I’m so glad that the weather cleared up in time for us to go to Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills today. We all had a lovely time!
We got there a little before 11am, and it wasn’t crowded at all. They don’t have an entrance fee (yay for free stuff!), but we did put some money in the donation box.
We started by exploring the exhibit gallery, which was a great size for small children. They could have some freedom to explore on their own without our having to worry about them getting lost. The gallery has mounted insects, a turtle habitat, a beehive, and snakes–just to name a few things on display. There are also interactive exhibits with subjects such as bird calls, plant scents, and animal tracks. Skunk cabbage is aptly named! Jonas was terrified of the “Woods at Night” exhibit. You go into a dark room, and lights shine on a few stuffed nocturnal animals. He kept telling me how scared he was of the fox. Oops!
After spending about 30 minutes inside, we headed out for the trails to “hike” for an hour. In the aviary, we got to see an opossum and a hawk. (The owls were nowhere to be seen.) The trails were pretty well cleared, so there weren’t a lot of obstacles to trip up the kids, but it still felt woodsy. There are some hills, but nothing a 2-year-old can’t handle. One of the paths leads to a meadow, where we got to see lots of insects.
I would highly recommend the center for a family outing. I know we will definitely be going back!