It was Monday of Spring Break and my family had no idea what to do. The weather was beautiful, so it had to be something outdoors. We headed to Bernheim Forest. We were surprised to see so many family friendly activities being offered, and we were told this was their regular spring break program.
After enjoying our first picnic of the season, we headed over to the education tables to do some crafts. We made paper butterflies first, folding repurposed magazine pages into accordions and then attaching them with pipe cleaners. After that we learned about different kinds of trees from a volunteer naturalist. We learned what kinds of seeds and bark they have as well as what kind of animals live in them. We visited another table that had pelts from skunks and beavers. We got to check out deer antlers and beaver teeth.
Then we joined a large group of spring-breakers and set off on a nature walk. We were looking for signs of spring, such as blooming flowers and budding trees. We heard frogs croaking in the pond, discovered newly-sprouted ground lilies, and checked bird houses for signs of spring nests. As we walked, the guides pointed out the different types of trees and flowers. We stopped several times along the way to talk more about the trees and wildlife, and the guides were great about answering the kids’ questions.
We eventually happened upon a picked-apart deer carcass. The kids all gathered around and oohed and aahed, some crouching down to get a closer look at the bones and teeth. They were full of questions about how it could have died and what could have cleaned the bones so thoroughly.
It was a beautiful spring day for a walk, and it was so nice to have other kids and guides around to enjoy it with us. I highly recommend the activities at Bernheim- a lot of thought goes into each one.
By guest contributor: Maggie