School Vacation Weeks at the EcoTarium | EcoTarium

School Vacation Weeks at the EcoTarium

Family fun for February, April and December School Vacation

When school's out, the EcoTarium is the place to be. Each February, April and December, our education team cooks up creative ways to learn and have fun -- all designed especially for school-age kids and their families. These theme-based weeks are filled with activities focused on a particular science or nature topic. Many activities are free with admission.


Winter Vacation - Eco-Engineers

Tuesday, February 20 - Friday, February 23, 2018

Imagine! Build! Test! Improve! Connect the dots between engineering and nature as you explore what plants and animals have taught us about designing solutions for our modern world.  As Eco-Engineers, get inspired by structures found in water, woods, soil, and sky! 

Science Discovery Programs

11:30 - Fantastic Feet
Secrets of the Forest

Jump feet first into an amazing engineering adventure as we explore the specialized feet of insects, sea stars, and geckoes! Meet a live animal and learn about some of the incredible human inventions that mimic how animals crawl, cling, and climb!

12:30 - Best Nest
of the Forest
Vote for which bird you think engineers the best nest! Is it the Bald Eagle, which makes the largest nest of any single bird? Perhaps it’s the ruby-throated hummingbird, who makes a tiny, stretchable nest with spider silk? Examine some real nests from our Natural History Collection and see if you have what it takes to be an avian engineer! Remember to share your nests with us through our Facebook page by March 1!

2:30 - Under Pressure
Secrets of the Forest

Don’t let the world get you down! Explore what it takes to make a tunnel or dome stand strong under pressure. Learn how animal professionals prevent collapse and then test your own ideas!

3:30 - Towering Trees
Secrets of the Forest

Ever look up and wonder why our towering trees don’t fall over? Come design a root system of your very own while you explore what makes trees one of the most successful and resilient plants on the planet. Whether it’s earthquakes, winds, or just plain gravity, trees are up to the challenge!

Table Top Activities 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Race to the Middle
Lower Level
Ever wonder how plankton “hang-out” just below the surface of the water? Or how blimps hover in mid-air? Use our exciting wind tower and the powers of your imagination to engineer a neutrally buoyant critter creation that neither floats nor just flinks!

Biomimicry Matchup
Middle Level

Many inventions were inspired by nature’s elegant designs. From wet suits to solar panels, some of our most efficient solutions were crafted by nature first. Can you match these human-made creations with their naturally-evolved counterparts?

Otter Discovery Programs

1:00 p.m. at the Otter Habitat - Tuesday and Friday Only
How do our Wildlife Keepers provide care for our active otters?  Watch a training session, interaction, or just plain fun enrichment session with our North American river otters at the otter habitat. Keepers will demonstrate what goes into their daily care and offer insight about our resident otters Slydell and Daisy.

Planetarium Shows

11:00 a.m. – One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure

12:00 p.m. – Back to the Moon for Good

2:00 p.m. – Asteroid: Mission Extreme

3:00 p.m. – Flying Monsters

April Vacation Week

Everybody Counts: Citizen Science
April 17-20, 2018

Want to meet an important scientist who’s protecting the planet? Just look in the mirror: Science needs you! Harness your powers of observation to help solve real-world problems in your backyard and across the globe. Hunt for stars, peek at plants and track animal trends, then share your discoveries. Bring your sense of curiosity—we're counting on it!