does the chameleon.

October 19 | Naked Mole Rat by Mo Willems
Wilbur is different from the other Naked Mole Rats in his Colony, because he wears clothes (and he likes it!). But what will happen when Grandpa, the oldest, wisest, and most naked Naked Mole Rat ever discovers Wilbur's secret?

October 26 | The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard...clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!

 

 

Ashton Gardens

September 25 | This is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems
Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. What happens next will surprise you.

October 2 | Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelly
The main character in Fall Is Not Easy is a tree that has its share of troubles with its fall colors. No matter what pattern its leaves change into--a smiley face, a spotted cow, an "Eat at Joe's" sign--nothing seems to work out quite right. How will the tree solve its seasonal dilemma?

October 9 | Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
Sometimes being small can have its advantages. If you're a little cloud like Cloudette, people call you cute nicknames, and you can always find a good spot to watch the fireworks. But what about when you want to do something big, like help a giant garden grow, or make a brook babble?

October 16 | Memoirs of a Goldfish by Tim Bowers
Goldfish loves his life until one day when assorted intruders including a grime-eating snail, a pair of amorous guppies, and a crabby crab invade his personal space and bowl. Goldfish is not happy, to say the least.

October 23 | Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
Learn how to identify all sorts of leaves from red maple to sycamore by their color, shape, and other characteristics. What else do you notice when the seasons change to fall?

 

 

Bring your tots and enjoy a fun morning of exploring music and movement 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

 

Upcoming:

Museum of Natural Curiosity

 

September 26 | What Shape?
Shapes are fun to make with our bodies. Can you curl up in a ball, stretch tall like a giraffe or bend your body as you dance?  Come try it out with us as we make shapes and dance.  We will be making a plate shaker for you to take home.

October 3 | Learn to Dance
It’s time to learn to dance.  Sing and dance with us as we learn how easy it is to make up dance steps to various types of music. Today we are making a castanet with ribbons for the take home instrument.    

October 10 | Nursery Rhymes
We will be featuring classic songs and old-time favorites.  Simple nursery rhymes can easily be set to music because the lyrical words make a unique beat as we say them. Join us today as we sing favorites and make a shaker or maraca with small cups.

October 17 | Wiggle and Giggle
It’s time for silly songs!  Try to make a funny face, a silly sound, or try a few silly phrases as we sing, dance, and play. Wiggle and giggle and join us for fun and games through songs. Today’s instrument to make and take is cup drum.

October 24 | Fun to Try
Come see what can happen when we do our best and try!  It can be fun! Laugh, sing, and play as we try. The take home instrument today will be a creative shaker made from a seed packet.

October 31 | Halloween Fun
Come join us as we parade around in our Halloween costumes set to music. Wiggle, giggle, play and dance.  Pretend to be your favorite zoo animals.  Let’s explore the fun of imagination and pretend. What are you going to be for Halloween?  Take home a zoo animal stick puppet.

Farm Country                                         

September 21 | 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.  Just for fun we will learn Are You Sleeping and learn a variety of new actions to go with this and other children’s classic songs.  The instrument today will be a kazoo.                    

September 28 | Animal Pretend
Do you like animals?  Do you like to pretend?  Do you like making the sounds of zoo animals like the lion, bear, seal, and monkey?  Today we are going to explore music about animals.  Make a stick puppet to take home.

October 5 | Farm Fun
Farm songs are fun.  Learn and play as we explore songs that tell a story like Farmer in the Dell, Old McDonald Had a Farm and B.I.N.G.O.   Make a seed shaker to take home.

October 12 | Shake Your Sillies Out
It’s time to see how to move and shake it up.  Learn about how our bodies can move and how they wiggle about. The take home instrument today will be a mini water bottle shaker.

October 19 | Move to the Beat
It’s time to move to the beat and shake it up. Move, clap, and make a beat to various rhythm patterns as we use shakers, maracas, and drum sticks to enhance the music. The take home instrument today is an egg shaker maraca.

October 26 | Travel to the Moon
There is more than one way to travel like trains, cars, and how about a rocket to the moon. Imagine that you can be an astronaut and travel to space. Some songs can take us on a journey through our imagination. Join us today as we sing, play, and pretend.  The take home instrument today will be a plate rhythm maker.

 

  

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: Farm Country

 

Upcoming:

Museum of Natural Curiosity  

October 14 | Bean Museum-'Cool Comparisons"
Come look at some AMAZING animal specimens while we compare their different adaptations. How are tigers different from cougars? How are different reptiles adapting to their environment? Come discover with us!

Farm Country

September 23 | Animal Body Languages
Do cows shiver when they’re cold? What does a rabbit do when do when he’s angry? Animals can tell each other--and us--a lot without making a sound. Learn more about what these farm animals just might be saying!

October 28 | Cluck, cluck! It's Chicken Time!
Come on down to the farm and make friends with some feathered friends who help us humans more than we may realize! Are all chickens the same? How and why do they lay eggs? Come discover and meet new friends!

 

Have you ever wondered about winged warblers? Have you been curious about carnivorous condors? Come explore at our Birdosity program. Discover the life of birds, brush up on your identification skills and learn about a variety of bird related topics. Whether you are an eggs-pert or have a new found love of birds, Birdosity is a program the whole family will enjoy.

First Saturday of each month at 10:30 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Third Saturday of each month at 11 am: Museum of Ancient Life

 

Upcoming

Museum of Natural Curiosity

October 7 | HOO HOO HOO

Halloween has some spooky Characters- but one of our favorites is the Owl! Why are owls associated with Halloween? Why are their eyes so striking? And how can they turn their heads to well? Come discover this while visiting with live owls!

Museum of Ancient Life

October 21 | HOO HOO HOO

Halloween has some spooky Characters- but one of our favorites is the Owl! Why are owls associated with Halloween? Why are their eyes so striking? And how can they turn their heads to well? Come discover this while visiting with live owls!



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. 

When

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

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

Upcoming 

Farm Country

September 25 | Harvest Games

Harvest time isn’t all work and no play. Come join the harvest fun with games and challenges for your family and friends like squash in a basket, the corn toss, pumpkin bowling and more.

 

Museum of Natural Curiosity

October 2 | Be a Naturalist

It’s a big amazing world out there, ready to discover.  We will show you amazing samples of bugs, butterflies, life cycles, furs, skulls, plants, and seeds. Use your senses to discover and rediscover the wonderful world of Nature.

October 9 | Wild about Water

Come check out some of our favorite activities in Waterworks.  Explore boats that float, miniature canoes to race, and build a water plexus system to change the direction of the water flow. Also, learn to paint with water colors. What can you do with water?

October 16 | Leap into Science: The Balance Act

We balance all the time with little thought. We bend over to pick up a stone, walk along curbs, run up and down hills and manage to carry heavy book bags on one shoulder—all without falling over. Come explore with us as we test and try unique games and challenges to learn more about balance.

October 23 | Imagination and Play

Halloween is right around the corner, so come join us today as we dress-up, play games and explore the world of Kidopolis in the Museum of Natural Curiosity.  Build a city, make a play, make a decorative mask, or roam around for a game of I Spy.

October 30 | Roaming the Rainforest

What animals and critters live in the rainforest? What is the weather like? Pretend as we climb the rainforest canopy and discover the different animals that live there. Explore with us and you can be a ranger of the rainforest.

 

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 & Third Friday of each month at 5:30 pm: Museum of Natural Curiosity.

 

Upcoming  

October 6 | Marble Rollercoasters | Museum of Natural Curiosity 

How fast can your marble go? Come build tiny rollercoasters using tracks, tape, paper, cups, and anything you can find that will send your creativity flying! Learn what it feels like to be an engineer and build together as a family.

October 20 | Crazy about Cards | Museum of Natural Curiosity

What is your favorite card game? Come join us for a family night of card games! Create your own game and teach it to your family!

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! Up to eight teams may compete at each challenge. It is free to compete and 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 a given problem. The top three winners for each challenge will receive a trophy and every team will receive a participation certificate.

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

 

Upcoming

October 21 | Protect Your Brain Design Challenge

How important is your brain? It does so much and yet it’s squishy, almost like a water balloon. How does it stay protected, especially against the ghouls and zombies showing up on Halloween? Come build a structure out of various materials to protect your precious “brain.” Then test your creation based on how well it protects a water balloon. All supplies will be provided.

 

 

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