The Recreation Department at Poricy Park offers a range of science and colonial history programs for preschool and elementary aged students. All programs emphasize hands-on activities and “doing” the things they have learned. And, of course, substantial time outdoors where nature provides a dynamic classroom. We are sensitive to your class’ unique needs. Please reach out for more information on any program.
All start times are adjustable to fit your school’s travel needs. Prices are charged by class of a max of 25 students. Classes over 25 students will be subject to additional charges. Most programs are only offered seasonally. There is no lunchroom, but outdoor picnic facilities are available and winter classes eat in their classroom. There is a gift shop in the Nature Center for post trip shopping (except 4-hour programs). The Nature Center is ADA accessible, but the Murray Farmhouse is not (a historic building). Programs run rain or shine. If weather is prohibitive, programs are adapted and use alternate inside activities. Fossil hunts are rescheduled if stream conditions are hazardous.
Fax: 732-872-8706 (Program Request Form)
Our four hour programs usually run 9:30am-1:45pm. They include a break for lunch.
Barn Raising and Watershed Conservation (1-2 classes per day, grades 3 and up)
Get the best of both worlds with this combination science-history program. Half the day is spent learning about colonial barn raising, using historic tools, and visiting the farmhouse. The other half is about our watershed, the impact of pollution on our water supply, and a hike to “follow a raindrop.”
Geo-Explorer (1 class per day, grades 4 and up)
Become a geologist and paleontologist for the day. Identify rocks and minerals and local fossils, excavate real fossils from mock rocks, and learn the geological history of our earth and the special role of NJ in paleontology.Life on the Murray Farm (1 class per day, grades 3 and up)
What did children do during colonial times? Chores! At our historic farmhouse, interpreters in period dress lead fun activities like gathering food and water, cooking in hearth kitchen, churning butter, going to school and writing with quill pens, and using flint and steel. There might even be some toys and games. Interwoven with the activities is discussion of colonial life, Revolutionary War history, and the story of the farm’s builder Joseph Murray.
Navigator (1 class per day, grades 5 and up)
Introduce your students to the international phenomenon of geocaching. Examine maps and solve challenges with a compass before being sent out for group adventures to find hidden caches using GPS devices.
Pond Study (1 class per day, grades 3-4)
Dive right into life under the water. Hike down to our local pond, learn in our outdoor classroom, and catch and release some of the diverse life found in this watery habitat. Back in our lab classroom, do some fun experiments about the properties of water and gain and understanding of the pond ecosystem as a whole.
These programs usually run 10:00am-1:00pm. They include a short break for lunch.
Pond in Rotation (1-3 classes per day, grades 3-4)
Multiple class friendly, this program is divided into three components: pond netting to identify and count the critters living there, water testing in the classroom, and a hike exploring the park’s watershed.
Farmhouse Life (1 class per day, grades 3 and up)
These programs usually run 10:00am-12:00pm or 10:30am-12:30pm. Outdoor picnic area available after the program.
Fossil Hunt (max of 75 students per day, grades 2 and up)
This trip is a unique opportunity for students to collect their own fossils. The Poricy Brook Fossil beds provide marine fossils 65-72 million years old and our instructors provide the clues about how they got there and how to find them. Get a little wet and take home some history!
Animal Architects (1-3 classes per day, grades PreK-2)
People aren’t the only ones who need a place to live. Find some local examples on a hike, handle examples from all around the animal kingdom in our classroom, and learn the important role of habitat in fun group games.
Barn Raising (1 class per day, grades 3 and up)
Take a trip back in time to our 18th century barn. Students can try their hand at some 18th century tools for construction and processing crops, step down into the root cellar, and of course sample some colonial games. Maybe even learn a little American history along the way.
Conserving Our Watershed (1-2 classes per day, grades 4 and up)
Teach your students about water conservation with a walk through Poricy’s local watershed and observe the impacts of pollution with our model enviroscape.
Creepy Crawlies (1 class per day, PreK-2)
Kids been bugging you? In this program, they will learn how to identify an insect. With an emphasis on ants, they will try out games that reinforce the importance of group cooperation. Also includes a trip outdoors to collect and identify some specimens.
Rebecca Murray’s Children (1 class per day, grades PreK-2)
A gentle introduction to colonial life. Exploration of the garden, handling children’s clothing, playing with toys, and using kitchen tools are all part of the fun. Take a step back in time by visiting the historic rooms of the four colonial children who lived there.
Rocks, Minerals, and Erosion (1-3 classes per day, grades 1-4)
Explore the impacts of erosion, practice identifying common minerals, hike to search for landforms, and color your way through the rock cycle.
Super Senses (1 class per day, alternative and special needs children)
Students explore their senses and relate them to the “super senses” of some animals. Open up the world of nature to each student with a hike, hands-on experiments, and nature hunts.
Winter Habitats (1 class per day, grades K-2)
How are animals and plants adapted to survive the winter? On an outdoor walk, children will search for evidence. Back indoors, they will try some experiments to test their findings.
Scout programs are 90 minutes and scheduled for after school or weekends. Programs fulfill or partially fulfill current badge requirements for both Girl scouts and Cub Scouts. "Heritage" programs are also still available.
- Green Petal
- Rose Petal
- Bugs (Naturalist Legacy, steps 1-5)
- Hiker (World of Water Journey, steps 1-5)
- Home Scientist (Quest Journey, steps 1-5)
- Inventor (World of Girls Journey, steps 1-5)
- Senses (World of Water Journey, steps 1-5)
- Animal Habitats (aMUSE Journey, steps 1-5)
- Camper (Get Moving Journey, steps 1-2, 4)
- Flowers (Naturalist Journey, steps 1-5)
- Gardener (Get Moving Journey, steps 1-5)
- GeoCacher (aMUSE Journey, steps 1-4)
- Playing the Past (aMUSE Journey, steps 1-5)
- Scribe (Agent of Change Journey, steps 1, 3-4)
- Trailblazing (Breathe Journey, steps 1-4)
- Trees (Naturalist Journey, steps 1-5)
- Adventurer (Sow What? Journey, steps 1-4)
- Textile Artist (Sow What? Journey, steps 1-5)
- Backyard Jungle (steps 1-5)
- Tigers in the Wild (steps 1-4, 6-7)
- Sky is the Limit Elective (steps 1-7)
- Tiger Tales Elective (steps 1-7)
- Council Fire (steps 1, 3-6)
- Paws on the Path (steps 1-8)
- Air of the Wolf Elective (steps 1-4)
- Digging in the Past Elective (steps 1-6)
- Finding Your Way Elective (steps 1-5)
- Grow Something Elective (steps 1-5)
- Fur Feathers, and Ferns (steps 1-7)
- Paws for Action (steps 1, 3)
- Super Science Elective (steps 1-6)
- Webelos Walkabout (steps 1-3, 5-8)
- Adventures in Science AOL Elective (1-3)
- Earth Rocks! AOL Elective (1-8)
- Castaway! AOL Elective (1-2)
- Into the Wild AOL Elective (1, 3-9)
- Into the Woods AOL Elective (1-7)
Celebrate your birthday at Poricy Park. Two hour parties with time for you to have your cake and eat it, too.
Fun with Fossils, April-October, ages 5+
Creatures of the Pond, April-October, ages 7-12
Branching into Nature, March-December, ages 3-5
Colonial Kids, March-November, ages 5-12
Geocache Quest, March-December, ages 10-12