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Free and low-cost nature fun for families in the Philadelphia area

 

Local arboretums, nature centers and parks in the Philadelphia area offer free and low-cost family programming in the spring. Check out some of the fun ways to explore nature in your area.

Big Bugs at the Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Find eleven giant creepy-crawlers, made mostly from natural materials, throughout the gardens as part of the Big Bugs exhibit. There’s also a model train display and a wheelchair-accessible Tree Adventure, where guests can view the forest from 50 feet up. 

Perks & Rec
Many county parks offer free and low-cost nature programs for children and adults. Visit the Parks & Recreation section of your county’s website.

Check the state’s park website for additional nature programs.

Awbury Arboretum, Germantown, Philadelphia

View insects & birds in the pond, walk along trails through open meadows and take a rest in the picnic area. See what’s growing at the community farm & orchard. Admission is free and the grounds are dog-friendly (with leash).

Jenkins Arboretum, Devon

Explore 1.2 miles of paths populated with wildflower, woodland & native plant gardens and look for turtles in the pond. Admission is free

Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

Take a self-guided tour of a field of daffodils, cherry trees & a rose garden. Special events include a National Public Gardens Day Celebration on May 10 and an Arboretum Highlights Tour on May 25. Admission and all events are free.

Crooked Goblin Shack at Tyler Arboretum

 

Tyler Arboretum, Media

In addition to 650 acres of plant collections and 20 miles of hiking trails, kids can explore whimsical features like a Crooked Goblin Shack, a Troll Bridge, a Magical Path and Totally Terrific Treehouses.

 

 

Welkinweir Arboretum, Pottstown

Make a donation to explore two miles of trails featuring woodland wildlife, rare plants & trees, ponds, meadows and colorful flower gardens. 

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope

Bowman's Hill Wildflower PreserveRare & endangered plants, native trees, ferns & wildflowers make up the nearly 800 species found at this 134-acre site. The Visitor Center is home to educational exhibits and the indoor Bird Observatory, and the preserve hosts various hands-on programs throughout the year for kids & families.

Briar Bush Nature Center, Abington

A bird observatory, butterfly house (opens in June), pond and more than a mile of trails can be found on this 12.5-acre land. Visit the Nature Museum to see live animals, artifacts, interactive exhibits and a Discovery Den for young children. Kids of all ages can hop on tree stumps and balance on logs in the Nature Playscape. Admission is $2-$3 per person.

Churchville Nature Center, Churchville

Hike along two miles of wheelchair-accessible nature trails (wheelchairs available on-site), enjoy indoor & outdoor wildlife viewing areas, gardens, interactive activities and a living history exhibit exploring what it was like to live as a Native American in the area. Early birds can go on a free Saturday morning bird walk.

Peace Valley Nature Center, Doylestown

Explore 14 miles of trails through woodlands, meadows, streams & wetlands. Check out the free & low-cost guided nature programs for kids on weekends, when participants search for amphibians & birds or learn about trees & flowers. 

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