Friday, January 4, 2013

Kalamazoo Nature Center

We made it to Kalamazoo Nature Center as part of our whirlwind of nature centers in the area . . . I am always impressed they were able to snag www.naturecenter.org. It is an impressive center, so it certainly fits! Friends who have been here always have rave reviews. We paid the regular entrance fees, but I asked about the option to apply the visit to a family membership. We ultimately decided to get the membership after the visit. For our family, three visits would pay for the membership. It also offers reciprocity with many other nature centers across the US. There are also other member benefits, varying for the different levels of membership. We really like the reciprocal nature of many memberships--we've looked up reciprocity when traveling to get more value out of memberships. Looking forward to exploring more with this!



Mirrors, especially ones that make us look smaller, are always funny!


There were many fish and other animals to examine up close.


There is a great tropical area in the center of the nature center. I spent some time watching the birds while feeding the baby. It's neat to see this type of flora and fauna in the area.



What a huge globe! It taught us about different types of consumers and climates.


These giant plants took us into the life of wildflowers more. There was a large microscope nearby my husband liked.


Downstairs, there were exhibits on migration, insects, and live animals.



One room had snakes and rotating activities. It also contained a wildlife viewing area. The viewing area was smaller and didn't really compare to the spectacles we've seen at other nature centers recently; however, this nature center more than makes up for this in other areas well done.



The touch and feel tables are always a hit! These textures teach us so much!


This was a matching activity about winter wildflowers. I'm building my skills and learning to identify more and more! 


Outside, there are several birds of prey available for viewing. It's really neat to see these up close and personal. There are also many trails to traverse! I suggest taking a guided hike from time to time if available. I tried one that was excellent!


Highlights of this nature center include 
  • enjoyable hands-on nature activities
  • the varying animals to interact with inside and outside
  • numerous trails with varied habitat
  • knowledgeable and friendly interpretive staff and front desk
  • gift store with nature themed items

Our boys had gift cards from Christmas to a big box store. They each wanted to spend money there rather than at the big box store. 

Thanks for all the answers to my questions, leads on new organizations to explore, and the educational day at Kalamazoo Nature Center! We look forward to visits in other seasons, reciprocity with numerous other nature centers, and exploring more of the scheduled programs

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