Beaversprite Winter Fest 2024

Beaversprite, the Conservation Education Center of the Utica Zoo, invites nature enthusiasts and families to Winterfest on Saturday, February 24th, from 10 am to 4 pm.

This special event promises a day filled with guided tours, captivating workshops, and delightful activities to celebrate the wonders of winter in the great outdoors.

Highlights of Winterfest include:

Guided Tours: Explore the trails of Beaversprite with our guides leading informative tours. Uncover the secrets of this 1300-acre wildlife sanctuary.

Campfires & S’mores: Ward off the winter chill by gathering around the crackling campfires. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere with complimentary hot chocolate and s’mores, perfect for warming up during your outdoor adventure.

Beaver Education with Naturalist Dave Hall: Join Dave Hall, founder of Primitive Pursuits, for an enlightening session on beavers and their vital role in the natural ecosystem. Drawing from his extensive experience as a naturalist and guide, Dave will share unique insights into the lives of three special beavers: Merle, Apple, and Amik. This lecture goes beyond the basics, offering a rare glimpse into the daily habits and activities of these fascinating creatures.

Stealthy Skills Workshop: Engage in a fun and educational workshop with Dave Hall to learn the art of stealth. Discover techniques that will enhance your ability to observe wildlife without disturbance. A perfect opportunity for nature enthusiasts and aspiring naturalists to sharpen their observational skills.

About Dave Hall

Dave is the founder of Primitive Pursuits, a youth-focused nature awareness program offered in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, New York. He has worked as a naturalist and guide in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York and has served as an instructor with the Adirondack Mountain Club, the State University of New York at Cortland, Cornell Outdoor Education, and Ithaca College.

“After spending hundreds of hours observing his resident beavers, Dave Hall, naturalist and author, has gained unique insight into their daily habits. This lecture will go well beyond dams, lodges and bark to take a rare look into the lives of three very special beavers, Merle, Apple and Amik. Listeners can look forward to learning skills and gaining perspectives that can be utilized to enrich experiences with all types of wildlife.”

Event Schedule




Games, crafts, and firepit running all day



Guided nature hikes with zoo staff and docents, 1 hour per group


Hot chocolate station open


Beaver/animal interpretation presentation by Dave Hall


Snowman building or popsicle stick beaver dam building contest (weather dependent)


Contest judging and winners announced- prize will be an ambassador animal encounter at the zoo


How to be stealthy workshop with Dave Hall, zoo staff and docents to assist


Book Signing

Winterfest at Beaversprite promises a memorable day for individuals, families, and nature enthusiasts of all ages. Cost to participate is $8 for children and $10 for adults.

Beaversprite is located at 399 Beldon Corners Rd, St. Johnsville, NY 13329.

*If you are using a GPS to get here, we suggest you put Belden Corners Road, Dolgeville. Some maps don’t recognize the number and if you look up Beaversprite it sends you to a different part of the property. When you turn off route 29 onto Belden Corners Road, it is approximately 2 miles. You will see a pavement end sign and the nature center is on the right.

The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 6/1 for wine in the wilderness and will reopen with normal hours on 6/2!