Early Childhood Programs

Learn and thrive in nature with your young children! DPNC’s early childhood programming helps children develop important life skills, including problem solving, creativity, gross and fine motor skills, social skills and compassion all while gaining appreciation for nature. DPNC offers a variety of different classes to best meet the needs of children and their families. Classes will spend time outside in all weather conditions.

DPNC strives to make environmental education programming available to all. Please reach out if you are in need of financial assistance.


Ages birth -2 with a caregiver

Mondays 9:30-10:30

Experience nature with your little one! Through stories, songs, meeting live animals and lots of time exploring the trails, Hummingbirds will help to kickstart a lifelong love of the outdoors!

Please be prepared to use a front or back carrier for your child, strollers do not work on the trails. 


Members: $85 Nonmembers: $100 (five weeks)


Ages 2 – 4, with a caregiver – Fridays, 9:30 – 11 am.
Spend time with your little one as together you learn about the natural world. Each week a seasonal topic will be explored through circle time, meeting live animals, nature walks and more! Class will meet outside on fair weather days, while during inclement weather part of class will be held inside.

Eager Explorers

Ages 2.5 to 4
Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Is your child ready for a class on their own? Eager Explorers is the place to start! Through nature play, circle time, meeting animals and hikes on the trails, children learn important social, emotional and school readiness skills. Class will meet outside on fair weather days; during inclement weather part of class will be held inside.

Students should bring a change of clothes, snack and water bottle to each class. Priority for winter and spring sessions are given to students enrolled in the fall. Sign up by the day of your choice.

Members $280.50/session, Non-members: $330/session


Winter Session

Begins week of of January 8 – March 11 (10 weeks)

Members $255, Non-members: $300

Tuesdays, starting 1/9
Wednesdays, starting 1/10
Thursdays, starting 1/11

Spring Session

Begins week of March 18 through May (10 weeks, no classes the week of April 10)

Members $255, Non-members: $300

Tuesdays, start 3/19
Wednesdays, start 3/20
Thursdays, start 3/21


Please note our new Discovery age groups! Class meets monthly on Saturdays, 10 – 11:30 am

9:30-10:30 am (ages 2-5 with a caregiver)

10:30-12 pm (ages 6 and up with a caregiver)

In this class for children with special needs accompanied by their caregiver, children explore nature each month. Activities, circle time, animals and lots of time outside give the students and caregivers plenty of time to socialize and enjoy the outdoor world!

Meets at DPNC. Pre-registration required. Sign up per class.

Members and non-members: FREE with support from the EK Bunting Fund for Nature and the Arts.

Nature Preschool

Nature plays a vital role in the emotional, social and cognitive development of young children. Childhood experiences in nature help stimulate curiosity and interest in the world around us, and help us grow intellectually in our desire to better understand the world and our place in it. DPNC’s conserved land at Coogan Farm serves as a living classroom for our nature preschool, housed in Avery Farmhouse at Coogan Farm.

It’s an ideal place for children to learn through direct experience and play. Our children spend time outdoors every day, where they can fully engage all their senses in a safe and nurturing environment. Children’s free expression in the natural environment — whether it be building a fort, exploring meadows or hiking along a trail — allows for the development of a lifetime of skills.