WOW! for Kids

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.

Jr. Paleontologist
Become a young scientist and learn about the three time periods of the dinosaurs using real fossils and replicas. 

WOW! Bugtastic
Explore and identify field insects around the grounds of our Water Ecology Center and learn about the lifestyles and lifecycles of these fascinating friends.

Sensor Place

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. 

2019 Hours:
Friday 1-5 p.m.
Saturday 3-7 p.m.
2nd Saturday only 3-9 p.m.
Sunday 2-6 p.m.

Park Visitor's Center

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. 

Walk & Talks

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. 

Park Cleanup

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. 

Art Gallery

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. 

Current Exhibit:
"The River" by Evan Turk
October 2019

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.

Upcoming Events:
History Talk: "Born in Clay and Fire"
Co-presented with Beacon Historical Society
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 7 p.m.
Beacon Institute Gallery | 199 Main St.

Dr. Michael Conrad, a business and environmental historian, and executive officer of Clarkson's Beacon Institute, will present "Born in Clay and Fire," in partnership with Beacon Historical Society, examining Italian immigrants and African-American workers who transformed Hudson area clay into the brick building blocks of the New York Metropolis.

Register Now