MDC's Springfield Nature Center is great spot to find family activities over holiday break

News from the region
Published Date

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The days between Christmas and New Year’s often feature both joys and challenges for families. It’s fun to have kids home from school and, often, parents not at work, but board games and trips to stores can only sustain family enjoyment for so long.

If your family is seeking fun between the holidays, look no further than the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Here are a list of nature center programs that will add both enjoyment and education to the final week of 2021.

Dec. 28, 2-3:30 p.m., Discover Nature – Nature Bingo: During this program MDC staff give an old game a new nature-themed twist. Win prizes and learn more about Missouri’s natural world. Masking will be requested at this indoor program which is for ages 4-adult. Register at:

Dec. 29, 11-11:30 a.m., Discover Nature – Toddler Tales: At this program, which is for ages 2-6, young children can hear a special story about nature and complete a craft project. No registration is required for this event, Call 417-888-4237 for information.

Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-noon, Birds – Winter Bird Walk: Dress for the weather and join an MDC naturalist for a bird walk along the nature center’s trails. Participants will be asked to social distance and should bring binoculars and a bird field guide if they have one. This program is for ages 18 and up. Register at:

Dec. 29, 2-3 p.m. and Dec. 30, 11 a.m.-noon, Reptiles – Snakes of Missouri: Learn more about this frequently misunderstood reptile at either of two programs. At both programs, which are for all ages, people can get an up-close view of live snakes. These programs are for all ages. Masking will be requested for this indoor program.

Register for the Dec. 29 program:

Register for the Dec. 30 program at:

In addition to these programs, people can also take advantage of the nature center’s nearly three-mile network of trails, which are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

People can register for these programs and other events at MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center at The first step to registering for a program is creating a profile. Once that is accomplished, it is easier to sign up for future programs.

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting the words “MDC Springfield” to 468311.Sign-up for e-mail updates is available at by selecting “Sign Up” under “Stay in touch with MDC.” Updates specific to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center are available under the category “Events and Facility Reminders.”

Program registrants should note that they now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own, which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children for an event without having to log-off or log-in for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members for an event at the same time.

MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center is located in southeast Springfield at 4601 S. Nature Center Way. People can call for more information about the facility or any of the programs listed above at 417-888-4237.