MDC Cape Nature Center greets November with Nature Center at Night, cooking wild turkey outside

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Discover nature this month with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free events lineup including five hand-picked programs highlighting archery, cooking outside, a Mississippi River cleanup opportunity, and a special Black Friday nature walk!

  • Nature Center at Night: Nature Arts and Crafts | 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

For this month’s “Nature Center at Night” program we’ll be getting crafty! The nature center exhibits will be open to explore, and our classrooms will be buzzing with crafts perfect for kids and adults alike! Let us help you create decorations and gifts for your favorite winter holiday, or simply enjoy some relaxing creative time with natural materials and themes.

The Cape Nature Center, including the Nature Shop, will stay open until 7 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, with a special program during that time.

  • Archery Basics | 2 - 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Be right on target! Try your hand at archery and experience a fun way to enjoy the outdoors. All archery equipment will be provided. Adult supervision is required for ages 9-17. This program will take place entirely outdoors so please dress for the weather. In the event of high winds or rain, this program will be cancelled.

  • Riverfront Cleanup | 2 - 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Riverfront Park in Cape Girardeau

Let's work together to keep our Mississippi River clean! Come lend a helping hand and take part in a litter pickup. We will meet at the Broadway entrance of Riverfront Park in downtown Cape Girardeau. Free T-shirts, snacks, and drinks will be provided. Please register before taking part in the cleanup.

  • Outdoor Cooking: Wild Turkey | 1 - 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving by cooking wild turkey. Sometimes people are a little intimidated by wild game but there is no reason to be. We will cover how to prepare a wild turkey for cooking and share some recipes. We will have a Dutch oven roasted turkey for tasting to encourage you to try this recipe at home. This program is intended for adults, youth 12 years old and older may attend with an adult. Both must register for the event.

  • #OptOutside Naturalist Walk | 9 - 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 26 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Stuffed with holiday food, weary of noisy guests, and then expected to go shopping at dawn and fight for holiday deals? If this sounds like a headache to you why not #Optout(side) with us at the nature center! The trails at the nature center hold the secret to peace and serenity, if you just take the time to explore their beautiful hills. This 1.5-mile hike is open to all ages, but our trails are hilly. Your MDC guide will keep a slow pace as they stop to show you just how special a Missouri forest can be. So, opt-out and join us for a gift you can really be thankful for!

Get connected

All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to practice social distancing, and masks are strongly recommended. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Be considerate of others.

Questions about these events and all others can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at

Advance registration is required for most programs and can be completed here. The first step in registering for a program is creating a profile here. Once a profile is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email. If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218. For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online here.

Check out MDC’s other free November events here, and be on the lookout for more in-person events to register for in December!

Stay in touch

The Cape Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. An online subscription is also available to “sign up for updates” at A variety of updates are available at this option, but Cape Girardeau specific updates are available under facility updates and news for southeast region.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.