Winter School Signups

Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center’s winter programs offer unique opportunities for hands-on environmental education and recreation. Our experienced educators allow learners the opportunity to explore subjects and habitats through focused, inquiry-based programs, taking advantage of the magic of the winter season.

Please join us this winter for one of the many field trip opportunities offered for schools and organized groups. Our goal is to provide quality learning experiences that are both educational and engaging, using the outdoors as the classroom. Please note that our fee waiver policy sets aside limited funds for individual students. Classes are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Please call (413) 659-3714 or (800) 859-2960 to register.

We are hoping for a snow-filled January and February and looking forward to speaking with you soon about your winter field trip. Please call Kim Noyes at (413) 659-4462.

Winter ecology … animal tracks… snowshoeing … animal adaptations… fresh air … observation skills … exercise. Northfield Mountain’s environmental education programs support the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework. Visit us this winter!

My students called this the best field trip ever!
—4th Grade teacher, Elm Street School, Gardner, MA

Winter World

Games, puppets and a variety of activities are used to explore the world of winter. Using their senses, students will develop an awareness of winter and the challenges that this season poses to animal survival. A special focus of this program is on shelter and the challenge of staying warm. This program takes place both indoors and outdoors. Pre- and post-visit materials are provided.

Pine Cones and Pizza

Finding food in winter is a challenging task, and is often the key to survival. Games such as Eat and Run, Pizza Bingo and Hurry Up and Hunt introduce students to the difficulty of finding food during the cold season. This program takes place both indoors and outdoors and is a great follow-up to Winter World. The pre- and post-visit curriculum for Winter World serves this program as well.

Twigs and Tracks

The forests and fields at Northfield are alive with animal activity in winter. This program focuses on the adaptations that enable plants and animals to meet the challenge of winter survival. As twig and track detectives, students will search for signs of wildlife on snowshoes (snow permitting). This program includes an indoor and outdoor session with a variety of hands-on activities. Snowshoes and pre- and post-visit materials are provided.

The Hunter and the Hunted

This program focuses on predator-prey adaptations. What makes a predator a successful hunter and prey able to avoid capture? Through games, role playing and outdoor exploration we will study the ecological relationship between predator and prey. Using detective skills, we will learn how to interpret skulls and read the signs these creatures leave behind. This program takes place both indoors and outdoors. Weather permitting, snowshoes will be used. The pre- and post-visit material for Twigs and Tracks serve this program as well.

Winter Recreation Programs: Skiing and Snowshoeing

Trail skiing provides a great opportunity for school groups to experience the winter woods. We have many sets of cross country ski rentals. Self-guided snowshoe hikes are also available for school groups. With minimal practice, students will be able to venture on the trails and experience winter from a different perspective. We have many sets of easy-to-use aluminum snowshoes which are available on a limited basis.

Ski and snowshoe rentals for the discounted school price are available Wednesday through Friday, excluding the Massachusetts winter school holiday weeks. Please call ahead for availability.


  • Trail Ski (own equipment) – $6.00
  • Trail Ski (rental equipment) – $13.00
  • Snowshoeing (own equipment) – n/c
  • Snowshoeing (rental equipment) – $7.00