Kids of all ages can enjoy a variety of family friendly programs offered both at Denning's Point and our location on Main St. in Beacon. Our Park Visitor's Center offers public nature and river education; WOW! For Kids provides live animal experiences and hands-on nature education; Walks & Talks offers naturalist trail walks at Denning's Point; the Art Gallery celebrates and showcases environmental artists collaborating with scientists; and Sensor Place creates hands-on, water science learning at Beacon Main St.
Public and Family Programs at Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries
July 20 - 24; August 3 - 7
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Open to rising kindergarten - 3rd grade students
Early care available
Explore Dennings Point State Park and discover new things about animals, plants and each other through hands-on investigations, daily hikes, nature-based arts, and learning games.
August 10 - 14
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Open to rising 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Beacon City School District
Connect fun with science on Denning's Point where technology, environment, art, and media (TEAM) come together for engaging daily journeys through ecology-based STEM activities.
July 27 – July 31
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Open to 7th and 8th grade students
The Horizons program's mission is to drive genuine and inclusive culture change for middle and high school students from all backgrounds. Our aim is to provide tools to help our participants excel in STEAM and attend college well prepared to pursue employment, advanced degrees and eventually assume leadership roles in STEAM.
Water Ecology Center Offerings
WOW! for Kids provides hands-on nature education by bringing participants face to face with live animals!
Past events have included:
Owl You Need to Know
Meet a live Eastern Screech Owl and uncover the nighttime world of these predators at dark. Learn about the fascinating adaptations owls have developed to survive and thrive in the hours humans rest.
Become a young scientist and learn about the three time periods of the dinosaurs using real fossils and replicas.
Explore and identify field insects around the grounds of our Water Ecology Center and learn about the lifestyles and lifecycles of these fascinating friends.
Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries hosts an annual volunteer day for local community members to get involved in keeping Denning's Point State Park clean for our visitors and wildlife.
Clarkson University's Water Ecology Center (WEC) is located in Denning's Point State Park, in the heart of the city of Beacon's active Hudson River waterfront. The WEC is also a Public Visitor's Center and is located near the entrance to the Denning's Point State Park's public walking trail.
WOW! for Kids, Walk & Talks, and other special events are all hosted at the WEC.
The WEC building and exhibits are open to the public and staffed by educators from Clarkson University's Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Led by regional experts, our Walk & Talks are informative and engaging naturalist trail walks around Denning's Point. They leave from our Water Ecology Center's Public Visitor Center, located near the entrance to the Denning's Point State Park's public walking trail.
Main Street Offerings
Located in the dynamic West End district of Beacon's Main Street, this historic brick storefront houses the Beacon Institute's gallery and administrative headquarters. The gallery showcases river and environmentally themed art and educational exhibits.
"The River" by Evan Turk
Award-winning artist Evan Turk presents "The River," a series of pastel works drawn from life in the Hudson Valley, often en plein air, over an entire year, through all four seasons with themes of continuity, impermanence and change.
Sensor Place is an interactive learning space in our Main Street storefront designed to promote science literacy and environmental awareness for visitors of all ages. The 3D virtual watershed encourages visitors to "play in the sand," bringing forth concepts of hydrology, topography and geomorphology with this real-time sandbox experiment! Create a virtual ecosystem and "make it rain," channel water flows and sculpt the landscape with your bare hands.
Friday 1-5 p.m.
Saturday 3-7 p.m.
2nd Saturday only 3-9 p.m.
Sunday 2-6 p.m.