Kids & Families
Family Classes

Boy looks through magnifier
Little Nature Explorers
Ages 3–5 with an Adult
Hands-on indoor and outdoor activities help strengthen your child's connection to the natural world. (Part of the Little Years early childhood series.)
Child with just-caught fish
Shaw Family Adventures

Ages 6–12 with an Adult
Learn about nature as you have fun outdoors! Each program involves an outdoor activity where you use your senses and master a skill.

Our classes for kids and families have been designed for children and adults to experience together. Instructors strive to engage children in age-appropriate activities, while providing adults examples of ways to learn about the natural world at home. 

Check out upcoming youth and family programs at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Butterfly House. We also have opportunities for scouts and summer camp groups!

Scheduling & Cancellation

Instructor with kidsImportant: All groups—whether led by a Nature Reserve Instructor or self-guided—must make reservations for their visit.

We have many classes available year round to teach you about plants, animals, our trails, and outdoor skills here at the Shaw Nature Reserve. See a list of classes available now

For information on cancellations/refunds please read our cancellation policy.

To register for a class, cancel your reservation or if you have any questions, please contact Rachel Weller, Public Programs, at (314) 577-9526 or rachel.weller@mobot.org.

Children's Nature Play Areas

Girls balancing on log
The Nature Explore Classroom and Sense of Wonder Woodland are designed to help children develop a sense of wonder for the natural world through unstructured and creative play with natural materials in an outdoor setting.
Learn more
Geocaching & GPS Hiking

Boy looking at GPS unit
Geocaching
Please keep all geocaches in their original location.
Download a list of our geocaches

GPS Hiking
We have created a guide for people familiar with using their GPS unit to explore new areas of the Reserve.
Download the GPS-based hiking guide

Outdoor Adventures for Teens

Paddlers learn to stand up
Teens can enjoy climbing into the tree canopy, learn to fly fish or kayak. Other opportunities include sustainable garden projects, ecological restoration and nature photography.
Learn more
Family Self-guided Activity

Visitor Center
TaleBlazer
After checking in at the Visitor Center you can learn more about the plants and animals of Shaw Nature Reserve with your phone while you hike. TaleBlazer games take place in the real world. Players interact with virtual characters, objects and data as they move around their real location. TaleBlazer games can be played on most GPS-enabled Android and iOS smartphones.

Once a game is downloaded to your smartphone, you don't need an internet connection to play your games! Download the TaleBlazer (MIT STEP Lab) app from your phones’ app store. Once downloaded the Shaw Nature Reserve games should appear.

Our three games include information on wild edibles in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden, wetland flora and fauna facts at the wetland trail, and the life cycle of a monarch at the Nature Explore Classroom and Sense of Wonder Woodland. Each game is for a different age group.

For Ages 2–5

Little Years logo Early childhood programs designed for today's busy families.
Learn more

 

Teen Programs

Teen Network
Choose from service and field-based education programs at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Shaw Nature Reserve and the Butterfly House!
Learn more

 

Stay Overnight

Assembly building

Groups can stay in historic lodges at our Dana Brown Overnight Center.
Learn more
Book now! Call (314) 577-9528.