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Outdoor Academy

Get out into nature with our programs just for students grades K-12th!

Are you looking for something fun and educational to do with your student? Are your children interested in science and the great outdoors? Join us at the Spring Lake Outdoor Academy!

This series of classes is designed for students K-12th to get outside and experience nature firsthand, while enjoying the Meadows Center’s exhibits and programs at Spring Lake. Homeschool students are encouraged to register. 

This event is perfect for smaller groups and families who cannot meet the 15-person minimum for a field trip at Spring Lake. 

Classes take place once a month and parties may register for individual classes or all classes in a season. Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult and tickets are required for both children and adults. Pre-registration is required and classes are limited to 40 participants. Tickets are $8/person; children 2 and under are free. Get $1 off when you register for the entire semester! 

Check-in begins at 8:45am at the Meadows Center ticket kiosk. These events are held from 9am to 11am and feature hands-on activities, including:

  • A guided glass-bottom boat ride
  • Interactive activities that teach students the interconnections between all living things and water

Please Note: Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit in the Meadows Center parking lot. One-day temporary permits are available for $3 at the pay-and-display station located near the ticket kiosk.

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  • Summer 2022 Schedule

    • Join us for a morning of fun-filled aquatic adventure as we explore Spring Lake and Sink Creek. Students will learn how to gather samples and test water quality by determining the types of bugs and other aquatic critters that live within each waterbody. Children will not be getting in the water, though they may want to wear shoes they don’t mind getting wet! This program includes a glass-bottom boat tour.

    • Beat the summer heat in our Discovery Hall/Aquarium during our Dive into Learning homeschool day! Students will learn all about the endangered and threatened species that live in, around, and under Spring Lake. We will also get the opportunity to speak with one of our aquarium staff and learn all about what they do to keep our aquarium happy and healthy. This program includes a glass-bottom boat tour.


  • Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit in the Meadows Center parking lot. One-day temporary permits are available for $3 at the pay-and-display station located near the ticket kiosk.

  • Cancellations must be received at least 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund. If a cancellation is made less than 24 hours prior to the event, you will receive half the total amount charged.  The amount refunded will be applied to the credit card that was used for payment.

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