Ladybug Nature Walks | Public Walks (ages 1-6 with adult)

Young children on a ladybug walk explore an old log.
Ladybug Nature Walks take place in Portland's parks and natural areas. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers explore nature with an adult and join a group led by a nature educator. Children borrow a small backpack of tools for the walk.
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General Information - Ladybug Nature Walks 

  • Nature educators guide children in small groups to notice plants and animals. We move slowly and stop often. Walks are child-directed and open-ended. Children learn through questions, observation, stories, and play.  Adults enjoy discovering new parks and connecting with other caregivers. 
  • Each child gets to borrow a small ladybug backpack for the walk containing a few simple tools for exploring.  
  • Walks take place rain or shine.We are outside 100% of the time. 
  • Walks last one hour.
  • Content is geared for children ages 15 months-6 years. (Younger siblings under 15 months are welcome. Please give us their names and ages when prompted during registration.) 
  • We ask that preschool groups, classrooms, and organizations with more than five children schedule a customized group Ladybug WalkFind information about customized group Ladybug Walks here

Upcoming Walks: Times, dates, and locations

DayDateTimeParkSign up!
TuesSeptember 1910:00-11:00amMidland Park (E Portland)Sign up here!
TuesSeptember 2610:00-11:00amCouncil Crest Park (SW Portland)Sign up here!
TuesOctober 310:00-11:00amColumbia Children's Arboretum (NE)Sign up here!
TuesOctober 1010:00-11:00amSellwood Riverfront Park (SE)Sign up here!
TuesOctober 1710:00-11:00amArgay Park (NE)Sign up here!
TuesOctober 2410:00-11:00amKennilworth Park (SE)Sign up here!
TuesOctober 3110:00-11:00amHalloween at Northgate Park (N)Sign up here!
TuesNovember 710:00-11:00amAlberta Park (NE)Sign up here!
TuesNovember 1410:00-11:00amBerrydale Park (E)Sign up here!
TuesNovember 2110:00-11:00amMt. Tabor Park (SE)Sign up here!
TuesNovember 2810:00-11:00amRiverview Natural Area (SW)Sign up here!

"Access Pass" pricing

Ladybug Walk fees are charged using an "Access Pass" pricing model. Walks are listed as $5 per child. Children 15-24 months need to register but attend for free. With resources from the Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy), we can offer new payment options for City of Portland residents that allow you to choose payment levels based on your needs. Register for a free Access Pass to receive an ongoing discount of 25, 50, 75, or 90%. No proof of income is required. 

When prompted during registration, please list the following information: 

  • First and last name and phone number of the adult attending with the child(ren)
  • First and last name and phone number of any additional adults attending
  • First name of any siblings joining the walk who are younger than 15 months old 

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Adults coming on the walk - we need your help!

When families arrive on site they will be assigned to walk in a group of 5-10 children (and the adults attending with those children). Each group is led by one of our preschool nature educators. This will be your traveling group for the entire program. 

Here are ways we hope you can support us as we guide the group:

  • Plan to be engaged the whole time. (Put aside your phone and mental to-do list. Explore along with your child.)
  • Dress for the weather! Plan for rain. Add a layer. Arrive with footwear that can walk through wet grass or along a muddy trail. 
  • Get curious along with your child. Slow down, get down on the ground, and look around. 
  • Slow your pace. What a gift to have this time to explore together. Take advantage of it. 
  • Let go of having answers. Instead of trying to fill your child's head with facts or things that you think are interesting, follow their lead. Young children are more interested in the process of exploring than caring about names and nature facts. 

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Meet the Educators

Meet the Staff - Field Trips and Ladybug Walk Programs |

Ladybug Backpacks

While exploring with a nature educator, children borrow a small Ladybug backpack containing a few tools that are easy to clean:

  • Magnifying lens
  • Small plastic tub with a lid for collecting
  • Metal Spoon for digging
  • Laminated color wheel for matching
  • Plastic Bug box for looking closely at creatures
  • Plastic paintbrush 
  • Small toy insect for imaginative play

Pictures from previous walks

A family helps make nature soup on a nature walk.
A family helps make nature soup on a nature walk.
Two families connect during a preschool nature walk.
Two families connect during a Ladybug Nature Walk.
An educator works with a family on a walk at an urban park.
An educator works with a family on a walk at an urban park.
A child finds a small bug to put into a bug box.
A child finds a small bug to put into a bug box.
A child and parent use a magnifier to look at a bug on a nature walk.
A child and parent use a magnifier to look at a bug.

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Kelly Rosteck

Coordinator - Environmental Education

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