Nature Centers You’ll Want to Visit in Mid Michigan With Your Family
Step into fresh air and explore Lansing’s natural side at Woldumar Nature Center, Fenner Nature Center, Harris Nature Center, Howell Nature Center and more. These nature centers are more than meets the eye and have so much family fun to offer YEAR ROUND!
Each nature center has events, camps and workshops, learning and visitor centers, trails, play areas and structures, live animals, and more! Even better – we’ve got the scoop on it all below:
See Lansing’s Natural Side By Visiting a Nature Center
When walking or hiking nature trails it can feel as if you’re in another place and time. There’s something close to magical about stepping outside of the hustle and bustle of paved roads, cell phones, cars, and other forms or transportation. Crickets, birds, fish, squirrels, you name it – the sounds of nature are invigorating and we are so lucky to have so many options to choose from right here in our neck-of-the-woods.
Read on to hear more about our areas Nature Centers, Nature Events, and Nature Centers to check out just a short drive away.
Fenner Nature Center
Smack dab in the heart of Lansing, peace, and tranquility await at Fenner Nature Center! As soon as you wind around their entrance you’re immediately surrounded by the sounds of nature. Their play area has stations for hands-on learning while their space naturally invites the kids to participate in gazing on their grounds for bird watching. It’s no wonder why my family can’t leave Fenner without at least taking a mini-hike every time we visit.
4 Reasons to Visit Fenner Nature Center:
Davis Nature Pavilion
Hands-on learning stations make this our number one pick for why to visit Fenner. Turtles, a bunny, snakes, and other wildlife can be observed inside along with exhibits and public events.
Their festivals are one of a kind! Churn the apple butter in the fall, tap a tree for maple syrup in the spring, and give back to the earth during their Earth Day Extravaganza. Fenner Nature Center Festivals are occasions to set on the calendar for annual attendance.
Camps at Fenner run during Spring Break and in the Summer along with other learning opportunities throughout the year. Their 60 years of experience is stunning and kids continue to have a blast learning and exploring.
Woldumar Nature Center
Nestled on Lansing’s south-west side is the awesomeness that is Woldumar Nature Center! A fun fact about Woldumar is that they are privately owned and rely on donations and supporters as a non-profit 501c3. Why is this so cool? The volunteer opportunities are great for kids, and their programs and events are community mindful. We love walking the trails of Woldumar, going to weddings on their beautiful grounds, listening during folk festivals, and have even caught a theatre play there once.
It’s one thing to read about something cool, but it’s even better to experience it for yourself. Here are our top 3 reasons to plan a visit to Woldmar Nature Center:
3 Reasons to Visit Woldumar Nature Center:
You’ll love hanging out in their welcome center where you get to inspect the educational displays of insects, wildlife, and more!
Harris Nature Center
“Whoa!” This is what I thought the first time I visited Harris Nature Center. Their grounds are shockingly artistic and creative. Not only that, the welcome center is packed full of great wildlife exhibits with a library on site! You can not take the books out for rent, but you’re welcome to stop in to read for a while with their collection. A visit to Harris will leave you refreshed.
4 Reasons to Visit Harris Nature Center:
Climb the beaver lodge, hang out under the huge tiled art turtle, lay in the spider web, and dig for fossils! You could almost spend your whole time in this area.
Although the trails in the actual nature center are not very long – they are connected to the bigger Meridian Township Trails making these trails around 6 miles of paths. Have fun out there!
Visit the turtles, read in their library, or bird watch.
The events at Harris Nature Center happen frequently and are AWESOME! You’ll enjoy things like night story walks, Owl observing, camp fires, and a lot more scheduled year round.
Howell Nature Center
So – Cool! If only my parents knew about these things when I was a kid. Granted, we did a lot of great things, but I’m super thankful for the internet and sites like ours to help parents explore in an age where video games, cell phones, and computers have such a pull! If you make a trip out to Howell Nature Center get ready for an experience.
4 Reasons to Visit Howell Nature Center:
Alexandria’s Naturescape Treehouse
Um, did someone say Treehouse?! And adult supervision is required?! Sign me up. I plan a lot of fun events for my kids and the cats out of the bag – I almost always plan them to be fun for me and my husband as well. This one is going on the list for our summer bucket list for sure. Not to mention the waterfall for splashing on those hot summer days, plus so much more fun in this area!
Bonus: It’s wheelchair accessible!
Howell Nature Center invites you to hang out for the day or STAY OVERNIGHT in one of their lodges. See – like I said, so cool right?!
BONUS: Honorary Nature Space: Bengel Wildlife Center at MI Wildlife Conservancy
Bengel Wildlife Center is located at the edge of Haslett in Bath. There have what seems like endless opportunities to get involved with wildlife conservancy.
3 places to start at the MI Wildlife Conservancy:
Wildlife Education: programs, camps, deer watching, and more.
Wildlife Pub (Adult options): Hang out in the breathtaking grounds and enjoy live music, beverages, and more.
Become a Volunteer: Explore and read through their vast amounts of volunteer opportunities.
Day Trip Nature Centers Worth The Drive
Have you checked off the above Nature Center bucket list and craving more outdoor fun?! Check out our top pick places to visit within about an hour from the Greater Lansing area.
Nature Centers Close By and Worth the Drive:
Kalamazoo Nature Center
We loved visiting their trails, welcome center, and indoor rain fall area.
Belle Isle Nature Center:
Play, explore, see animals, and hang out in their indoor tree house. You’ll also enjoy lots of interactive nature games as well as hiking, and many other great experiences on the island.
Blandford Nature Center:
Read all about why Blandford is a great gem to discover in Grand Rapids.
Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center -DNR:
Travel through the museum and exhibit area, feed the fish out in the pond for free with a token from the front desk, and hike their trails.
Have Fun Adventuring in Nature, Lansing!
Comment below to let us know what you love about the nature centers you’ve visited. We love hearing about the fun you’re having in Lansing and beyond. Have fun getting out into nature, Lansing!