visit the learning center

event list

kayak and boat tours

Join us for a variety of special events developed to deliver positive, rewarding experiences that increase awareness and understanding of the value of coastal ecosystems. Signature events include National Estuaries Day, which is a celebration of estuaries for the entire family! This annual day of fun takes place on the last Saturday in September. The Southwest Florida Nature Festival is a great way to learn about the wildlife, and wild places, this area has to offer. And there's no better way to show your support than participating in the Batfish Bash For the Bay, the Friends of Rookery Bay's annual fundraiser.

The learning at Rookery Bay doesn’t stop just because school is out- be sure to visit the Environmental Learning Center in the summer for Kids FREE Fridays, where kids, parents, and grandparents can enjoy a day of fun!

Winter Soltice

Dec. 20, 2014

In celebration of Winter Solstice, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers "buy one, get one free admission." Higher price prevails. Cannot be combined with other offers.

America Recycles Day

recycles-event-bagit-250Nov. 15, 2014

In celebration of America Recycles Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers "buy one, get one free admission." We will be showing "Bag It - is your life too plastic?" as the featured film in our auditorium. 




Track & Treat

Bear TracksOct. 31 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Join us Friday, Oct. 31 for our first annual "Track and Treat" event, suitable for all ages. Meet creepy critters, dissect owl pellets, and test your detective skills for tracking animals. Children are encouraged to wear costumes IF they are suitable for walking on the trails and participating in the craft activities. Activities are included in regular admission. Must pay at door, no registration necessary. Admission fees waived if dressed in costume!

Kids FREE Fridays

Kids Free FridayKids FREE Fridays: June through August

This summer education program provides FREE admission for children ages 12 and younger who are accompanied by an adult ($5).

**Up to 5 children per paying adult.

Lunch will be available for purchase from Hot Dogs 2 Go  from 11 am - 1 pm.

Scheduled Activities:
• 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. - Story Time (auditorium)
• 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Lunch for Sale (gallery)


• 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. – Naturalist Presentation (auditorium)
• 12:30 & 2 p.m. – IMAX Feature Film (auditorium)

Ongoing activities: (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
• Touch Tank
• Kid's Crafts






Darwin Day

Feb. 5 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

In celebration of the birthday of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers "buy one, get one free admission." Higher price prevails. Cannot be combined with other offers.

Charity Fishing Tournament

November 7-8, 2014

The Friends of Rookery Bay and Coastal Conservation Association of Florida have teamed up to present the Guardian Anglers all-release charity fishing tournament.

more info

Annual Rookery Bay Adventure Race

Kayak RaceNovember 22, 2014

Enjoy a 3k kayak along Henderson Creek and a 4k trail run at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center to benefit the Friends of Rookery Bay. All participants will receive a t-shirt, post-race refreshments, and free admission to the Environmental Learning Center! Awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each category: men, women, relays, and tandem kayakers.

Registration is limited to 70 people.

Click here to download the race flyer. (989kb)


The race is sponsored by Up A Creek Kayak Tours and benefits Friends of Rookery Bay, with support from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Movie Mania!

Dec. 29 - 31 & Jan. 2 - 3 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Bring the whole family and enjoy a selection of nature films! Movie mania is held in the auditorium where the amphitheater-style, cushioned seating will give everyone a great view of the film with ample room to relax! Film selections are subject to change. Only family-friendly films will be shown.  


Holiday Crafts for Kids

holiday-crafts-sDec. 22, 23, 24 & 27 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Make wildlife crafts such as cabbage palm reindeers and more. Activities are geared to children ages 6 to 12. FREE with Environmental Learning Center admission ($5 adults, $3 kids 6-12, FREE for kids under 6).

Southwest Florida Nature Festival

Registration is now open for nearly 40 guided field trips to wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida. Click here for all the details!


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