Weekly Programming (May 25-Aug. 15)







Botanical Garden Tour


All ages

Join us on a guided, themed walk along the Garden trails to learn more about the beautiful native flowers and plants of the southern Appalachians.  More information.


Family Nature Activity


Ages 4+

Activities vary weekly but may include critter searches, discovery walks, nature studies and games, or crafts.  $1 per person.


Storybook Science Program


All ages

Come for a nature lesson based around a children’s storybook, and see and touch an interesting item from the Nature Center!


Zahner Lectures



Sponsored by the HBF.  July 2 – September 3 Weekly evening seminars presented by scientists, historians, artists, and writers on a variety of environmental topics.


Animal Feeding Time


All ages

Come and observe what each of the Nature Center’s animals eat and learn how they feed!


Featured Creature


All ages

Learn more about one of the Nature Center’s live animals up close!

2015 Schedule of Special Events

All special events take place at the Highlands Nature Center and Botanical Garden, 930 Horse Cove Road.  Advanced registration (828.526.2623) is required for some events due to limited space.  Educators can receive science CEU or criteria II NC EE credit.  Call for details.

May 29  Salamander Meander

9:00 – 10:00pm Ages 7 – Adult Cost: $5

Join herpetologists on a night search to observe some of the area’s salamanders in the wild. Registration is required. Don’t forget to bring your flashlight!


June 4  Owl Prowl

7:30pm – ? All Ages Cost: Free

In collaboration with the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society.  Come for a presentation by the Carolina Raptor Center (CRC) featuring live owls. Afterwards, join members of Audubon to look for owls in nearby areas. Contributions to CRC are appreciated.


July 10  Nature by Night

9:00 – 10:00pm Ages 6 – Adult Cost: $3

Learn about adaptations of nocturnal animals through games, activities, and observations in the Botanical Garden. Bring a flashlight! Advanced registration is required.


Oct. 29  Halloween “Enchanted Forest” Trick or Treat

6:30 – 7:30pm All Ages Cost: $1

Give your child an excuse to test out their Halloween costume the night before Halloween! Encounter friendly forest creatures (portrayed by students from the UNCIE program) along the trails in the Botanical Garden and learn interesting nature facts about each one. This event is fun and educational for all ages.