Take your entire family to experience animals and more in their own natural habitat
Do your children love to be outdoors? Are they enthralled with nature and animals? Check out our guide to the Top 10 Nature Centers in South Jersey. This list is full of the best and most entertaining places to take your entire family to experience animals and more in their own natural habitat.
1.Rancocas Nature Center: The Rancocas Nature Center features 3 miles of hiking trails through varied habitats. It encompasses 210 acres of the Rancocas State Park in Westampton, NJ. The Center offers environmental education on and off-site. Their calendar of events on-site are open to the public and they also offer school, scout, adult and birthday party adventures as well. 794 Rancocas Road, Westampton, NJ. 609.261.-2495.
2. Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge: Woodford Cedar Run is located on 171 acres surrounding Cedar Run Lake. They have hands-on exhibits, a library, weekly events and much more. There is an outdoor animal housing area with over 40 animals as well as nature trails and a rehabilitation hospital. They care for over 4,600 injured, orphaned or displaced wild animals each year and host over 20,000 students each year through outreach and on-site programs. 4 Sawmill Road, Medford, NJ. 856.983.3329.
3. Cattus Island Park: Cattus Island Park and the Cooper Environmental Center has recently been renovated. It is located along the Barnegat Bay and it’s new boardwalk is coming soon. The park spans 350 acres and has 7 miles of trails. Visitors of all ages can enjoy hands-on educational displays, a children’s activity corner and a vast collection of reptiles and fish. There is also a beautiful butterfly garden as well as birding, photography, conservation area, environmental education, cross-country skiing, picnic area and so much more. 1170 Cattus Island Boulevard, Toms River, NJ. 732.270.-6960.
4. Palmyra Cove Nature Park: Palmyra Cove Nature Park is a 250 acre highly developed area on the Delaware River. There are wetlands, woodlands, meadows and much more. They host monthly events and many educational programs throughout the year. Their Enviornmental Discovery Center is open to the public daily from 9am to 4pm and their Nature Park is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk. 1335 Route 73 South, Palmyra, NJ. 856.829.1900 ext. 1264.
5. Paws Discovery Farm: Paws Discovery Farm is home to over 80 different kinds of animals. They have so much to offer for the whole family including hands-on animal education, a nature trail, a playground, a discovery barn and much more. The farm is home to pigs, tortoises, hedgehogs and many small woodland and farm animals. There are exhibits, a petting zoo and Discovery Farm theater players. 1105 Hainesport-Mount Laurel Road, Mount Laurel, NJ. 856-778-8795.
6.Nature Center of Cape May: The Nature Center of Cape May is focused on providing environmental education for people of all ages. Their focus is on hands-on activities in order to foster education and understanding of the natural world around us. The Nature Center is one of 9 staffed nature centers around the state and includes a welcome center, observation tower, classrooms, exhibits, a gift shop and multiple themed display gardens. 1600 Delaware Ave, Cape May, NJ. 609.427.3045.
7. Wetlands Institute: The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor is host to many educational programs in research, conservation and education. Their goal is to inspire the local community to become involved in environmental improvement and understanding. They provide fun and interactive educational experiences for families, school groups and more. 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd, Stone Harbor, NJ . (609) 368-1211.
8. Scotland Run Nature Center: Scotland Run Park is the largest park in Gloucester County covering over 1000 acres. Wilson Lake offers fishing, boating and nature observation. The nature center offers a variety of environmental programs for all ages. Nearby the nature center there are walking trails, a playground and picnic areas. 980 E Academy St, Clayton, NJ. 856/853.3200.
9. Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center: The Mansaquan Reservoir Environmental Center is focused on providing learning and discovery experiences for all ages. There are interactive exhibits, multi-media presentations, educational activities and wildlife observation areas. They focus on connecting visitors with the natural world and the importance of water in our world. They host many nature based events throughout the year. 331 Georgia Tavern Road
Howell, NJ. 732.751.9453.
10.Poricy Park Nature Center: Poricy Park offers many science and history programs from preschool to elementary aged students. It is located in Monmouth County. Their programs focus on hands-on and outdoor activities. Wildlife in the area include rabbits, skunks, snakes, bats, opossums, groundhogs and more. They are home to many fossils in the Navesink Formation, a stream bed. Visitors are welcome to collect conservatively and report anything unusual to the Nature Center. 345 Oak Hill Road, Red Bank, NJ. 732/615.2260.