Special Events

Artist Exhibition – Ian Clark

MAY 1 – JULY 31 – Ian Clark’s nature photography contains over 400 species from the Bay of Fundy to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Ian’s work has appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, calendars and print ads. These days, his photo shoots include editorial, stock and commercial users from his home in West Newbury, VT.

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Remarkable Reptile Day

JUNE 22 – Join us for a day celebrating all things reptiles! From turtle shells to snake smells, you will discover the amazing world of reptile adaptations. Enjoy close encounters, hands-on activities, crafts and more!

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Are You Smarter Than A Bird Nerd?

JUNE 26 & JULY 26 – Compete head to head against a team of VINS educators in a good old fashioned game of trivia! VINS is teaming up with Questionable Co. to present a night of nature-themed trivia. Test out your knowledge of natural history and challenge your identification skills while also competing in classic trivia categories such as music, history, and sports to answer the question “Are you smarter than a bird nerd?

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Incredible Insect Festival

JULY 6 – Welcome to the fascinating world of insects at the Incredible Insect Festival! Enjoy a day of demonstrations, exhibits, games and crafts. Visit with The Caterpillar Lab as they showcase a wide selection of native caterpillars. Learn about the importance of pollinators and how insects help protect the environment. Get up close and personal with invertebrates of all shapes!

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Drawing from Nature Class: Summer Songbirds

JULY 13 – Join us in the VINS aviary for active gesture drawings of songbirds. Attempting quick and numerous sketches helps to improve your visual instincts and you’ll be able to create more realistic drawings in your nature journal.

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Moth Ball

JULY 13 – Ever wonder what that bug is fluttering around your porch light at night? Join a VINS educator on the canopy walk at night for the chance to observe, ID, and learn all about the moths and nocturnal insects of Vermont through the simple and fun technique of moth fishing! While waiting for our fluttering friends, meet one of our owl ambassadors who depend on these insects for food and learn how to help out insects near you! 

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Magnificent Mammals Day

AUGUST 3 – Join us for a day exploring the amazing lives of mammals. Discover the specialties of our furred cousins and find out how important they are to the natural world. In addition there will be hands-on activities and crafts all day long. It’s sure to be a magnificent day!

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Bat Bonanza

AUGUST 17 – Want to know what creatures go bump in the night? Join a VINS educator for a night hike to learn all about bats and bat detection. Using an echo- meter, get the chance to hear the calls of different bats and identify them as echo- locate the world around them

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Drawing from Nature Class: Predators of the Sky

AUGUST 24 – Enjoy time sketching in the VINS raptor exhibits before the Nature Center opens to the public. You will have an opportunity to marvel at the unique adaptations of your choice of predator/scavenger from the sky, drawing them from life, aiming to express the personality and intelligence of your chosen subject.

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Fairy Festival & House Building Contest

AUGUST 31 – Discover the forest through hands-on play, and celebrate creativity with the artform that is fairy houses! Build for fun, or enter in our contest for the chance to win prizes. Be sure to hit the trails on a fairy hunt for the chance to explore and learn about the forest around you while searching for our fairy friends!

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Hawkwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

SEPTEMBER 1 – We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Hawkwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Join a VINS educator for this magical event where you can choose your classes and learn all about the real world magic of science!

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Tree Trunk or Treat

OCTOBER 19 – Trick or treat, in the trees! Visit different stations along the Canopy Walk to play games, do puzzles, and learn about the different habitat zones around VINS all while collecting candy!

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Escape from VINS!

NOVEMBER 16 – Escape from VINS! Solve an escape room like no other at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, put your puzzle solving skills to the test all while learning new facts in our two different themed escape rooms.

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Paint, Sip, & Soar

DECEMBER 14 – Join a VINS Educator for a one of a kind – Paint, Sip & Soar – featuring a live raptor model. Get up close and personal with one of our avian ambassadors and garner techniques in painting from life, all while learning about raptor natural history and anatomy.

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