Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

Outreach Programs

Let the Nature Center come to you! We offer virtual education programs for your classroom, summer camp, library, or retirement community! Our Outreach Educator will bring hands-on education and living animal ambassadors to your screen through our distance learning programs!

*Onsite, guided programs and offsite, in-person programs have been postponed for the 20-21 school year.

Self-guided tours of the WNC Nature Center are available for interested school groups, subject to public health guidelines.  Reservations are required.  For more information and to reserve your visit date, please contact Jordan Rutherford at

Guided Virtual Programs

All Virtual School Group Programs are offered Monday through Friday, 10am to 3pm. There is a limit of 30 students per program, and programs always involve meeting a live animal guest!

Virtual Auditorium programs are offered year round and include meeting two live animal guests! 
Pre-recorded programs are also offered year round and can be tailored to fit the needs of your group.

Virtual Small Group Programs

Run, Slither, Swim
(30 minutes)

Grade Level: K
NC Essential Standards: K.P.1.2, K.L.1.2

There are a lot of different types of animals in this world, and they all move in special ways! We’ll be slithering, fluttering, and crawling around the room in animal fashion and discovering an author who writes about how animals travel in this program focusing on body movement.

From Eggs to Legs
(30 minutes)

Grade Level: K-2nd
NC Essential Standards: K.L.1.2, 1.L.1.1, 2.L.1.1, 2.L.1.2

Metamorphosis in action! This interactive programs focuses on the life cycles of frogs and butterflies. Students will have the opportunity to get creative and move their bodies while reviewing the details of metamorphosis.

What's on the Menu?
(30 minutes)

Grade Level: K-6th
NC Essential Standards: K.L.1.2, 1.L.1.2, 2.L.1.2, 4.L.1.2, 5.L.2.2, EX.6.L.3
Program only available Tuesdays/Thursdays.

It's snack time at the Nature Center! This delicious program focuses on the diets of native reptiles and amphibians. We'll review their life cycles or where they fall in the food chain (dependent on grade level) and examine biofacts from our scaly and slimy friends. Students will also have the opportunity to watch a live reptile or amphibian feeding session!

Match the Life Cycle
(30 minutes)

Grade Level: 1st-3rd
NC Essential Standards: 2.L.1.1, 2.L.1.2

Every animal has a unique way of growing up! This program explores the life cycle of reptiles, birds, and mammals using an interactive memory card game. Put your students' memories to the test with this unique lesson!

Animal Inventors
(30-45 minutes)

Grade Level: 1st-5th
NC Essential Standards: 1.L.1.1, 1.L.1.2, 1.L.2.2, EX.2.L.1.1, EX.2.L.1.2, EX.2.L.2.1, EX.2.L.2.2

What if a fox could fly and breathe underwater? What sort of home does an owl with laser eyes live in? It's all up to you! Students will invent an animal and have the opportunity to share with the group. After sharing their creations, we'll compare them to the animals that live in Western North Carolina! Teachers choose a theme: adaptations or habitats.

Food Webs
(45 minutes)

Grade Level: 4th-6th
NC Essential Standards: 4.L.1.1, 5.L.2.1, 5.L.2.3, 6.L.2.1

This interactive review show how energy travels through an ecosystem. Students will be given the opportunity to create their own food chains and work with our educator to build a food web. We'll explore how all living things are connected and how important each link is within the web.

Ask a Zookeeper
(45 minutes)

Grade Level: K-12th

Have you ever wondered what a cougar eats or how to take care of a snake? Do your students want to know what it's like to work in a zoo or where our keepers went to college? Our educator will answer all your questions and more during this session! Get curious and come prepared with questions!

Virtual Auditorium Program - Fur, Feathers, and Scales

Grade Level: Variable
Program Length: 60 minutes
An opportunity for students to learn the importance of preservation and conservation through a one-hour presentation (45-minute presentation/15-minute Q&A) with two live animal guests and bio-facts, including animal skeletons, skins, feathers, skulls, and more. 

Recorded Programs

Grade Level: Variable
Program Length: 30-45 minutes
An unique opportunity to share an interactive animal education program with your facility! Recorded programs can be created around a variety of themes and include the following elements: Nature Center critter footage, bio-facts (wing, skulls, pelts, etc.), and two live animal ambassador spotlights! Please reach out to for more details and to reserve a program.

To schedule a program, please email or use the Reserve Tab.

Program Fees

Small Group Programs – Schools, Home School Groups, Private Facilities, & Government Agencies

  • Public Schools and Home School Groups: $50 for first live program; $25 for additional programs (Asheville City School programs are free)
  • Private Schools and Other Facilities: $75 for first live program; $25 for additional programs

Auditorium Program

  • $200 per live program

Recorded Programs

  • $150 for 30 minute program
  • $200 for 45 minute program

Virtual Program Reservation Inquiry

Please submit the requested information to inquire about having a distance learning program for your organization. Submitting this form does not guarantee your reservation. You may also email to see about program availability.