Outdoor Nature Activities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex

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An Array of Offerings

The goal of Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is to connect kids with nature – with the hope to inspire within them, as well as their parents, families and teachers, a deeper appreciation for the environment.

The Heard’s education department offers innovative programs designed for all age groups, interests and abilities. Programs include guided nature trails, live animal presentations, a preschool program, homeschool science classes, summer camps, adult and teacher workshops and more.


Field trips, laboratory workshops, scouting programs and merit badge classes are available by reservation from September through May.

Guests canoeing


3-Hour Wetland Canoe Trails at the Heard

Experience the amazing diversity in wetland vegetation and wildlife while learning about the history and basics of wetland ecology. After a safety and canoeing introduction, spend about 40 minutes on a guided trail around the Heard wetlands, followed by free paddle time to explore on your own.

No experience is necessary for any of the paddle programs. All participants will be given an introduction to canoeing that includes basic strokes, boat safety, and flat water maneuvers.




Member Rate: $32 per person

Non-Member Rate: $42 per person


February 19th  1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

March 5th 2:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M. 

March 26th 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

April 30th 10 A.M. – 1 P.M.

May 21st 10 A.M. – 1 P.M. 

Additional Information

Min age: 7 years

All canoe & safety equipment provided.

Each canoe holds up to 3 people. 

Pre-registration is required.



Participant Information

Waiver of Liability and Release of Claims


Heard canoes are not available for personal use. Canoeing at the Heard is only available by reservation for groups or during pre-scheduled canoeing events.


Custom Canoe Programs

A limited number of canoe programs are available only by reservation and as water levels permit (often, the water levels are only suitable from February through May) for groups of 12 or more. The cost for these programs start at $25 per person and varies depending on program offerings

Nature Story Times

This program has currently been suspended due to COVID-19 considerations. 


These story times are designed primarily for young children and will introduce a different nature-themed book each week. During most of the story times, a puppet, live animal or enrichment items will be included to enhance the experience.



General Admission


Currently suspended due to Covid-19

Additional Information

Story Times are available for groups of 10 or more by reservation only. Please contact us at info@heardmuseum.org for more information.

Garden Talks

We offer a unique combination of indoor and outdoor activities that will enhance your knowledge of native plants and more. Plus, experience a tour of a wonderful display of trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, ground covers and perennials native to the Lone Star State in our native plant gardens. These gardens demonstrate how native plants can be used in urban garden settings.


Garden talks and tours may be scheduled by any adult group of 10 or more persons. Groups of 9 or fewer persons are subject to a flat fee (see Payment Procedures tab).


Talks are available by reservation only. We ask that groups place a reservation request at least two weeks prior to the requested date. Our reservation request form does not create a reservation or hold a date. It is only a request for us to contact you for confirmation. Requests will be processed in the order they were received during our normal business office hours (Tuesdays through Fridays).

Schedule a Garden Talk


Adults: $11

Seniors 60+: $9


Includes gardening talk, tours of Heard native plant gardens and parking


Currently suspended due to Covid-19

Additional Information

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  • Pre-payment is required for all reservations.
  • A minimum group size of 10 adults is required to be eligible for the group rate (in lieu of a group of 10 or more persons, groups of 9 or fewer may pay a flat $100 fee. 
  • Fees are non-refundable except in cases of inclement weather (see below).
  • The educational program pricing does not include museum general admission. Guests may add general admission to their trip for an additional $8 per person.
  • Reservations made 6+ weeks in advance of your adult garden group trip date: a 25% NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is due within 10 days of making your reservation. You will be emailed a confirmation letter/invoice within 3 to 5 business days. Deposit payments may be made through this form. 
  • Reservations made less than 4 weeks prior to your adult garden group trip date: FULL PAYMENT is due at time of reservation. A Confirmation Letter/Invoice will be emailed to you within 1-3 business days.
  • You have up to 4 weeks prior to your field trip date to call and final make modifications to your invoice. Please call Central Reservations at 972-562-5566 x 241. Any additional participants after that time cannot be guaranteed a guided tour. Please let us know of any changes as soon as possible.
  • Refunds or Credits will not be granted for having fewer participants on the day of your adult garden group trip than what is represented on the invoice.
  • Additional participants not included in the reservation (including Heard Museum members) must pay the applicable program fees at check-in on the day of your field trip.
  • Inclement Weather: Please DO NOT assume your activity is cancelled. An inclement weather refund will not be issued to “no shows.” We hold programs rain or shine, and cancel only for heavy rain, thunder and lightning, or icy conditions. If we cancel, we will try to reschedule for another date that works for you. If we cannot schedule another time, a full refund will be issued. You will be contacted via the phone number provided on your Reservation Form, and we will contact you as soon as possible. The Heard Museum closes when the McKinney Independent School District cancels and follows delayed openings. Your adult garden group trip will be considered cancelled by us under these conditions.
  • Cancellations without penalty: the Heard Museum must receive a written cancellation notice 4 weeks prior to your field trip date (by email to info@heardmuseum.org or through the mail at the following mailing address:  Heard Museum Natural Science Museum, Attn: Education Reservations, 1 Nature Place, McKinney, Texas 75069).

Cancellation Fees

  • 75% Refund: Written notification received at least 4 weeks prior to field trip date.
  • NO REFUND: Cancellations within 4 weeks of field trip date. Includes illness and inclement weather cancellations not made by the Heard Natural Science Museum.
  • NO REFUND: Written notification not received.
  • Group leaders are responsible for arriving ten minutes early for all scheduled activities.
  • Group leaders need to report to the front desk of the main building for check-in.
  • Unless you have been notified otherwise, please use the bus drop-off inlet located directly in front of the museum building on Nature Place road.
  • After check-in, group leaders should station their group participants in the circular garden directly in front of the building. Groups should remain in the garden until greeted by a Heard Staff Member or Docent who will direct your scheduled activities.
  • We request that all vehicles larger than passenger vans adhere to our parking and drop-off guidelines as advised by signage posted on Nature Place road. Vehicles larger than passenger vans should not park or unload in the first parking lot unless you receive other instructions.
  • Groups that arrive over fifteen minutes late cannot be guaranteed a full tour or complete educational program unit.
  • Send your Group Leader inside to the front desk to check-in with the following information
    • Total number of adults
    • Name of Group
    • Type of Activity
  • At this time, the Group Leader will pay for any participants not accounted for in the reservation (including Heard Museum members) and receive further instructions for the day’s activities. Refunds or Credits will not be granted for having fewer participants on the day of your field trip than what is represented on the invoice.
  • Adult garden group participants should be prepared for going outside in all weather.
  • Closed-toe shoes and long pants are the recommended attire for a visit to the Museum & Sanctuary for both students and adults.
  • Insect Repellent and sunscreen are advisable. Applying repellent is time consuming so PLEASE APPLY REPELLENTS PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL.
  • Hairspray, perfume & cologne attract insects!
  • Nametags for each group member identifying the person can be very helpful.


  • No one under 18 is allowed inside the Museum or on the Sanctuary unaccompanied.
  • Smoking is prohibited on The Heard Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary property.
  • Help us to preserve our environment. Please do not pick flowers, pull leaves from plants, disturb spider webs, disturb animals, or collect any natural items while you are visiting.
  • Group Leaders are responsible for ensuring the group’s appropriate behavior throughout the entire visit. To guarantee a pleasant visit for all our guests, the Museum reserves the right to remove any individual or group from the premises.
  • If group leaders have questions about any aspect of the field trip or the expectations of chaperones, please ask for assistance from Heard staff.
  • Picnic areas are the only place where food can be consumed.
  • Please store your lunches on the bus until you are ready to eat or leave them in your designated picnic area in marked coolers or containers. Lunches may not be stored inside the museum.
  • Please use the trash and recycling containers located in the picnic areas. Due to the number of wild animals on our sanctuary, containment and proper disposal of your trash is very important.
  • In the case of inclement weather we cannot guarantee an available eating area inside the museum.

For additional information, contact Amy Monroy at amonroy@heardmuseum.org 

Art & Science Workshops

Enjoy workshops featuring opportunities to learn new techniques and create art inspired by nature and science.

May 2 – Mini Plein Air Watercolor Painting Workshop
Naturalists often keep a journal to record their explorations of the natural world. Make a journal to use during camp and take it home to keep using on your own.





Price (per mini camp)

Member Rate: $35

Non-Member Rate: $40

Pre-registration required


Mini Plein Air Watercolor Painting Workshop

May 2, 1-3 p.m.

Guided Trails

Experience the ecology, geology, flora and fauna of the Heard Sanctuary.

Led by our trained guides, your group will spend 45-60 minutes hiking our unique landscape. See the schedule below for dates. 


Have a group of 10 or more? 

We may be able to arrange a private hike for your group; contact us for availability. Available September through May, as scheduled.


October 23,2021 2pm
January 22,2022 2pm
February 12,2022 10am
April 2,2022 10am



Price (per mini camp)

$10 per child (age 3-12)
$13 per adult chaperone


Admission to museum included. Please note that many scouts participate in this program; however, all members of the public are welcome. Each scout must have a responsible adult in attendance; one adult may bring up to 10 scouts. For every 10 paid scouts, get one (1) adult free (when paid for and reserved simultaneously with all 10 scouts).

More Info