Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nature Centers: Enjoying The Great Outdoors

Visiting a nature center is often an overlooked addition to a trip that can be a fun, educational and give everyone a little exercise and fresh air. We have a terrific nature center about 10 minutes from our house and with our membership comes free admission to dozens of nature and wildlife centers around the country. We have visited many of them that are in driving distance and have stopped at a few en route to a farther away destination. It is a unique way to get the kids out and running off some energy in a calming atmosphere for an hour before another long haul in the car. I would much rather find a nice park or nature center to walk around while we make a stop rather than shuffling around a grocery store or playing in a fast food playland somewhere.
Our nature center pass is very economical, only $35 for the whole year and many of them are similar in price. We take advantage of walking the trails, visiting the animals in the wildlife center, and being involved in the many special nature education programs for kids.
Here is the link for some of ANCA (Association of Nature Center Administrators) reciprocal centers:
Just look under services and click on the reciprocal admission program and a PDF will open.

The following article examines the link between outdoor play/nature education and positive results in a child's learning and behavior.

I would encourage everyone to check out their local wildlife parks/nature centers. In my estimation, it can be an invaluable educational resource as well as providing some new travel destinations.


  1. Natural beauty is very well and your blog is very good.
    Cheap Flights

  2. Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by my page and becoming a follower. I'm returning the favor plus I enjoyed reading your posts. I'm interested in these nature centers and am now going to have to check and see if we have any near they sound interesting :)

  3. I volunteered for a nature center for a class years and years ago. It was awesome, and totally underutilized by the community!

    I found you on the hop and I'm your latest follower. :)

    1. Thanks! Followed you back and enjoyed your blog as well!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Saving Your Green
    From the Harvest Hop. I love taking my kids to enjoy and experience nature. There is not a center near me, but I have lots of nature! So we try to go out and experience it as often as possible. I wish my 40 hour work week didn't seem much longer though. Our weekends need to expand!

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by Me + the Moon! Following you now :) Hope to see you for our next find + follow hop in 2 weeks! Love to have you :)


  6. Reciprocal programs are definitely the way to go! We are members at the Morton Arboretum in Chicagoland and have used the membership to get into other botanic gardens/nature centers all over the country. You can even use it at some places in Canada and the Caribbean. Thanks for sharing!

  7. It looks like you had a lot of fun! We have done a lot of out door exploring now that we are living in South Korea. So many new experiences!I am a new follower of your blog! I'd love it if you would follow me back!

  8. Wow! I just found your blog! My husband are traveling next week with our 9 month old. I think your site is a perfect find! Thanks!!