Fall Fun and Free Play

By Amy Joseph Landon

Arboretum Fall13 - 04Have you heard the news? Southern Living Magazine has named Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest among the South’s 10 best places to enjoy fall color. Our loyal visitors like you already knew that, but to celebrate, why not plan a visit this first weekend in October to see fall’s splendor and enjoy some of Bernheim’s great programs and events?  Check out some of the great activities:

ECO Kids Discovery Day
Children and their families are invited to Autumn Plant Bingo on Saturday, October 4. Kids will discover fall beauties across the Bernheim landscape as they work to score bingo on the day’s On Your Own Challenge. Families will have fun searching for autumn plants and then exploring hands-on Discovery Stations and the Hike of the Day during the afternoon.

The day includes:
On Your Own Challenge, available in the Visitor Center from 9a.m. – 5p.m.
Discovery Stations are at the Visitor Center from 1– 4p.m.
Hike of the Day led by a Bernheim guide, starts at the Visitor Center at 2p.m. and runs 45 – 60 minutes.

ECO Kids Pollywog Play Party
Bring your pollywog (infant to five year old) to the Education Center, on Saturday, October 4 from 10:30 a.m. – Noon for a discovery day. Early learners will participate in Nature’s Wonder of Changing Color, where they will investigate leaf colors and other autumn treasures by playing in leaf piles, making leaf rubbings, comparing trees by season, and more. ECO Kids Pollywog Play Parties combine music, art, language, and outside play to encourage infants and children though the age of 5 to learn about nature.

Registration required by 4 p.m. on October 3. Call (502) 955-8512. Bernheim Members $10, Non-members $15. Fee covers one caregiver and child. The regular $5 environmental impact fee per car applies at front gate for non-members.

freePlay_ruby14wFree Play Day
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest invites children and anyone interested in their development and well-being to our Free Play Day on Saturday, October 4 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Spend a day outdoors making music, building forts, rolling down hills, climbing on logs and mucking about in nature.

No matter the season, outdoor play is critical to a child’s development. Studies have repeatedly shown the importance of self-directed play in nature for the health, well-being and even academic performance.

So bring a picnic lunch (grills nearby) and spend the day in the no-rules atmosphere of Free Play Day.

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