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Youth Programs in the Fells

Friends of the Fells youth programs provide nature-based learning opportunities for children (ages 4-10 and older) to engage in a self-guided exploration of the forest, helping develop their curiosity, critical thinking, and sense of connection with nature.  Our highly-trained instructors use positive reinforcement to build empathy and communication about the natural world.




Forest Kindergarten in the Middlesex Fells

Announcing Spring and Summer programs in the Fells geared at children ages 4-6.

In summer the Friends of the Fells offers classes for our youngest forest learners (ages 4-5) in two fun time slots: morning (9-11:30 AM) and early afternoon (12:30-3 PM). There is also programming for older children (ages 6-10) available (see below and at right for details).  All programs depart from the DCR Botume House, 4 Woodland Rd, Stoneham.*  All forest program activities will be scaled to the age, aptitude, and interest of the participants.

img_1909Unlike our other Fells family programs for children ages 0-3+, Forest Kindergarten and other youth programs allow parents to drop their children off for a period of up to 2.5 hours each day.

We take shelter indoors in the case of heavy rain or lightning, but children otherwise spend the entire time outdoors exploring Spot Pond and the adjacent forest.  This place-based, rain-or-shine approach to education lets children connect meaningfully with our shared environment.

Thanks for your interest in Fells Forest Programs!

Note: If you join the Friends, you will receive free admission to select events and support our mission of sharing the woods with the children of the community. To find out whether your Friends of the Fells membership is current, visit our Join page.  In addition to supporting our mission, your generosity helps to pay for our programming, scholarships, and financial aid for others.

Please donate here to support us — just $25 goes a long way towards providing environmental education opportunities for all.

Youth Programs for ages 4-10+

Registration for 2018 youth programs has closed. We hope everyone had a great time — or is about to have fun — this summer!



The DCR asks parents to park at the nearby Boating in Boston site (see map). Just a quick shortcut to the DCR Botume House Visitor Center site saves congestion for all.

Thank you.

















Youth Programs in the Middlesex Fells

The Friends of the Fells also offers Youth Programs for older forest learners (ages 6-10), including after-school.  See registration links (top right) for details.   We will also run programs for children ages 11+ provided demonstrated interest.

All instructors for all our Youth Programs will be CPR/First Aid certified and will have passed a CORI background check.

Parent/caregiver + instructor info. page – INCLUDES REQUIRED waiver for 2018.

  • School-year sessions will be capped at six (6) children per day and will be canceled if fewer than four (4) children are enrolled.
  • Sessions for summer will be capped at ten (10) children per day and canceled with fewer than four (4) children.
  • Two (2) instructors will be present at all times.

The total cost for each session varies according to schedule length (see links). However, we offer limited financial assistance to those in need, and invite those who wish to inquire about this option to contact Ann Frenning Kossuth, our Youth Programs Director.

Please respect our age ranges, and please know that we can no longer issue refunds, but we may be able to give you credit for other programs, and please work with us to let us know about your child’s needs.  Thank you.

We also offer free programs for parents/caregivers with children ages 0-3+: Babes in the Woods / Hike ‘ Seek.

Work for Friends of the Fells (forest instructor application)


School and Scout Group information

The Friends of the Fells continues to benefit from a $100K for 100 Cummings Foundation grant.

We are a proud grantee of the Cummings Foundation, whose support is helping us grow our environmental educational programming to reach hundreds of students every year.  Click to learn more about these consequential grants from the Cummings Foundation.