Spending an afternoon in the house with the washing machine, microwave, and television is far inferior to an afternoon in the forest, where one can witness those appliances in their natural habitat. Hear the microwave’s droning mating call with today’s Groupon to Ijams Nature Center, located on Island Home Avenue. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get an individual membership and $10 worth of merchandise at the gift shop (a $40 value).
- For $30, you get a family membership and $10 worth of merchandise at the gift shop (a $60 value). Family membership is good for two adults and their children under 18.
Wildlife lovers Harry and Alice Ijams invited species of all specifications to invade their nature nook more than a century ago, producing a public national park with 10 miles of hiking trails within flourishing natural habitats. Stroll through Mead’s Quarry, which quarantines a bounty of breathtaking overlooks and gorgeous gorges, and provides access to the historic Stanton Cemetery. Pristine greenery and a rock bridge augment the Ross Marble Natural Area, home of Hayworth Hollow and and a marble statue of Bill Cosby carved by hummingbirds. Inside the gift shop, shoppers can tame the twisty trails with an Ijams map ($1) or grab a Lost Species guide that tells the tales of extinct animals featured in the Lost Species exhibit ($5).
The public can hike and explore Visitor Center exhibits fee-free, but a membership serves up benefits such as free and discounted nature programs, including the First Child in the Woods, an outdoorsy intro to Mother Earth for youngsters; a subscription to the EarthWords newsletter; 10% off at the gift shop and the biannual plant sale; and invites to members-only activities.
Craig’s Hikes featured Ijams Nature Center. Insider Pagers and lilaguide users give it an average of four stars, and TripAdvisors give it an average of 4.5 owl eyes. More than 1,100 Facebookers like the center.
- A great place to spend an [sic] day, with a nature center and plenty of walking trails. They have lots of different programs including cub scout programs, night owl or bat hikes, summer camp and plenty of educational programs for all ages. – Julia O., Insider Pages
- My children love learning about nature here at Ijams. It is relaxing and teaches the children about their environment. Wonderful classes as well! – couponingmom, lilaguide
Ijams Nature Center
Ijams Nature Center is committed to outdoor conservation and recreation, supplying members with rugged nature trails, an eco-friendly learning center, and a wildlife sanctuary spread over 300 acres. The visitor's center reduces energy emissions through passive solar heating, and most of the building's surfaces were constructed using materials made from recycled newspaper, cardboard, and grocery bags. New and permanent exhibits fill this space, such as Ijams Family History—which showcases the traditional preserved birds that highlight their passion for ornithology. Inside the forest exhibit, correct answers to questions light up components inside a giant walk-through tree, and glass cases hold specimens such as a hummingbird nest and snakeskin.
Heading outside, guests enter the raptor enclosure—a sheltered structure and small amphitheater housing a red-tailed hawk and turkey vulture, who read excerpts from their favorite Looney Tunes fan fiction during educational demonstrations. From here, all-ages visitors explore a greenhouse and organic garden. Children can frolic in Jo's Grove—an interactive nature play area replete with hidden spaces and materials for building a nature fort. Hikers and mountain bikers can traverse ten miles of surface trails that wind through mature woodlands, as well as Mead's Quarry and Ross Marble Natural Area.