The Perfect Night for Families Discovering Nature in the Outdoors!

Could the weather have been any more perfect for Family Nature Night at Montclair? Probably not! Partners and staff alike set up almost completely outdoors in the beautiful fall evening. Just as everyone was finishing getting set up, people began crowding to get in to enjoy the event. One could hear children convincing their parents to stay for the fun instead of going home after school.

One of the draws was pizza and lemonade, but after a little refreshment, kids and parents were ready for some fun! On such a beautiful night, people were happy to wander the common area visiting partners and activities. One stop that got immediate attention was the Wildlife Trivia wheel. The clicking of the wheel was mesmerizing for those eager to try their hand at a trivia question. There was a crowd of kids for most of the evening, learning new wildlife facts and attempting to win a small prize for a correct answer.

The Denver Botanic Gardens offered a fun planting activity that had kids carrying around little soil pots lovingly for the rest of the night. They also brought a pelt that some of the little children found positively fascinating! Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) had mysterious boxes to stick your hand into to find…. Hmmm…. What is it???? Some kids were eager to learn by touch, others wanted to figure out the clues on top of the boxes, and some were startled by a quick growl or movement of the box, a trick of the staff to keep kids on their toes.

History Colorado presented a challenging bingo game using Colorado clues. Students also took a moment to snap some fun pictures posing with sate symbols in front of the flag. Even when kids arrived before the event had begun, Angel was the perfect host with a smile and warm greeting for everyone. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge was popular with several children who tried on black-footed ferret and butterfly costumes after answering trivia questions and exploring the underside of a turtle shell. Bird identification with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies was also a fun stop, with many learning to use binoculars to figure out what birds were displayed at a distance.

Halfway through the night, the activities shut down for a short time to give everyone a chance to have a break in the auditorium to win some great outdoor prizes and a family grand prize Parks Pass to boot! Kids occupied the front rows eagerly hoping to hear his or her number called, but even those who didn’t win called out encouragement on prize choices.

The brand new Generation Wild table received a lot of attention over the course of the evening with students claiming many of the 100 things to do before turning 12 activities as completed. They took home their own lists to complete if they didn’t have time to read them all. Students also had a chance to check off an extra item while they visited the table: Crayon leaf rubbings!

Archery in the gym was the lone indoor activity, but remained busy from start to finish. Students were excited to proclaim their eye dominance to A&H Adventures then learn the proper stance to shoot at the target. Some parents were so impressed at how their children were responding to the activity that they asked for more resources about archery in the area! What a great way for a family to bond!

Backyard Bass was set up out on the grass, and there were children visiting so constantly that staff and volunteers were constantly rotating in new poles to use for the enthusiastic participants! This was one activity that was hard to leave behind. Some kids continued to cast even after they caught six fish!

All in all, it was a beautiful and successful evening with everyone leaving happy and well-satisfied. The SOLE program would like to thank all of our partners, volunteers, Montclair staff, and everyone who attended that made the night a success!

#HistoryColorado #WildlifeTrivia #GenerationWild #RockyMountainArsenal #DenverBotanicGardens #EnvironmentalLearningforKids #BirdConservancyoftheRockies #Archery #AHAdventures #BackyardBass #FamilyNatureNight

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