Fair   49.0F  |  Forecast »

Best Family Nature Centers in Southeast Michigan

Experience the great outdoors and adventure in nature at these Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw centers in Metro Parent's 2014-15 guide

(page 1 of 3)

In southeast Michigan, there are tons of places for families to get outside and experience all that nature has to offer. Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties all tout a wealth of nature centers, giving kids the perfect place to explore, have fun and learn something, to boot. With hiking trails, live animals, special programs and hands-on activities abounding, what are you waiting for? Find a center near you to start the fun!

Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center

  • Address: 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township
  • Phone: 586-323-2478
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission: Free; small fees/programs

This nature-filled spot lets kids crawl through a tunnel complete with scenes of wildlife. Plus, kids get the opportunity to touch real reptiles and amphibians. Don't forget to check out Burgess-Shadbush's special events and programs – or explore the area around the center.

Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve

  • Address: 27600 Haggerty Road, New Boston
  • Phone: 734-654-1220
  • Hours: Dawn-dusk daily
  • Admission: Free/general, fees, fees vary/programs

Find year-round activities the whole family can enjoy at this Wayne County spot, including hiking trails. Also, families and schools can get involved with the educational programs here to learn more about nature, with topics ranging from geology to wetlands.

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

  • Address: 333 N. Hill Circle, Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0999
  • Hours: School year: 9 a.m.-noon Monday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Summer: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Open occasional Sundays. Trails: Dawn-dusk daily.
  • Admission: Free/general, fees vary/programs. Note: Preregistration required for programs and events here!

The 16-acre preserve has lots for families to explore. With family programs galore at affordable rates, kids are sure to learn a lot and have fun while they're at it while visiting Dinosaur Hill.

Drayton Plains Nature Center

  • Address: 2125 Denby Drive, Waterford
  • Phones: 248-674-5441
  • Hours: Center: 1-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Grounds: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. April 15-Oct. 15, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 16, 2014-April 14. 2015.
  • Admission: Free/general, fees vary/programs

Kids can get a look at real animals, both native and to the area at not. See everything from fish and turtles to caterpillars, hedgehogs and ferrets. Plus, kids will want to watch for birds here, where you can look out a one-way window and see feathered friends eating from the feeder. With 13 different tanks and aquariums here and summer camps for all ages, there's no shortage of fun at Drayton Plains. Check with the Waterford Parks and Rec department for special programs.

E. Dale Fisk Hawk Woods Nature Center

  • Address: 3799 Bald Mountain Road, Auburn Hills
  • Phone: 248-370-9353
  • Hours: 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Trails open dawn to dusk daily.
  • Admission: Free/nature center; some fees may apply to programs

Swing by for a hike on the nature trails, or walk the boardwalk over the marsh. Families can find a wealth of family programs here, like the father-son campout. Looking to camp? Rent one of the five log cabins, or just book a lodge for a birthday party!

E.L. Johnson Nature Center

  • Address: 3325 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills
  • Phone: 248-341-6485
  • Hours: Trails: 8 a.m.-dusk Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Center: Hours vary weekdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, noon-3 p.m. Sunday.
  • Admission: Free; donations welcome

Explore this 40-acre site, complete with pond (with real live fish!) and tons of plants and wildlife. Walk the trails, or stop by the visitor center to check out the displays and pick up some bits of nature knowledge.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

What to Eat and What to Avoid During Pregnancy

What to Eat and What to Avoid During Pregnancy

Cravings or not, there are some things you just can't indulge in when you're a mom-to-be. Dr. Samuel Bauer of Beaumont Health Systems provides insight and information.

Benefits of Kids Learning an Instrument

Benefits of Kids Learning an Instrument

With many schools eliminating or downsizing their music curriculum, it's still important for kids to be exposed to music.

Mushroom Recipes for a Family Meal

Mushroom Recipes for a Family Meal

Mushrooms can be a tough sell with picky eaters but these dishes will entice them to try a bite – or two!

Tennessee Law Prevents Parents from Giving Child a Hybrid Last Name

Tennessee Law Prevents Parents from Giving Child a Hybrid Last Name

Carl Abramson and Kim Sarubbi mashed together their surnames for their first two kids, but Tennessee law says they can't use the last name 'Sabr' for baby No. 3.

Sticky Fingers Duct Tape Book Offers Easy Bow Making How-To

Sticky Fingers Duct Tape Book Offers Easy Bow Making How-To

Sophie Maletsky's new guide, published by Zest Books, is packed with fun crafts and DIY ideas kids and families can make out of colorful duct tape.

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

This versatile craft material transforms into an acorn fall creation, decorative ribbon, cute Japanese critters and cool dividers for your kid's closet.

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

Mealtime can turn from pleasant to panic in a matter of seconds. Protect your child from this mishap with our list of dos and don’ts.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement