Escape technology and explore the great outdoors – indoors – at a nature center! Learn about local wildlife, sit in on story time or attend a special event.

Belle Isle Nature Center (Detroit)

Belle Isle Nature Center visitors are able to get an insider’s view of an actual beehive and get an up-close view of Michigan wildlife. A bird observation window allows guests to watch native and migratory birds as they feed from natural and supplemental food sources. The Deer Encounter allows guests the opportunity to observe the fallow deer while learning about their history with Belle Isle.

Address: 176 Lakeside Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
Phone: 313-852-4056
Cost: State park admission is $11 annually

Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center (Shelby Township)

The Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center provides nature-related experiences and activities to help visitors of all ages develop and rekindle an awareness and appreciation for the natural world around them.

Address: 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township, Michigan 48317
Phone: 586-323-2478
Cost: Free

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve (Rochester)

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve features field trips, programs, and activities for individuals of all ages including popular preschool programs and weekend family programs

Address: 333 North Hill Circle, Rochester, MI, 48307
Phone: 248-656-0999
Cost: Free

E. L. Johnson Nature Center (Bloomfield Hills)

The E. L. Johnson Nature Center is a beautifully natural, forty-acre site that offers visitors myriad visual pleasures and a plethora of learning opportunities. The Visitor Center and classrooms, feature interactive educational exhibits and seasonal displays that provide a wealth of information.

Address: 3325 Franklin Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Phone: 248.341.6485
Cost: Free

Farmington Hills Nature Center (Farmington Hills)

The Farmington Hills Nature Center highlights interpretive exhibits reflecting our natural world such as a life-sized animal habitat, a backyard habitat bird viewing area, native fish aquariums, a nature library and activity table as well as a hands-on touch table and Discovery Cove. Nature programs are offered year-round and change seasonally.

Address: 24915 Farmington Rd. Farmington Hills, MI 48336
Phone: 248-477-1135
Cost: Free

Hawk Woods Nature Center (Auburn Hills)

Hawk Woods offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreational activities.  This unique facility offers groomed nature trails, a heated restroom/shower facility open year-round, a covered picnic shelter that can be reserved in season, six overnight camping cabins, all complimented by 80 acres of beautiful woods, meadows, and marsh.

Address: 3799 Bald Mountain Rd, Auburn Hills, MI, 48326
Phone: 248-4370-9353
Cost: Free

Howell Nature Center (Howell)

The Howell Nature Center is nestled around beautiful Pleasant Lake and among 230 rolling acres of woods and wetlands in the heart of Livingston County, Michigan. We offer comprehensive outdoor education and recreation programs; outstanding age-progressive summer camps; a premier wildlife rehabilitation clinic; native Michigan wildlife in our teaching zoo; Wild Wonders Wildlife Park; and an adventure education center available year-round to individuals and groups all over the Midwest.

Address: 1005 Triangle Lake Road, Howell, MI 48843
Phone: 517-546-0249
Cost: $0-6

Indian Springs Environmental Discovery Center (White Lake)

Explore the diversity of Southeast Michigan’s original habitats. The Environmental Discovery Center (EDC) is a gateway into the complexity and beauty of prairies, wetlands, and woods, here for you to study, enjoy and appreciate. The EDC features 60 acres of restored native prairie ecosystems as part of the 2500 acre park. The award-winning EDC building contains classrooms, a biology lab, and a 200-person event room used for a variety of school, scout, and public programs. The interactive exhibits feature the diversity of the park’s ecosystems. The underwater pond viewing room gives a below-the-water peek at pond life, including native fish and plants.

Address: 5175 Indian Trail, White Lake, MI 48386
Phone: 248-625-7280
Cost: Metropark admission is $10 daily or $35 annually

Kensington Nature Center (Milford)

A complement to Kensington Metropark’s seven miles of nature trails, the Nature Center offers exhibits to help explore the wildlife of the park. Park Interpreters are on hand to answer questions as you visit live animals such as turtles, snakes, fish and Ranger the Red-tailed hawk. Hand-feed small songbirds like chickadees and titmice or the fish in Kingfisher Lagoon. Shop for gifts, snacks, or a hot drink at the gift shop. Then head out to explore the over 700 acres of forests, fields, fens and swamps, on trails that vary in length from half-mile to two miles and can be combined to hike for as long or as short a walk as your time allows.

Address: 4570 Huron River Parkway Milford, MI 48380
Phone: 810-227-8917
Cost: Metropark admission is $10 daily or $35 annually

Lake St. Clair Nature Center (Harrison Township)

The Nature Center at Lake St. Clair Metropark features displays on wetlands, waterfowl, live animals and the historical use of the area by the French Voyageurs. Park interpreters host public school, private school and home school field trips, school outreach (we come to you!), Voyageur canoe programs, nature walks, special events, and many other interpretive programs for the general public. A portion of Lake St. Clair Metropark is set aside for the study and enjoyment of nature. Several miles of interpreter or self-guided nature trails teeming with wildlife traverse a freshwater marsh, meadows and woods.

Address: 31300 Metro Parkway Harrison Township, MI 48045
Phone: 586-432-4581
Cost: Metropark admission is $10 daily or $35 annually

Leslie Nature Center (Ann Arbor)

The Leslie Nature Center provides environmental education & experiences to foster respect for nature. The grounds, trails, & raptor enclosures are open daily, free of charge! Stroll along the trails, meander past our Birds of Prey, visit the animals in the Critter House on Sundays from 12-3, or sign up for an education program

Address: 1831 Traver Road Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
Phone: 734-997-1553
Cost: Free

Nankin Mills Interpretive Center (Westland)

Check out native species like turtles, snakes and fish up close and see how Henry Ford used mechanical innovations to improve work-life on the farm. The newly renovated Interpretive Center offers a fun indoor outing for kids and outdoor activities on good weather days.

Address: 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland, MI 48185
Phone: 734-261-1850
Cost: Free

Outdoor Adventure Center (Detroit)

Experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators — walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish, hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile, and much more. At the OAC, you’ll learn about how the DNR manages state parks, forests, wildlife and fish as you climb the roots and explore the canopy of a massive bur oak tree, hop aboard a real airplane, and see what’s swimming in our aquarium.

Address: 1801 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207
Phone: 844-622-6367
Cost: $0-5

Sterling Heights Nature Center (Sterling Heights)

Satisfy your curiosity about the natural world at the Sterling Heights Nature Center. Live reptiles and amphibians are displayed along with mounted birds and mammals found in Sterling Heights. Touch tables give children a hands-on chance to investigate nature. The center offers nature films, naturalist lectures, guided nature walks, children’s nature classes and special family events to interest both young and old.

Address: 42700 Utica Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48313
Phone: 586-446-2710
Cost: Free

Stony Creek Nature Center (Shelby Township)

With a visit to the Nature Center, you will see live snakes, frogs, turtles and fish, along with permanent and seasonal exhibits. Park interpreters conduct interesting hikes and other programs including paddling a 34-foot Voyageur canoe to learn about Stony Creek Lake.

Address: 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township, MI 48316
Phone: 586-781-9113
Cost: Metropark admission is $10 daily or $35 annually

Photo credit: Huron-Clinton Metroparks