Family Programs

Each week at Thanksgiving Point are tons of educational and fun activities for families of all ages and abilities! Our Family Programs include, Tales for Tots, Monday Night Activities, and Design Challenge, just to name a few. All activities are FREE for Thanksgiving Point Members, as they are included with venue admissions.

The programs are always adapting and changing throughout the year so check back often for updates. They are also led by our trained educational team to ensure each person at the activity has a great time learning and playing together as family and friends. Click each drop-down menu below to learn more about these one-of-a-kind educational opportunities at Thanksgiving Point and to see dates, locations, and times for each one. See you soon!

Join us for our hands-on storytelling adventures, Tales for Tots, held each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 11 am. Each day a new story is read followed by a fun activity that goes along with that story.

Monday  (June - October) –Ashton Gardens 
Tuesday – Museum of Ancient Life
Wednesday – Farm Country
Thursday– Museum of Natural Curiosity


Upcoming Schedule:


Museum of Ancient Life 

September 5 | Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?

September 12 | If You Happen to Have a DINOSAUR by Linda Bailey and Colin Jack
If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don't know what to do with it ... why don't you use it as a can opener? There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur -- from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework.

September 19 | The Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen
As a mother describes to her child how many species of birds nest, from pigeons on concrete ledges to owls in oak tree boles to swallows above barn doors. The soothing refrain of “you nest here with me” eases her little one and readers alike to slumber.

September 26Tyrannosaurus Dad by Liz Rosenberg
Tobias's father is a lot like other fathers—he likes corny jokes, and doing magic tricks, and works hard at the office. But there the resemblance ends. He has teeth as sharp as steak knives, is forty feet high, and weighs as much as a locomotive. He is, in fact, a tyrannosaurus.


Farm Country 


August 23 | This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So, it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened.

August 30 | Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino
Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it.

September 6 | How Maui Slowed the Sun by Suelyn Ching Tune
Recounts how Maui uses his magical powers to slow the path of the sun across the sky, thus allowing crops more time to grow, fishermen more time to fish, and children more time to play.

September 13 | We are Growing by Mo Willems
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

September 20 | Tinyville Town Gets to Work by Brian  Briggs
The series is set in a cozy community where the people are kind, everyone says hello when they’re walking down the street, the bus is always on time, and all the townsfolk do their part to keep things running smoothly. Everyone has a job to do in Tinyville Town.

September 27 | A Place to Grow by Stephanie Bloom
With the help of the wind, the tiny seed floats from place to place looking for its special place to grow. If you could plant a seed, where would your special place be?


Museum of Natural Curiosity


August 24 | Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole
'This is the garden that Jack planted...' Building on a rhyme that will be familiar to many children. The final illustration presents a satisfied-looking boy surrounded by a lush, bird-filled flower garden.

August 31 | Planting a Rainbow by Louis Ehlart
This book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. It also consists of collage illustrations with pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow. What is your favorite flower?

September 7 | Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Meet the winsome inchworm who can measure anything under the sun, from a robin’s tail to a toucan’s beak. When a hungry nightingale threatens to eat him for breakfast unless he can measure her song, the inchworm will have to cleverly solve the dilemma.

September 14 | Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin
FACT: Robots are awesome. They have lasers for eyes, rockets for feet, and supercomputers for brains! Plus, robots never must eat steamed beans or take baths, or go to bed. If only there were some sort of magical “Robo-Sauce” that turned squishy little humans into giant awesome robots…

September 21 | All the World by Liz Garton Scanion
Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning until night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to the warmth of family connections, to the widest sunset sky.

September 28 | Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Leonardo is truly terrible at being a monster. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn't quite as satisfying as he thought it would be.


Ashton Gardens

August 28 | Woosh Went the Wind by Sally DerbyA little boy tells his teacher about the tricks of a mischievous wind that made him late for school. But his teacher just won’t believe him. Is he telling the truth or just inventing some outrageous excuses? Listen to the little boy as he tells about his windy "walk" to school and find out.

September 4 | Flotsam by David Weisner
A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. But there's no way he could have prepared for one discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share

September 11 | Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Giraffes Can't Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it's harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.

September 18 | I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty
Frog wants to be anything but a slimy, wet frog. A cat, perhaps. Or a rabbit. An owl? But when a hungry wolf arrives—a wolf who HATES eating frogs—our hero decides that being himself isn’t so bad after all.

September 25 | This is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems
Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. What happens next will surprise you.

Bring your tots and enjoy a fun morning of exploring music and movement at the Museum of Natural Curiosity and Farm Country.  Led by our education staff, Melody Makers is the perfect opportunity for little kids to dance and move in a fun and friendly environment.  Included with regular venue admission.

Tuesdays at 11 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Thursdays at 11 am: Farm Country



Museum of Natural Curiosity


No Melody Makers in the Museum of Natural Curiosity for the Month of August to accommodate Two Buck Tuesday crowds.  

September 5 | Yummy in my Tummy!
Come sing songs all about the delicious food you eat!  We will pretend to be a pizza and sing about apples and bananas.  The take home instrument today will be an egg shaker.              

September 12 | Rainbow of Colors
It’s time to explore a rainbow of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and many other colors. Join as we learn the colors and sing songs about rainbows.  Colors make the world a brighter place. Make a rainbow-colored ribbon wand to take home.

September 19 | Musical Sounds
Jingle, shake, tap, rap, ding-a-ling, join us today as we explore the many sounds we can make with instruments.  We will add a music game where we slap, clap and snap.  Sounds can make music exploration fun and inventive. Make an instrument to take home.  

September 26 | What Shape?
Shapes are fun to make with our bodies. Can you curl up in a ball, stretch tall like a giraffe or bend your body as you dance?  Come try it out with us as we make shapes and dance.  We will be making a plate shaker for you to take home.

Farm Country           

August 24 | Count It Out
Count it out! Learn songs about numbers today like One, Two Buckle My Shoe and songs like Ten Little Fingers. Learning numbers can be a lot of fun. We will make a unique wrist shaker today.

August 31 | Music and Play
Come sing and play with us today as we learn to make shapes with ribbon wands, make a beat with our drum stations and dance to a variety of music. The make and take today is a plate shaker.

September 7 | Count It Out
Songs with numbers are fun to use.  One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and counting with music make learning fun. Try songs like 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, 10 little Fingers and other counting songs.  Make a water bottle shaker to take home.

September 14 | Wiggle and Giggle
When we play music, it is fun to connect with the music by the ways we move.  How do you like to move, dance and play?  Join us today and explore new ways to move to the music. Make a key chime to take home.                               

September 21 | Around Town
The Wheels on the Bus go round and round all through the town.  Learn the actions to this and other songs as we discover the world around us.  Just for fun we will learn Are You Sleeping and learn a variety of new actions to go with this and other children’s classic songs.  The instrument today will be a kazoo.                    

September 28 | Animal Pretend
Do you like animals?  Do you like to pretend?  Do you like making the sounds of zoo animals like the lion, bear, seal, and monkey?  Today we are going to explore music about animals.  Make a stick puppet to take home.



It’s not every day you could meet an alligator or greet a skunk. Animals are all around us, some live in your backyard, some live far away, but all are important to our world. Come get up close and personal with some of the most interesting animals you will meet as we explore some of the curious critters that make our world wonderful.

Second Saturday of each month at 11 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Fourth Saturday of each month at 11 am: Farm Country



Museum of Natural Curiosity  

August 12 |Details coming soon!

Farm Country

August 26 | Animal Noises
We all can recognize the sounds of cows, ducks, and horses, but what sound does a peacock make? How about a llama? Can you recognize the more unusual noises that we hear at the farm? Come discover more with us at Curious Critters!


Have you ever wondered about winged warblers? Have you been curious about carnivorous condors? Come explore at our Birdosity program. Discover the life of birds, brush up on your identification skills and learn about a variety of bird related topics. Whether you are an eggs-pert or have a new found love of birds, Birdosity is a program the whole family will enjoy.

First Saturday of each month at 10:30 am: Museum of Natural Curiosity

Third Saturday of each month at 11 am: Museum of Ancient Life



Museum of Natural Curiosity

September 2 | International Vulture Awareness Day

Our Pink-faced friends have always played a special role in our animal kingdom, and this weekend we are celebrating their unique awesomeness! Come discover how amazing these little misunderstood birds are, and how we can help preserve them for future generations.

Museum of Ancient Life

September 16 | Scavengers

Scavengers make up an important part of the world's birds population, and who's to say that dinosaurs weren't the same? Let's dive in to the world of scavengers and how they may have operated in the past- and learn a surprising fact about a prehistoric favorite!

Featuring new activities each week, Monday Nights at Thanksgiving Point focus on a single theme with various activities designed to entertain and educate the whole family. 


 4:30 - 7:30 pm.  Location varies by season.  See below. 

January, February, March: Museum of Ancient Life
April, May, September, October: Farm Country
June, July, August: Ashton Gardens
November, December: Museum of Natural 


Ashton Gardens

August 28 | Garden Favorites

Come enjoy some of the favorite activities from past Monday Nights in the Garden. Explore the pond, join in a nature scavenger hunt, observe birds and join our exciting night of discovery.

Farm Country

September 4 | The Ins and Outs of Plants 

What are the parts of the plant? What do they need to grow? Come examine and dissect various fruits and vegetables. What can you find inside our garden?

September 11 | Animals on the Farm

What animal is your favorite? Come and meet some of our farm animal friends. Explore their features and learn what they need to be healthy.

September 18 | It's Harvest Time

What are the edible parts of plants? How do you know when to harvest? Learn about some unique harvesting techniques. Did you know some nuts are harvested by shaking the tree? 

September 25 | Harvest Games

Harvest time isn’t all work and no play. Come join the harvest fun with games and challenges for your family and friends like squash in a basket, the corn toss, pumpkin bowling and more.


Looking for a fantastic Friday night activity? On the first and third Friday of every month from 5:30-7:30 pm, get your game on with a variety of classic and new board games during our Family Game Night. Family Game Night is a family-focused evening for kids and parents of all ages. 

First & Third Friday of each month at 5:30 pm: Museum of Natural Curiosity and Ashton Gardens.



September 1 | Board Game Bonanza | Museum of Natural Curiosity 

What is your favorite board game? We have board games galore at the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Stop by to play some of your favorites and to try something new!

September 15 | Bubbles | Ashton Gardens

Pop on over to the Ashton Gardens for a bubble blowing party.

Come have fun while innovating! Design Challenge is a Museum program that gets everyone engaging in the engineering design process. Make a team with your family and join us! Up to eight teams may compete at each challenge. It is free to compete and all supplies will be provided but if you wish to take your project home there will be a small fee to cover the cost of supplies. Come ready to design, build, test and prototype a solution to a given problem. The top three winners for each challenge will receive a trophy and every team will receive a participation certificate.

Third Saturday of each month from 2-4 pm: Museum of Natural Curiosity



September 16 | Crane Design Challenge

Cranes are used to be able to lift heavy things and move them. Some are very simple and others are quite complex. We will be building cranes out of cardboard with a hand crank. Come and use your engineering brains to build the best crane. Think about how to make it strong and controllable. All supplies will be provided.



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