Until mankind first stepped outside in 1934, nature was thought to be a fanciful myth, like yogurt or the clutch hitter. Spend a few hours frolicking through the fresh air of truth with today's Groupon: for $33, you get a one-year family membership to Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills (a $75 value).
Ensconced among 116 acres of woods, wetlands, and meadows, Irvine Nature Center stirs up enthusiasm and respect for nature in children and families with a plethora of exhibits, special events, and educational programs. Inside the nature center’s exhibit gallery, the chirps of birds and eloquent narration of frogs beckon kids to partake in interactive exhibits. Live animals include snakes, poisonous dart frogs, and hissing cockroaches, and preserved native birds and an indigenous red fox silently remind children of the dangers of freeze tag. Outside, visitors immerse themselves in natural wonders such as the overlook of expansive Caves Valley and the Woodland Garden.
Though admission to the center is free for everyone, with the one-year membership, visitors get free rental of a backpack stuffed with hiking essentials such as a compass, field and birding guides, a magnifying glass for kids, and a live panther, in addition to free admission to other Maryland-area and national nature-minded organizations. Families also receive discounts for on- or off-site birthday parties that can include nature-trail exploration, art projects, live animals, and touchable natural items. A 10% discount at the nature store puts eco-friendly jewelry, locally produced snacks, and educational materials within jaws’ reach. In addition, members with temerarious tots can jump on priority registration access for summer camps and experiential programs.
Irivine Nature Center
Surrounded by more than 1,200 acres of protected land, Irvine Nature Center grants kids and parents access to 210 acres of open wetlands, forest, and meadows, affording families the opportunity to explore multiple ecosystems all in one afternoon. Dedicated to protecting nature and fostering respect of the outdoors, the center educates families with everything from field trips into the woods to hands-on lessons on specialized topics, from "Good Bugs for the Garden" to "Nature's Sweets: Maple Syrup & Honey." An indoor gallery sweeps adventurers through a collection of exhibits highlighting Maryland's local biomes, guiding visitors through an interactive box-turtle habitat and a darkened room echoing with the sounds of nocturnal animals such as owls and infomercial hosts.
11201 Garrison Forest Rd.
Owings Mills, Maryland 21117Get Directions