This week my kids and I checked out the National Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel, MD. It was the first of many more visits to come – we loved it!
Though we consider ourselves nature center connoisseurs with all of our frequent visits to Rock Creek Park Nature Center & Planetarium, Montgomery County Nature Centers and other local wildlife-y destinations, we’d never been to the Laurel center before. It took us just 20 minutes to get there and we called the morning-of the free Nature Tots program and they still had room for both my kids. Score!
We had a wonderful time looking at all the exhibits of animals from all over North America. There are PLEASE TOUCH signs and interactive exhibits with buttons, bells and whistles and kids’ play areas everywhere. And the interpretive rangers led the preschoolers in one of the best kid programs we’ve ever experienced. I feel like I obtained a free day of preschool for both my wild hooligans. Here’s what went down, with photos:
First, they provided personalized nametags with a different baby animal for each kid and invited them to color special animal printouts and play with the extensive baby & mama animal puppet collection:
Then the rangers gathered the kids for circle time to read a book and learn about baby animals’ development and survival:
Are you convinced? Whether there’s a special program (here are the scheduled programs for April), you jump on the tram or your family would just like to check out all of the interactive exhibits and kids’ play areas, it’s a fabulous outing for all ages. Get thee to the National Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel, MD stat. The visitor center/indoor exhibits are open daily 9am-4:30pm and the surrounding grounds are open sunrise-4:30pm, but all areas are closed on Federal Holidays.