Welcome to Willowdale
Exploring, learning and playing in nature nurtures resiliency, empathy and problem-solving skills in even our youngest explorers. Our community is passionate about embracing each uniquely beautiful season here in New Hampshire with a goal of exploring in nature each day.
We are all explorers; let's allow nature to spark wonder in our youngest ones and re-ignite it for those of us who are seeking to find it again.
The premier resource for Manchester families seeking nature + skills-based learning.
Let's pause for a moment and time travel to our childhoods. What memories give us the most joy? It took some time for me to realize my answer; although entertaining in their own ways, it wasn't those hours I spent chatting with my friends on AIM or meeting friends at the mall to walk around. When I dig deep, what brought me the most joy and peace was exploring freely in the Willowdale Forest and imagining the fallen trees and woodland were my dream home. It was my sister and I walking the path through the woods to our grandparents house and our dad making a skating rink over a small pond, a swamp really, in our backyard. It was walking down "gravelly brook road" with our mom and dog and hoping we didn't cross a pile of leaves that was actually a hole. (Can anyone relate to this? It was an honest concern at 7 when it was the only thing we were warned about when venturing alone in the woods.)
The forest is filled with opportunities to ignite thought and imagination. It took me having explorers of my own to reignite those beliefs and feelings of nostalgia. Although we are realistic and know there is a time and place for screens, in a world FILLED with them, it's easy to get absorbed into a nature-free lifestyle. More than ever, we need to trust our kids who are natural explorers. I know that adventuring outside holds my fondest memories because that's what I want for my kids; if I thought any differently I would be teaching them how to use AIM (does that even exist anymore?) or I'd be offering all day Bluey and Clifford marathons (let's be real, they would love it and, to be honest, sometimes it happens.)
Whether it's evoking memories of a nostalgic outdoor space from your childhood or exploring a new habitat that will give rise to a new found love affair with the natural world; we want to meet you where you're at and be with you on your travels to spending more time outdoors.
Short of being an expert naturalist, our goal is to provide and inspire opportunities for you and your beloved explorers to get outside each day in a way that's comfortable and realistic for you. We hope our community takes advantage of our various offerings and wish for them to inspire something within you along the way