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Nature & Outdoor Recreation

Dillon Nature Center provides our community with several nature recreation activities, educational programs, and outdoor exploration for all ages and abilities.


Programs & Activities

  • School Programs & Field Trips
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    School groups, PTO leaders, 4-H members, Scout troops, and other youth groups looking for a unique, educational experience are invited to book a program or field trip on the nature center grounds. Our qualified nature center staff work with groups of all ages and sizes to provide the best option, whether it’s an hour-long program or half-day/full-day adventure.

    Past educational programs and field trips have included:

    • Sensory Walk
    • Spider Web Wonders
    • Arbor Day (4th-graders)
    • Rocks & Minerals
    • Pond Study
    • STEM classes
    • Canoeing

    To discuss a future outing with your group, contact DNC Director, Tony Helfrich at

    Click to download our School Program Information Sheet

  • Nature Programs
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    Adult Enrichment Activities:

    • Birdhouses
    • Ladies Spa Night
    • Home Decor Classes
    • Taylors’ Shady Lane Lecture Series

    Register for Activities


    Youth Enrichment Activities:

    • Preschool & Grade School Nature Hikes
    • Little Sprouts – Parent & Me Classes
    • Junior Naturalist
    • STEM Classes

    Register for Activities

  • Outdoor Adventure Camp
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    It’s a tradition like none other! For 50 years, Dillon Nature Center has hosted this popular Outdoor Adventure Camp each summer.

    Adventure Camp:

    This week-long camp is for youth who have finished Kindergarten through 6th grade. Sessions are available throughout the summer and are divided into K-3 and 4-6 grades. Campers enjoy canoeing, archery, fishing, hiking, nature observation, & crafts.

    Preschool Nature Camp:

    This camp is exclusively for preschoolers ages 3-5 years old. Preschoolers will enjoy crafts, story time, hiking, nature observation & counselor-led canoeing in this week-long camp that is held in the mornings

    Register for Activities

  • Fitness Classes
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    Several Hutch Rec MINDBODY fitness classes are held at Dillon Nature Center, including:

    • Yoga
    • Tai Chi
    • Meditation

    MINDBODY Fitness Class Line-Up

Special Events

  • Get Everyone Outdoors Month
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    Get Everyone Outdoors (or GEO Month, for short) celebrates all things outdoor the entire month of April. Dillon Nature Center joins several community partners and hosts outdoor activities and events for all ages, most of them little to no cost. The GEO Month schedule is released in March.

  • Lesser Known Lovelies Plant Sale
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    Mark your calendars for our annual Lesser Known Lovelies Plant Sale, held each year the last Friday and Saturday in April. These Lesser Known Lovelies are grown by our DNC volunteers and can withstand the dry, hot, and windy Kansas summers. Friday night is a DNC members-only sale, while the Saturday morning sale is open to the public.

  • Summer Concert Series
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    Dillon Nature Center partners with the Hutchinson Symphony, Hutchinson Municipal Band, and other musical acts for these special outdoor performances, held in the summer months on the lawn of the Mary Clark Community Courtyard. Concerts are free and family-friendly; all that’s needed is a blanket or chair to sit on while enjoying beautiful music against an even prettier, natural backdrop.

  • Walmart/O.K. Kids Fishing Day
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    Our Fishing Day promotes the life-long skill and sport of fishing and is for families with children 13 and younger. This free event is traditionally held the first Saturday in June, and includes a morning of fishing on the nature center’s upper pond, as well as lunch provided by our sponsors.

  • Foodie Fest on the Trail
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    Foodie Fest celebrates the local growers and food providers in our community. This free, family-friendly event includes a Farmer’s Market set up along the trails, entertainment from local musicians, cooking and gardening demonstrations, local speakers, and much more.

    Foodie Fest is traditionally held the first Sunday afternoon in August.

  • Farm to Table Dinner
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    Delight your tastebuds with an exquisite Farm to Table meal, featuring local producers and chefs in our community and held in the beautiful backdrop of the Mary Clark Community Courtyard. Foodies will enjoy a three-course dinner, dessert, and drinks.

    Our Farm to Table Dinner is held in September Tickets go on sale in the summer.

  • SpookWalk
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    Treat your little ghosts and goblins to this non-scary Halloween event, held the third Friday and Saturday in October each year. This family-friendly event is for families with children 12 and younger, and includes a walk along the trails at the nature center with special performances and friendly “spooks” by the Family Community Theatre.

    Tickets go on sale online in late September/early October. Click the link below to purchase tickets.

Dillon Nature Center Strategic Plan

Read Dillon Nature Center’s Strategic Plan. In 2023 this plan was made and aims to provide clear guidance for future resource allocation, ensuring the long-term sustainability of DNC. Through this plan, we are committed to preserving and enhancing our natural spaces for generations to come.

DNC Strategic Plan