Educational Programs and Activities

Education For All Ages

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has recently taken a step towards improving our supporters’ experience when visiting. Our new Education Program will allow our visitors a more immersive experience at the Refuge.

One of our goals at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is to help spread awareness about the exotic pet trade and the struggles animals experience in captivity and in the wild. It is through education that we can help protect exotic animals from facing abuse and neglect. While visiting Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, you can take a guided tour to hear our animal rescue stories, explore the self-discovery area, and participate in incredible educational programs. We offer a variety of programs about the animals that call the Refuge home and where they are found in the wild, species conservation, biodiversity, animal adaptations, and so much more. Whether you are a first time or returning visitor, school group, scout troop, or any special groups; we have something for everyone of all ages to see, do, and learn!

Look for these future opportunities while visiting Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge:

  • Weekly programs
  • Summer Day Camps
  • Workshops
  • Weekly animal myth busters
  • Special Wildlife Day programming
  • Volunteer Enrichment Days

Check out the calendar to see upcoming events and plan your next trip to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Programs and Events Details


Sep23

Exceptional Eyesight

12:15pm- 20 minutes- Location- Behind Gift Shop- Big cats have great eyesight, but have you ever wondered how great? Join our Wildlife Interpreter to learn about what makes big cats see so well.

Sep23

What is a True Sanctuary?

1:40pm- 20 minutes- Location- Behind the Gift Shop- The most important aspect of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is being a true sanctuary, providing forever homes for abused and neglected big cats. Join our Wildlife Interpreter to learn about the difference between a true and fake sanctuary. We can work together to save more animals.

Sep23

Who is it?

2:40pm-30 minutes-Location-Behind the gift shop-Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to many different species of exotic animals, from Cecil our Blue and Gold Macaw to Brady one of our Ligers. Join our wildlife interpreter to test your animal skills in this fun family game.

Sep29

What in the World in a Coatimundi?

9:30 am- 30 minutes- Location: Habitat Tour Gate- Coatimundi is a difficult name to pronounce, and an unfamiliar animal to most. Come meet our resident Coatimundi Flip at the Habitat Tour Gate, as we discuss with our Wildlife Interpreter before the 10 am tour about their adaptations and unique ways of survival!

Sep29

A Walk on the Wild Side

Join our Wildlife Interpreter as we take a walk in the self-discovery area, and hear the stories of the animals, and how you can help become a voice for captive wildlife!

Sep30

Wildlife Art

11:30 am- 1 hour- Location: Carport next to Gift Shop- When visiting Turpentine Creek you can enjoy watching the animals run and play in their habitats. Bring your imagination and join our Wildlife Interpreter while we create a unique artistic memory, and create a masterpiece to take home. Fun for all ages, all materials will be provided as we journal, sketch, or paint our experiences at the Refuge!

Sep30

Master Leopard

1:10pm- 20 minutes- Location- In front of the Leopard habitat- Leopards hunt differently than tigers and lions, they are very powerful for their size. Join our Wildlife Interpreter to learn more about the leopards stealth and hunting style.

Sep30

Surprising Reality of the White Tiger

4:10 pm- 30 minutes- Location: Behind Gift Shop- White tigers are not found in the wild, and are not a different species of tiger. Join our Wildlife Interpreter next to Tanya and Kizmin, our two white tigers, behind the gift shop to discuss where white tigers come from, and the disadvantages they face in captivity.

Oct07

Bam Bam, Our Wonderful Grizzly

11:30 am- 30 minutes- Location: Bam Bam's Habitat behind gift shop- We love Bam Bam and are happy that we can provide him with his forever home. However, we wish that he had never been a pet and could have been a wild bear like he should be. Join our Wildlife Interpreter in front of Bam Bam's habitat to learn more about the exotic pet trade and his story.

Oct07

Black Panthers, Do They Exist?

1:10pm- 20 minutes- Location- In front of the leopard habitat- Have you ever heard the term black panther? What species of cat is it? There is actually no true species of cat which name is a black panther. Join our Wildlife Interpreter in an interactive activity to learn which species are called a black panther, and where the name came from.

Oct07

Goober, Our Only Primate

3:10 pm- 30 minutes- Location: Habitat Tour Gate next to Goober's habitat- Join our Wildlife Interpreter by Goober, the Rhesus Macaque and only primate at the Refuge to learn about this unique primate species in the wild. They will also explain how one of the oldest residents was rescued by Turpentine Creek, and all the special care we provide to ensure his health and happiness in his forever home.

Oct13

How Long Does It Take?

11:30 am- 1 hour- Location: Mulch path behind gift shop- Wildlife everywhere is in danger due to trash in our environment. Whether it is something small like a straw or something larger such as a tire, trash is hurting our wildlife. Join our Wildlife Interpreter as we discover how long certain items stay in the environment, and how you can help wildlife by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Oct13

Top of the Food Chain

1:05pm- 25 minutes- Location- Behind Gift Shop- An entire ecosystem depends on each part of the food chain, with apex predators playing a vital role by protecting everything around them. As many big cat species continue to become threatened or endangered, our Wildlife Interpreter will discuss the roles of apex predators and what will happen if they are unprotected.

Oct13

The Majestic Lion

2:40pm- 20 minutes- Location- Next to Serval habitat- Why do lions live together in prides? How far away can a lion's call be heard? Join Wildlife Interpreter next to the Serval habitat as we explore the world of the majestic Lion and learn the stories of the Lions that call Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge home.

Oct14

Our wild neighbor, the Bobcat

9:30am- 30 minutes- Location- In front of the Bobcat habitat- Bobcats can be seen in the woods throughout Arkansas, but sadly can be found in backyards as pets to. Meet our Wildlife Interpreter next to the Bobcat habitats as we discover more about this Arkansas native and how you can help keep them in the wild.

Oct14

Black Bear or Brown Bear

12:10pm- 20 minutes- Location- In front of Bam Bam's habitat- Did you know that you cannot tell a black bear from a brown bear based on color alone? Join a Wildlife Interpreter in an interactive activity to learn how to correctly tell the difference between the two.

Oct14

Animal Senses

3:30 pm- 1 hour- Location: Behind the gift shop- Do you have what it takes to survive by yourself in the wilderness? What do wild animals depend on for survival that humans do not? Join our Wildlife Interpreter for a fun activity to compare your senses to wild animals! Make sure to bring your animal instincts!

Oct20

Jaguar vs Leopard

1:40pm- 20 minutes- Location- In front of the Leopard habitat- What is the difference between a leopard and a jaguar? These two cats are a different species and have unique adaptations to survive in the wild. Join our Wildlife Interpreter as they discuss what makes these two cats a different species, where they are found, and how they are similar.

Oct20

What in the World is a Coatimundi?

2:10pm- 20 minutes- Location- Habitat Tour Gate- Coatimundi is a difficult name to pronounce, and an unfamiliar animals that can actually be found here in the United States! Come meet our resident Coatimundi Flip right outside the tour gate, and our Wildlife Interpreter will explain what these animals are and their unique adaptations for survival.

Oct21

Paws and Claws

11:30 am- 1 hour- Location: Self-discovery are behind gift shop- Have you ever looked at the distinct features of an animals paws and wonder why they are all different? Join our Wildlife Interpreter in our self-discovery area to explore casts of paws and claws, and learn about different adaptations, and why their features are so important for survival.

Oct21

Prides

1:05pm- 25 minutes- Location- Next to the Serval habitat- Lions are the only cat species to live in a social group, or Pride. Join our Wildlife Interpreter next to the Serval habitat to learn more about what a pride is.

Oct21

Wild Child Scavenger Hunt

3:30 pm- 1 hour- Location: Behind gift shop- Learn how to forage like a wild animal with TCWR's Wild Child Scavenger Hunt. Fun for all ages, this interactive game tests your animal senses throughout our self-discovery area. Join our Wildlife Interpreter at the table behind the gift shop to get started, and complete the scavenger hunt for a prize at the end!

Oct26

The Small but Mighty Serval

11:30 am- 1 hour- Location: Self-discovery area next to serval habitat- The African Serval might be small in size, but they are powerful and successful hunters. Join our Wildlife Interpreter next to the Serval habitat as we explore fun facts about Servals and their survival in the African grasslands.

Oct26

What is a True Sanctuary?

4:10 pm- 50 minutes- Location: Self-discovery area behind gift shop- The most important aspect of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is being a true sanctuary, providing forever homes for abused and neglected big cats, and educating about how to end the exotic pet trade. Join our Wildlife Interpreter in the self-discovery area to talk about the problems exotic animals face in captivity, and how we can work together to save them.

Oct27

Small but mighty Serval

12:10pm- 20 minutes- Location- In front of the Serval habitat- The African Serval might be small in size, but they are a powerful hunter. Join our Wildlife Interpreter next to the Serval habitat as we explore fun facts about Servals and their survival in the African grasslands.

Oct28

The Bear Facts

9:30 am- 30 minutes- Location: Bam Bam grizzly bear's habitat behind gift shop- Did you know that Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to 11 bear, or that Arkansas used to be nicknamed the "Bear State"? Join our Wildlife Interpreter as we discover fun facts about our bears at the Refuge.

Oct28

Saving the Richest Places on Earth

12:10pm- 30 minutes- Location- Behind Gift Shop- The most wildlife abundant places on Earth are also the most threatened. Humans depend on this biodiversity to survive. Join us at TCWR to learn about the richest places on the planet, and why we need to protect them.

Oct28

History of the Exotic Pet Trade

2:00 pm- 45 minutes- Location: Self-discovery area behind gift shop- Exotic animal ownership has been prevalent in the United States for over 100 years. Join our Wildlife Interpreter as they discuss how to exotic pet trade began in this country, and what has happened to get where we are today. By understanding the problems of animal exploitation, we can come up with solutions together on how to protect them from abuse and neglect for the future.

Nov10

Hiking Stick Workshop

9:30am-1pm-Hiking Stick Workshop-Cost is $40 per person for admission and workshop supplies-Imagine Lions caroling, bright colored leaves, cool crisp air, and the smell of fall around you. Experience TCWR in a new way with a fun filled workshop to make you own hiking stick. The workshop begins with the selection of the "purrfect" stick. Throughout the morning you will be shaving and decorating your hiking stick with a wide variety of embellishments: wood burners, beads, paint, and feathers if wanted. After you finish working on your hiking stick, we will go on a guided tour to see the animals that call TCWR home.