There's a great big natural world out there for your children to discover and a new program at a local National park is making it easier.

Children will get to put away their screens and explore the world around them through the Wind Cave National Park’s Adventures in Nature programs. These programs are offered at the park every other Tuesday beginning January 16 through April 10.

“Participants will explore both surface and subsurface areas of the park as they learn about the mysteries of Wind Cave National Park,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila in a press release. “These free programs are designed for children ages 3 to 12 to encourage them to experience nature while providing them an opportunity to play in an active learning environment.”

Children will be grouped up by age and explore hand-on activities with their peers.  Topics vary each week and will always include activities, crafts, and a hike exploring the day’s concept. Registration begins at 9:45 a.m., with programs running from 10 a.m. to noon. Parents are encouraged to provide their children with a snack before the program.

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To ensure enough materials for every child, parents are asked to call the park at 605-745-1134 or e-mail wica_interpretation@nps.gov to let rangers know they are coming. It is not a requirement, but it helps the park plan if they know ahead of time the number and ages of children. Calling ahead of time also helps the staff alert participants in the event of bad weather or road conditions.

Older children can also attend and take part in activities or assist the younger children in their explorations and activities. In case of bad weather, the program may be canceled. Either call the park at the above number or visit our Facebook page for program status.

The first program is “Mysteries of People” and will explore the way people over the ages have interacted with the land. For a complete listing of this year’s programs, visit www.nps.gov/wica/forkids and click on the Adventures in Nature link.

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