Ijams Nature Center is a place to enjoy the outdoors year-round, and winter is certainly no exception! Explore their trails on your own, or check out their winter programming!  This post features everything from a one-hour nature chat to multi-week programming, giving something for both locals and visitors alike.  This post covers all ages too, so read on!

Group Of Kids Standing In A Puddle At The Ijams Nature Center

Ijams Nature Preschool (Full-Time)
Enrollment is now open for Ijams Nature Preschool’s spring semester, which starts Jan. 4, 2021. The Ijams Nature Preschool is mostly an outdoor classroom experience for ages 3-5 and runs Monday through Friday from 9 am-3:30 pm After care is available. Contact Leslee Moore at preschool@ijams.org or call 865-679-5941 for more information.

NEW Ijams Nature Playclub (Part-Time)
The new Ijams Nature Playclub is a part-time program for ages 3-5 that meets Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 am-12:30 pm This new program is 100% outdoors! Enrollment is now open for classes starting Jan 4, 2021. Contact Leslee Moore at preschool@ijams.org or call 865-679-5491 for more information.

NEW Single-Day School Break Camps
When school is out, but parents still have to work, Ijams Nature Center’s professional environmental educators will keep kids ages 6-12 learning while having fun outdoors!

Whether your children are doing in-person, virtual, hybrid or home schooling, Ijams’ Single-Day School Break Camps are great options. These camps follow much the same format as Ijams’ summer programs (some activities offered will vary based on the season). Your children will have adventures and make memories that will last a lifetime! Ijams’ Single-Day School Break Camps are on dates that Knox County Schools are not in session. Upcoming camps include:
• January 4, 2021 (Last Day of Winter Break), 9 am-4 pm
• January 18, 2021 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), 9 am-4 pm
• February 15, 2021 (President’s Day), 9 am-4 pm

Child Playing In A Tunnel At The Ijams Nature Center

Spring Break Camp: Winter Survival/Spring Arrival
• March 15-19, 2021, 9 am-4 pm
Give your children ages 6-12 the ultimate spring break experience to open their eyes to the beauty and wonder of the changing seasons. Creatures that have been hiding all winter are now on the move and leaving a trail behind them. New plant life is silently emerging around every turn. Spring Break campers will look for early signs of spring and celebrate winter by learning basic winter survival skills and ecology, with an emphasis on how plants, birds, and other animals use unique adaptations and keen survival skills to endure the harsh conditions of colder months. As a bonus in 2021, campers will enjoy a three-hour Navitat experience, adventuring through a variety of challenge elements in the trees of the Ijams forest!

Kids Standing In The Woods At The Ijams Nature Center

Winter Homeschool Ed-Ventures
This field-based homeschool program helps students ages 3-12 gain a deeper understanding of the natural world through fun and hands-on experiences. Winter Nature Ed-Ventures is a four-class course held every Wednesday from Jan. 20 to Feb. 10 from 10 am-12 pm The Ijams education team fosters a natural curiosity and wonder in your child through authentic investigation, participation, and engagement with the natural world.

Nature Nuggets
Children ages 2-4 and their caregivers can join Ijams on the third Thursday of each month from 10-11 am to dip-net in ponds, hike the trails and discover natural treasures. Your children will practice exploring nature with confidence and have lots of fun!

Woman Looking Through Binoculars At The Ijams Nature Center

Beginning to Bird
Ijams hosts a bird walk for adults new to the birding world on the second Saturday of every month at 8 am You’ll learn everything you need to know, including how to use binoculars, identify birds by sight and sound, and birding lingo! Each month covers a different topic.


FREE Virtual Naturalist Chats
Creating a Wild Backyard: A FREE Virtual Naturalist Chat

• December 15, 2020, 5-6 pm
It’s not as hard as you think to create a wildlife-friendly backyard. It just takes a little love and elbow grease. Join Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker for a crash course in how to invite more wildlife of all sorts into your backyard. You’ll find that the reward is definitely worth the work. This FREE virtual talk is great for all ages. Register at https://www.ijams.org/event-details/creating-a-wild-backyard-a-virtual-naturalist-chat to receive login information.

Owls of Ijams: A FREE Virtual Naturalist Chat
• January 12, 2021, 5-6 pm
Owls are some of the most mysterious creatures! We’re surrounded by them and may never know they are there. Join Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker and open your world to these amazing raptors by learning their habits, habitats and even their calls. You’ll be saying, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you allllllll,” and, hopefully, hearing it back in return. This FREE virtual talk is great for all ages. Register at https://www.ijams.org/event-details/owls-of-ijams-a-virtual-naturalist-chat to receive login information.

Late Winter Happenings: A FREE Virtual Naturalist Chat
• February 16, 2021, 5-6 pm
It may still be winter on the calendar, but plants and animals are beginning to stir. Join Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker and find out who’s already nesting, what amphibians are migrating to breeding habitats, and what flowers you’ll find during this dark, dreary part of the year. You’ll soon learn that there’s a lot of hustle going on out there. This FREE virtual talk is great for all ages. Register at https://www.ijams.org/event-details/spring-is-stirring-a-virtual-naturalist-chat to receive login information.

Ijams Nature Center

Take Action! Big and Small Ways to Save the Planet
• February 14-March 14, 2021
Now in its third year, Take Action! Big and Small Ways to Save the Planet is a month-long series of volunteer workdays, recycling collections, gear swaps, environmental education programs and workshops designed to help people of all ages learn how they can make a difference and lighten their load on the planet.