Dahlem holds special events throughout the year. These events revolve around what is happening in the natural world, and celebrate our connection with plants and animals. They are designed with something to suit all tastes and are a fun and interesting way to learn about nature and the great outdoors. For more information on any of our events, call (517) 782-3453 or contact us. Also, be sure to check out our Partner Organizations page.
Program Codes – (A) Adult | (F) Family | (C) Child
Young Families Scavenger Hunt (F)
Saturdays, August 23 and 30
10:00 – 11:30 AM
Young families with children ages 3-5 years old are invited to join us for a child-centered scavenger hunt and exploration. On the 23rd we are leading a traditional scavenger hunt, while the program on the 30th is insect-themed. Each family will get a scavenger hunt sheet, clipboard and pencil when Becky Schweizer, our preschool teacher, explains the hunt. Fee: Each session is $5/member family; $10/non-member family. Older and younger siblings are welcome.
Faerie Fest & Dragon Days (A) (F) (C)
Saturday, September 13
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Join us for our third annual celebration of the outdoors, imagination and childhood. Children of any age (from 1 to 101) are invited to come out and build a faerie house or dragon lair in one of the five enchanted neighborhoods at the Dahlem Center. Come a week early to stake your claim! On the day of the festival, build your house/lair, visit various enchanted characters, and patronize our mystical vendors. Family and child-friendly activities are scheduled throughout the day, including a dragon egg hunt, and the Grande Tour of Homes at 3:00. Fee: $5/house or lair.
Sunday, September 21
Members of our community gardnens are invited to share their harvest and gardening experiences at the annual fall potluck. Bring your favorite dish (or a new one) that hails from your garden. FREE – just call to let us know you are coming!
Great Lakes Bat Festival (F) (A) (C)
Saturday, September 27
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
We will be at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor today as part of the Organization for Bat Conservation’s
13th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival! This event celebrates our only flying mammals: the bats. Meet live bats, learn what important roles they play in our ecosystems, and how each of us can help these misunderstood animals. Lots of vendors and activities. Great fun for the whole family! Good information for conservation professionals, too! For more information: www.batconservation.org/education.bat-festival or call The Bat Zone at the Cranbrook Institute at 248-645-3232.
GMOs – What Are They & Should We Care? (A)
Sunday, September 28
GMOs – they are in the news everywhere, but what are they? What is the difference between a genetically modified organism and a hybrid? Are there side effects from consuming GMO products? How can you tell if a food is a GMO? Special guest speaker Mitzi Koors will answer these questions and more. Fee: members free; non-members $5.
Fall Family Fun (F)
Saturday, October 4
It’s fall! Now is the perfect time to go outside as a family and play in the woods. Come out and play with us as
we venture into the forest to create a shelter that will keep you warm and dry (we’ll put it to the test). Wear old clothes and be prepared to have fun! Fee: $5/member family; $10/non-member family.
Staying Found (C 11-14 yrs)
Saturday, October 11
10:30 AM – Noon
Learning how to use a compass is key to many outdoor situations. GPS units can have battery failure, and what
if you can’t get a signal? If you can read a map and use a compass, however, you will never get lost! This fun program introduces children to the compass – they learn its parts, how it works, and how to use it correctly. Lots of fun games and activities. Fee: $10/member; $15/non-member. Minimum registration: 5.
Benefit Breakfast (A)
Wednesday, October 15
Dahlem’s annual fundraiser, our Benefit Breakfast, takes place this Wednesday at the Gene Davis Convention Center on Francis Avenue. If you’d like to join us, give us a call! We’d love to have you spend an hour with us to learn about the exciting things Dahlem did this year and what we have planned for the future…with your help. Table Captains are also needed – contact Brenda at 517-782-3453 if you’d like to help by filling a table with your friends and colleagues.
Cranes, Colors & Cabernet
Saturday, October 18
Sandhill Crane Vineyards, Jackson Audubon Society, Michigan Audubon Society, Legacy Land Conservancy, MDNR and Dahlem’s own Gary Siegrist are joining forces for this annual celebration of the greater sandhill crane, autumn in Michigan, and the production of the vineyard’s newest vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. There will be wine-tasting all day and a guided crane watch at Haehnle Sanctuary at 4:00 PM. For more information: www.thebig400.com/events/cranes-colors-cabernet.
Goblin Walks (F) (C) (A)
Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25
6:30 – 9:30 PM
Halloween is here! The pumpkins have been gathered, carved and lit, and we await your visit to our ever popular not-so-scarey Goblin Walks! Walk the pumpkin-lit trail to watch several skits, new and returning favorites, about some of nature’s most misunderstood critters. Treats and songs wrap up the walk at the Pavilion. Great Halloween fun for visitors of all ages. Spaces fill very quickly, so call early to reserve your spot(s). Fee: $5/member; $8/nonmember.
Tuesday Morning Nature Group
Every Tuesday morning we set out for a new nature adventure. Some trips are here at Dahlem, while others go off-site to explore new places. Birds, flowers, geology, trees, wetlands, forests, grasslands…we never know just what might be awaiting us around the next bend. Come join us! The group often goes out to lunch together afterwards. Free (the program, not the lunch).