The Magic of Forest Preschool

The first nature-based outdoor preschool near Louisville, located in the beautiful woodlands of Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.

Nurture your child’s growth at Thrive Forest School! Thrive provides children the opportunity to blossom into their fullest potential through individualized support, guidance and attention all while learning through play in nature. Our preschool and afterschool programs are designed to cultivate a love for learning and the natural world that students will carry with them forever. Thrive Forest School is a place where empathy and inclusion are the norm, where kind hearts and curious minds come together to learn through child-led, place-based education and social-emotional learning. Give your child the gift of a holistic learning experience that will prepare them to not just survive in this world, but to thrive in it.

Thrive Forest School is Louisville’s most successful nature-based preschool, nestled in the beautiful woodlands of Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. There, under the trees and amongst the chirping of chickadees, children 3-to-6 years of age attend preschool outside in a forest classroom year-round. Sun, rain, snow… it’s all an opportunity to build self-confidence, creativity, resilience, and emotional regulation in small classes under the guidance of experienced preschool teachers.

A typical day at Thrive will see the class of 12 students and two teachers geared up in waterproof clothing as they hike to their forest classroom, which is nestled alongside a creek and outfitted like a preschool classroom. Once children hang their backpacks on hooks fastened to a cedar log, they engage in exploratory play and learning with teachers acting as co-discoverers. Some take on building projects, others test the buoyancy of objects in the stream, and others create music using sticks, logs, rocks, and pine cones. Mid-way through the day the class comes together as they sit in a circle, sometimes around a crackling campfire, to share a snack and listen to a story. The day ends with group clean-up, songs, and a hike back to civilization, tired and inspired.

Studies show that this type of program helps to foster a love of learning, builds self-confidence, and encourages the development of creative problem-solving skills. This type of learning contributes to young children’s academic readiness, so no matter what schooling path they take, your child will be ready to succeed.

Visit Thrive Forest School to learn more about their groundbreaking program. To complete a non-binding application, CLICK HERE. To learn more, or schedule a tour of the forest classroom, contact You can also get a glimpse into the magic of forest school by following their forest adventures on Facebook or Instagram.

Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve also hosts wonderful family-friendly events throughout the year. Keep tabs on our calendar for information!


It's fun to share: