Weekend Programs

There is always something going on at the Highlands Center! We host an abundance of special events and educational programs on Saturdays from April through October. Some event examples are our Grow Native Plant Sale, Family Nature Festivals, Shakespeare in the Pines, and much more! For our full list of upcoming events, please view our Calendar.

Outside of these special events, we also offer free educational programs on Saturdays from April through October.

Naturalist Walks

May through October
3rd Saturday of each month
8:30 AM to 10 AM


Discovery Stations

April through October
Every Saturday (except event weekends)
10 AM – 12 PM

Colors of Fall with Pat Gulley

Naturalist Walk
Saturday, October 19
8:30 AM

2019 Naturalist Walk Line-up

These hikes are on the unpaved trails on the Highlands Center’s 80-acre campus. These trails are rocky and have short, but occasionally steep, inclines. Trained naturalists guide these hikes.  Make sure to bring water, wear appropriate hiking shoes, dress in protective layers, and apply sunscreen.

Story of the Ponderosa Pine with John Mangimeli

Saturday, July 20 @ 8:30 AM

It takes a diversity of plants, animals and other organisms to make a healthy, ponderosa pine forest.

Forest Ecology with Janet Burgoyne

Saturday, August 17 @ 8:30 AM

A forest is more than just a bunch of trees; it is an interconnected web of plants, animals and other organisms responding to climatic influence.

Geology of the Highlands with Fred Oswald

Saturday, September 21st @ 8:30 AM

Learn about the diverse and impressive rock formations at the Highlands Center.
At 11, there will be a BONUS WALK on Rainwater Harvesting.

Colors of Fall with Pat Gulley

Saturday, October 19 @ 8:30 AM

Out of all the seasons, fall offers the grandest finale.On this walk, dive into the chemistry of chlorophyll and other scientific wonders that fall brings!

Note: Walks occur on the unpaved trails at the Highlands Center. These trails have variable grades and roughness. Some hikes require stepping off trail onto rocky terrain.
Please contact us if you have concerns.

Saturday Discovery Stations

Discovery Stations are offered Saturday mornings from April through October. These educational carts provide visitors with a brief look at the rocks, plants, or animals that make the Arizona Highlands so unique! Young and old alike will leave learning something new in these short programs. Each is only five to ten minutes in length.

Come out for a hike, bring the kids out to Forest Play, and learn a little something new as you visit our Discovery Gardens. No reservations necessary – simply show up!

  • Insect Mouthparts
  • Tasty Feet: Butterfly Body Parts
  • Skulls
  • Stretched & Squished: Geology
  • Hawks vs. Owls
  • Radical Rattlesnakes
  • Nature’s Medicine Chest
  • Wildflowers
  • Abert’s Squirrel
  • Natural Solar Panels: Leaves
  • Amazing Eggs
  • Beetles