The following programs occur on an annual and/or ongoing basis, and are for children ages PreK-12 and the entire family.

View programs for the following children’s age groups:

Visit our events page to see all of Merry Lea’s upcoming events and to register.

Preschool Ages

Tales & Trails

Hear a tale and hike a trail with your preschooler to discover the natural
wonders around you together! Children and their caregiver(s) gather for a short story that incites curiosity before exploring different places around Merry Lea. This is a 1.5-hour monthly program designed for children ages 3-5, with younger siblings welcome to join, led by a Merry Lea educator.

When: Last Tuesday of every month (except December)

For more information about Tales & Trails, click the button.

Nature Preschool

The outdoors provides rich opportunities for variety, movement and
creativity that can be supplemented with additional tools, hands-on activities and student agency. Merry Lea provides nature preschool in collaboration with Central Noble Primary School (CNP), Wolf Lake, Ind. and the Cole Center Family YMCA, Kendallville, Ind. Preschoolers spend each morning learning in their indoor classroom at CNP before exploring Merry Lea’s outdoor classroom in the afternoon for two hours in rain, shine or snow.

When: Monday – Thursday during the school year

For more information about Nature Preschool, click the button.

Elementary Ages

PROWL After-School Program

PRogram for Outdoor Wilderness Learning (PROWL) is an after-school
program for Central Noble K – 5th grade students. Students explore the local wilderness of Merry Lea with hands-on activities focusing on different habitats. We learn through hiking, playing, creating and having fun!

When: Tuesdays & Thursdays during the school year (varies between grades)

Please contact us at for more information.


Spring Break Day Camp

Looking for a way to keep your student entertained during spring break?
Merry Lea hosts a Spring Break Day Camp for students in K – 5th grades.
Students participate in hands-on activities grouped by age for fun, outdoor exploration.

When: April 3rd-6th

Click Here To Register


High School Ages

Conservation Leadership School

Merry Lea hosts high school students for a week focused on exploring
what it means to conserve natural resources in northern Indiana. The week includes workshops, activities, and student-developed projects for developing communication and leadership skills. Participants explore our 1200-acre nature preserve through hiking, canoeing, camping, swimming, dipping for macroinvertebrates, banding birds, and more.

When: June 5 – 9, 2023

Click Here To Register


All Ages

Homeschool Programs

Each year, Merry Lea hosts programs for homeschooled students covering
a range of natural history and environmental topics. During homeschool programs, students spend a significant portion of time outdoors to take advantage of Merry Lea’s wonderfully diverse landscapes. Students are grouped by age for trail explorations to provide age appropriate instruction.

For more information about Homeschool Programs, click the button.