Help your kids discover nature through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Explore Outdoors summer programs for children 7-12 years old at Runge Nature Center. Through the Explore Outdoors program, children can learn more about nature— from picking up paddling to learning about the crayfish in creeks.

“It’s a great way to get kids outdoors and exploring different kinds of natural resources we have in Missouri,” said Austin Lambert, a naturalist at Runge. “Our water programs can also help kids beat the heat.”

All events are free. Registration is required and can be made by calling the nature center at 573-526-5544. Each participant should bring a water bottle, close-toed shoes, and clothing to explore and get dirty in. All programs take place from 9-11 a.m.

Discover nature summer programs:

July 7 – Log’s Life What lives in a log? Learn how different creatures use logs, and the important role decomposing logs play in the ecosystem.

July 14 – Creek Crawl Crayfish, frogs, insects and more! Grab a pair of water shoes or old sneakers and examine the creatures of Runge’s creeks.

July 21 – Fishing Fun Can you cast a line? Can you best a bass? Learn the basics of fishing with MDC staff. Bring clothes and shoes that can get dirty.

July 28 – Can you Canoe? Learn to canoe at a nearby pond, and then work as a team to paddle a short obstacle course. Bring clothes and shoes that can get dirty.

For more information about Runge Conservation Nature Center, and events and activities for all ages, visit