About Learning Outside (formerly Irvin Learning Farm) in Carrboro, NC

We believe that spending time outdoors is an essential part of a child’s development and that all children, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to develop an appreciation for nature that will last a lifetime. Through our programs, we strive to give children in our community the chance to explore and learn in wild spaces, helping them to thrive and grow into adults who are dedicated to protecting the natural world.

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What kind of kids we support

  • Coed
  • Kids


  • Handicap accessible
  • Playground

Programs at Learning Outside (formerly Irvin Learning Farm) in Carrboro, NC

a group of children walking in the grass
Forest Kindergarten

Learning Outside’s Forest Kindergarten is unique to this area. Set entirely outdoors in the natural world, Forest Kindergarten offers a play-based environment for both preschoolers and kindergartners. Children make discoveries, form friendships, and engage in hands-on, experiential learning in nature. Opportunities abound for imaginative play, for making music, and creating art in addition to a daily hiking expedition to the many fun natural destinations available at Irvin Nature Preserve. Children explore the forest, pond, meadows, and creek. They also work and play in our Learning Garden and help care for our goats and chickens.

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a group of people in the woods
After School Nature Clubs

Our After School Nature Clubs offer children what they really need; time spent outside, actively learning, and exploring in the natural world. Sessions engage youngsters in active, hands-on experiences throughout the changing seasons. Each group meets weekly, September – May. Children spend time hiking and exploring the woods, meadows, pond, and creek. They play group nature games, make art with natural materials, work in our Learning Garden and help care for our farm animals. They learn about wild animals and their habitats as well as about wild plants and ecosystems. Groups may learn about fire safety, fire building, tracking, wild edible plant identification, shelter building, and more.

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a group of children in a field
Summer Camps

Learning Outside offers 10 week-long outdoor summer camps. Each camp is led by experienced, knowledgeable naturalists, artists and educators, and offers a low camper-to-instructor ratio of 5 to 1. All of our camps include scholarship youngsters referred to Learning Outside by local public school social workers and partnering organizations. We start our summers with two Learning-in-Nature summer camps, not open to the public; offered exclusively for children referred by partnering schools.

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Location and contact information

2912B Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro, NC, 27516