Nature Centers

Ignite a Child's Creativity at Nature Centers in the D


There’s a reason it’s called the great outdoors. It’s not called the “meh” outdoors mainly because of everything you can see and experience. Whether it’s the wildlife or the nature itself, the great outdoors are, well, great. One way to experience that greatness without traveling very far is by visiting community nature centers. With the wide array of animals, exhibits, and more, they make for fun family activities and even birthday parties. So if you need to show your family the outdoors aren’t so “meh,” here are five great nature centers in metro Detroit.

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Belle Isle Nature Center

You’ve probably visited Belle Isle for the aquarium or conservatory, but the Belle Isle Nature Center is also noteworthy. Visitors are able to get an up-close view of much of Michigan’s wildlife, such as an inside view of a beehive, a bird observation, and a deer encounter. If you’re planning a group outing or a school field trip, the Belle Isle Nature Center has field trip and outreach programs available.

DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center

With the goal of “bringing ‘up north’ to downtown Detroit,” DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center gives visitors an outdoor experience with hands-on activities, exhibits, and simulators. Located at the Globe Building off Detroit’s riverfront, one of the perks of the center is that groups learn all about how the DNR manages Michigan’s state parks, forests, and wildlife in an interactive fashion.

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

There might not be any dinosaurs at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, but that in no way means it’s a lame park. Located in beautiful Rochester, the nature preserve is the perfect place to take a field trip, a scout troop, or host a birthday party. They offer a wide range of programs coming up in August including “Dino Disasters” starting on August 7, “Best of Camp” on August 14, and “Into the Great Outdoors” starting on August 22. Be sure to check out their summer programs, and look ahead to the fall programs.

Kensington Metropark Nature Center

Located near seven miles of trails and 700 acres of forests, the Kensington Metropark Nature Center offers plenty of nature to go along with its nature center. You can bring your scout or host a party here, but kids can spend the whole day at the nature through the day camps where there’ll learn the basics of hiking, fishing, and other wilderness survival tips. There’s seemingly an event every day at the nature center, so be sure to check out their events page to plan your adventure accordingly.

Sterling Heights Nature Center

Kids of all ages are sure to have a fun time at the Sterling Heights Nature Center. With special activities like “Beavers in Sterling Heights?!” or “Reading with Animals,” the Sterling Heights Nature center has plenty of activities aimed at kids to help them learn about the wilderness. The nature center also has the Adopt-An-Animal program where you can choose an animal to adopt that will remain at the nature center and receive the proper care with the proceeds going towards the care of animals.

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