Noticing the nature above

This article was written by Emily Bowers, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Naturalist at North Mississippi Regional Park

Warmer weather and longer daylight hours provide us with better opportunities to watch the nature around us, including our beautiful skies. Minnesota receives a wide range of weather throughout the year, and clouds can not only help us predict the weather heading our way, but are also a picturesque show to watch. Take the time to look towards the sky for birds, what’s happening in the tree tops, and cloud formations that can teach us about weather while simultaneously displaying a wondrously painted scene above. Look up and enjoy the nature over our heads.

Visit the Adventure Hub at Kroening Interpretive Center to borrow outdoor exploration activities and materials for free! Items available for check out include orienteering supplies, fort building kits, outdoor art kits, and nature observation kits such as bird watching, animal tracking, tree and cloud identification. Materials must stay within park boundaries and are only available for same day checkout and return. Adventure Hub operating hours are Wednesdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursdays 4-8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sundays noon-4 p.m. Materials must stay within park boundaries and are only available for same day checkout and return. Select park recreation centers also have materials to borrow, available hours and activities vary depending on the site.

Get outside and into Nearby Nature, with self-directed, nature-based activities designed to enhance the experience of park goers of all ages while exploring parks. All Nearby Nature activities are free and no materials or registration is necessary. Share experiences and photos through the hashtag #NearbyNatureMpls or send feedback to our email

Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. are Family Fundays at North Mississippi. Join us outside for active, nature fun in the park! Explore a different seasonal theme each week through self-directed scavenger hunts, nature walks, and interactive skills development such as bird watching or animal tracking. All ages and experience levels welcome to enjoy the outdoors while activating bodies and minds in discovery! Naturalist staff will be on site to provide sanitized materials and introductory instruction for activities that will be self-directed by individual households.

Summer Day Camp at Kroening Interpretive Center registration is open! Spend your summer on outdoor adventures as we discover the wonders of the woods, prairie and riverfront. Explore, get messy and learn by doing while playing in the park. We will spend as much time outside as possible in order to maintain safe social distancing during nature fun.

Kroening Interpretive Center May outdoor programs

  • Nature Nuts – Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. $2. Ages 2-8 with an adult.
  • Trail Treasures – First Saturdays, adults 10-11 a.m., families 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Free.
  • Wild Nature Challenge – Thursday 6th from 5-7:30 p.m. Free. All ages.
  • Build a Chair Workshop with Elpis – Saturday 8th and 22nd at 10-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. $160. Ages 18+
  • Bonfire Bunch – Tuesday 11th from 6:30-8 p.m. $5. All ages.
  • Campfire Game Night – Thursday 13th from 5-7:30 p.m. $2. Ages 5-18.
  • Toads, Frogs & Polliwogs – Saturday 15th from 11am-12:30pm. Free. All ages.
  • Noticing Nature Hike – Thursday 20th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Ages 8+
  • Mindfulness & Nature Art – Friday 21st from 10:30 a.m.-noon. $5. Ages 18+
  • Nature Art: Mini Gardens  – Tuesday 25th from 1-2:30 p.m. $15. Ages 18+
  • Campfire Date Night – Thursday 27th from 6:30-8pm. $3. Ages 8+

Registration is required; sign up for programs at Upon registration, participants agree to maintain social distance (6 feet) at all times and adhere to the current Minnesota State face covering mandate (Face covering exceptions may apply to certain MPRB activities).

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board program buildings remain closed to the public until further notice due to the impacts of COVID-19. The MPRB’s priority is the health and safety of our park visitors and our employees. Visit or sign up to receive email updates at by selecting “COVID-19” in the “News Updates” section.

Do you have a question about nature in your own backyard? Then send it our way by emailing and it could appear in a future article.