Outdoor Fun

While it is important to learn about nature so that we can learn to love our land, it is also vital for human health and well-being to spend time outside.  There are many fun things to do in nature, and this page will help you find some of them.  You can love your land and take care of your health!

If you are looking for wonderful winter activities, our Nature Center Network has something for everyone! View the list of nature centers with activities.

Looking for more winter fun? Check out these ideas!

  • Find Nature Near You
  • Nature Photo Contest
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Nature Near You

Getting outside and connecting with nature is essential to creating healthier minds and bodies. If you cannot get to the Children of Indiana Nature Park in person, we can help you find parks and natural areas near you to visit.
Bicentennial Legacy Project Logo

Nature Center Network

The Nature Center Network is comprised of partner nature centers to the Children of Indiana Nature Park. These parks and conservation advocates from around the state are able to teach the Nature Center Network curriculum listed on this website, and would be excited to host you and your groups.  View the Nature Center Network participants to find a park near you.  Download the Nature Center Network list or the Nature Center Network map to find a park near you!
The Nature Conservancy in Indiana logo

The Nature Conservancy's Nature Preserves

Since the 1960's The Nature Conservancy in Indiana has focused on its mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.  Many of these protected places are open and accessible to visitors.  To discover a beautiful protected place to visit near you, learn about The Nature Conservancy in Indiana's Places We Protect
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Logo

State Parks & Nature Preserves

The mission of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to protect, enhance, preserve, and wisely use natural, cultural, and recreational resources for the benefit of Indiana's citizens through professional leadership, management, and education.   In doing so, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has created and maintains State Parks, Fish & Wildlife Areas, State Forests, Nature Preserves and Trails for the protection of our land and for Hoosier enjoyment.  Find a DNR location near you to explore!
teen caterpillar

Photo Contest: Kids' Nature Poster

Nature is a great science teacher!  Head outdoors with your kids and apply the first priciple of the scientific method - observe!  What do you observe in nature that you find interesting or inspiring? 

Kids can use a camera to take a photo of what they observe in our natural world, then submit their photo in one of three categories: 1) kids in nature, 2) nature scenery, and 3) nature close-ups.  Winning photos will be included in a photo collage poster for the Children of Indiana Nature Park.

Here is where you can submit your entry, read the official contest rules, and complete the photo release (if your photos depict people).  Submit your photo(s) by December 3, 2018.

Comic Contest Winner

Congratulations to 17 year old Lilly C from Edinburgh Community High School on winning the Comic Contest with her squirrel comic!  We asked students to create an illustrated story or comic inspired by nature and we love this one!
Daisy with birdhouse

Build a Birdhouse Contest Winner

Daisy from Bartholomew County won our "Build a Birdhouse" contest! She built it so bluebirds, sparrows, and wrens might take shelter and raise their young there. She wants to watch these birds take care of their babies and plans to mount the birdhouse to a tree in her family's yard.

Congratulations, Daisy, on your good work learning how to care for our Indiana birds!

kid with camera

Past Contests

Want to see past contests and winners? Click here.

Looking to Volunteer?

If you are looking for ways you can give back to nature and get outside, The Children of Indiana Nature Park partners and network can help.  The following list provides hands-on opportunities to show that you care for nature by caring for Hoosier parks, preserves, and organizations.

The Children of Indiana Nature Park

Over time, we will be making changes to The  Children of Indiana Nature Park property to make the land as healthy as possible.  There will be opportunities for you to care for your Park, so check this page periodically to learn about the next opportunity to nurture your land at The Children of Indiana Nature Park!

Nature Center Network Parks

Conner Prairie (Hamilton County)

Cope Environmental Center (Wayne County)

Eagle Creek (Marion County)

Holliday Park (Marion County)

Indianapolis Zoo (Marion County)

Metea County Park (Allen County)

Moser Park Nature Center (Allen County)

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge (Jackson County)

Nina Mason Pulliam Ecolab at Marian University (Marion County)‚Äč

Red-tail Land Conservancy (Delaware County)

Rum Village Nature Center (St. Joseph County)

Shirely Heinze Land Trust (Porter County)

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve (Vanderburgh County)

Woodlawn Nature Center (Elkhart County)