Don’t nature centers make a trip to your favorite park extra special? First, there are the sounds of nature, the slide-to-view facts, and the countless live animals encourage kids and families to want to learn more about their surroundings, history, and ecosystems. Then there’s the opportunity to keep kids learning without tons of books and binders.
Here’s a list of Nature Centers Around Dayton worth checking out:
1000 Aullwood Road, Dayton OH 45414
This center is focused on environmental education and sustainable agriculture, it provides activities that increase understanding and preservation of the planet by children and adults through education, research, and recreation. There are 2 locations Aullwood Nature Center and Aullwood Farm. They are connected by six miles of walking trails running through our beautiful 200-acre nature sanctuary. You can walk the 6 miles between the two or take a quick 5-minute drive!
Hours/ Cost: Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am- 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00- 5:00 pm. General admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 3-18, and free for children under three.
6588 McEwen Road, Dayton, OH 45459
This Nature Literature Trail is a 1/2 mile, wheelchair and stroller accessible, crushed gravel/dirt path through the woods. Children ages 3-8 with their adult companion can hike along the storybook trail and learn about the animals that live in the park. While reading the story, children can play active games, solve riddles and more.The Kennard Nature Nook is used for indoor Park District nature and recreation programs.
Hours/ Cost: Daily, 8:00 am- 4:30 pm, check their website for pricing details for programs.
5995 Horseshoe Bend Road, Troy, OH
Each year over 120,000 visitors enjoy our public events, take a stroll in the woods, visit with our wildlife ambassadors or see the view from the popular Tree-top Bird Vista. Check out books about wildlife and nature at their library or join the PEEP preschool educational program that offers children ages 3-5, 2 hours of story time, creative craft, discovery hike and a healthy snack! See more about it on their wesbite.
Hours/ Cost: Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am- 5:00 pm (2.50/person or $10.00/family) Sunday from 12:30- 5:00 pm (Free admissions)
2380 Kemp Road, Beavercreek, OH 45431
Russ Nature Reserve offers 90 acres of mixed prairie and woodlands with a 4,000-square-foot ranch home to be renovated as a nature education center. The ten-room home will offer classrooms, program areas, and a birding room. Unstructured free play is encouraged for young visitors: climb a tree, build a fort, gather rocks, etc. The natural landscape becomes its own play area for children. Ideal for any young family, the site is a popular destination for home-schooled children as well. Free but check their website for certain program cost.
Hours/ Cost: Sunday- Saturday, Sunrise to Sunset
6910 Boomershine Rd., Germantown, OH 45327
The Twin Valley includes a diversity of habitats, such as forests, succession areas, grasslands, wetlands, streams, rivers, and ponds. It exemplifies best practices in habitat restoration and wildlife management. The return of wildlife, especially such large predators as Bobcats, to the land is living testament to the success of conservation activities. Be sure to be on the look for lots of new improvements coming in 2017!
Hours/ Cost: Sunday- Saturday, Sunrise to Sunset, See website for pricing details.
405 Corry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387
Glen Helen is open to the public from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Nature programs, guided hikes, and other interpretative experiences are offered for families and individuals throughout the year. Many guided hikes and events are offered free or at a discounted rate for Glen Helen Members, with card. Pre-registration is required for all programs/most events, see our Event Calendar for details. The Trailside Museum offers educational opportunities for all ages, visitors explore the hidden treasures of the Glen, examine ecological relationships, create nature centered artistic pieces, and much more.
Hours/ Cost: Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Trailside Museum Hours, Weekends, 10:00- 5:00 pm. See website for pricing details,