Tenafly Nature Center is a non-profit, independent, member-supported nature preserve located in Bergen County, New Jersey-located just south of Rockland County and only 5 mins North of the GW Bridge. Since 1961, TNC has nurtured an appreciation for nature, been a leader in open-space preservation and in environmental education for our community and beyond. There is no charge for self-guided visits. You can also become a member, donate or volunteer.
Seasonally based environmental programs are offered for families, adults and children of all ages.
Family & Group Outings, Scout Trips,
Classroom Field Trips,
Birthday Parties & Summer Camp
3 types of Fun, Unique & Educational Birthday Parties:
Educator led, Presenter Led or “To Go” Parties!
Children enjoy an exciting and educational birthday party for their special day! All birthday programs are one hour in length, and are followed by half an hour of time for family provided refreshments. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the nature center your child's special day will be one of exploration, learning, and fun.
Experience an animal encounter with 2 TNC Animal Ambassadors. Guests discover how they are different and similar to each animal and how each species survives in the environment. This program can help children gain respect for and decrease their fears of animals. We will also take a short walk in search of native animals. Each guest will receive a bug box to take home! Choose one of the following options:
- Rockin’ Reptiles (ex. Turtle + Snake)
- Amazing Amphibians (ex. Frog + Salamander)
- Incredible Invertebrates (ex. Millipede + Walking Stick)
- Rappin’ Raptors (ex. Owl + Hawk)
- Educator’s Choice: We choose up to three animals.
Silly Scavenger Hunt
Guests will take to the forest searching for a variety of living and natural wonders. Partygoers will create a keepsake bag and join their friends on a hunt for things found along TNC’s trails. Once the journey is complete, guests will trade in their
collection for a reward.
Terrific Treasure Hunt
Guests will hike through TNC’s woods with an educator to find natural treasures and a special surprise. When guests arrive they will decorate a keepsake bag to use as they explore our trails and learn about the organisms that inhabit our preserve. Participants claim their reward at the end by trading their collection from the hunt.
The Frog Prince/Princess
Can a frog truly turn into a prince when you kiss it? The birthday child and their guests will get the royal treatment as we take a short hike in search of frogs. Guests will then encounter a frog up close and learn about the myths and legends that surround them. Party-goers will make and design their own froggy friend and crown to take home.
Teddy Bear Picnic
Have a honey of a time and learn about our native New Jersey black bears and their importance to the forest. Make and decorate a special friend during the party to take home. Guests will play a fun game, learning what bears really eat while they venture out on the trails.
The Magic Garden
Discover the various plants here at the Nature Center and discuss how ecosystems work. On a walk along our trails, guests learn about the unique adaptations our local forest contains and the animals that utilize and support it. Party-goers will create and decorate their very own miniature garden to take home.
OPTIONAL ADD-ONS INCLUDE: CAMPFIRE S’MORES, NATURAL CRAFTS, AMPHIBIAN/REPTILE/RAPTOR/MAMMAL MEET & GREETS, DISHES AND FLATWARE
- Parties are held under our outdoor, covered pavilion which has retractable canvas sides and a fireplace.
- Parties run rain or shine. In cases of inclement weather, parents may request moving into our indoor museum and your alternate program will replace your original outdoor choice.
Do you love TNC's natural setting, but want a "bigger" program? We offer programs through partnering education-based companies hosted in our space.
Created especially for 3 and 4 year olds, this beginners' program is designed as a first introduction to animals. Using small, non-threatening animals such as chinchillas, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds, children are able to get a first “look and touch” experience with the amazing world of animals!
Meet mammals from around the world as you learn their life stories, their often humorous personality, fun facts, anecdotes and get animal eye-views! Guests can meet a variety of mammals including the Wallaby, (a small kangaroo), Rabbit, Guinea Pig, and the Patagonian Cavy, (which is related to the mouse, kicks like a mule and looks like a guinea pig on stilts).
Strange World of Reptiles
Have your party in the scaly world of strange reptiles! Meet with a variety of reptiles, most of which can be touched under the watchful eyes of the instructor. Past guests have included lizards like a Blue-Tongued Skink, turtles like a Red-foot Tortoise, a big Boa Constrictor or an amazing Burmese Python, and even a baby Alligator!
Fish Tails and Ocean Oddballs
Welcome to a world where up and down are as easily moved through as left and right! Learn some of the adaptations that a variety of aquatic creatures have developed for life in the water. Meet the underwater strongman, the starfish; the peaceful but spiny sea urchin; the ancient and mysterious horseshoe crab; the silly clownfish with its protective, multi-armed partner, the anemone, and a shark. This party will look at these incredible creatures of the deep in a fun, hands-on, and highly interactive show illustrating facts about these wonderful sea creatures.
Little Raptors & Super Raptors
Transform your party into a dinosaur, fossil and mineral museum! A super fun look at magnificent dinosaur fossil specimens will set the mood for the party. Guests will go to a fossil dig to find the skeleton of a Brachiosaurus, and piece it together like real paleontologists. During the dig, they will find genuine fossils and minerals to keep (5 per child). Enjoy games and go on a dinosaur egg hunt where each child will find a toy dinosaur egg. Super Raptors includes Goody Bags and an upgraded dig (10 take-home pieces).
Dinosaur & Super Dinosaur
Imagine a museum at the nature center! Enjoy an amazing, educational, and fun dinosaur presentation using museum-quality dinosaur, fossil and mineral specimens. Your guests will take home 5 genuine fossils of their choice, ranging from dinosaur bone, trilobites, fossil shark teeth and more. Guests go on a dinosaur egg hunt and even hatch them at the party. The party ends with a ring toss over a life-size T-Rex foot! Each guest will win a toy dinosaur. Super Dinosaur includes Goody Bags and an upgraded dig (10 take-home pieces).
Fossil & Mineral Excavation Package
Want to experience what it's like to be on a real fossil dig? Then check out an excavation party! The party will start with a dinosaur party presentation, followed by a fossil dig. Guests will form excavation teams where each group works on a fossil/mineral excavation block, along with their very own digging tool. Each excavation block is chock full of genuine fossils & minerals. Just like a real paleontologist, guests will excavate their group "block" to find 25-30 unbelievable fossils, minerals and gemstones to take home. Partygoers will identify their discoveries using a fossil ID chart to learn what they unearthed.
- TNC To Go (Classroom visits or home parties)
(Maximum group size is 30 children)
Many of our TNC Educator-led party add-ons are available for off-site parties and can travel to your house or party location. This addition will run for 30 minutes after your one-hour TNC Educator-led scheduled program at your desired location. All add-ons must be done indoors.
- We also are a great Summer Camp option!
Children who like nature love camp at the Tenafly Nature Center! Our professional Environmental Educators lead outdoor activities that are fun and educational: hiking along TNC’s trails, engaging in nature-based crafts, games and activities. Campers will learn to identify native species and understand ecosystems and habitats throughout our nearly 400 acre forest. Sharp-eyed campers may spot native animals that live in TNC’s preserve; from Snapping Turtles to White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkeys, Bullfrogs, and Red-tailed Hawks.
Sign up early, as spots are limited. Don’t let your child miss out on fun, hands-on nature experiences, outdoor discovery, and the chance to explore our native hardwood forest and pond ecosystems.
For ages 4 – 14
- Certified by the State to meet all NJ Youth Camp Safety health and standards
- Full Day Sessions for campers in grades 1 – 8
- Half Day or Full for Preschoolers and Kindergarten Campers
- Led by experienced adult professional educators
- Great teacher to Camper ratio