Take the kids to hike miles of trails, check out cool exhibits and even see an American bald eagle at Meadowside Nature Center in Rockville, Md.
Inside the nature center the exhibits are in three distinct groupings:
Legacy of the Land gives kids the chance to use their senses to learn about the local environment. They will hear songbirds singing, smell local vegetation, crawl through a cave and feel the fur of woodland animals. The exhibit is undergoing renovations but is currently open.
Legacy of the People has the props, clothing and settings to let kids pretend they are pioneers and/or Native Eastern Woodland Indian children. Old time toys, a dugout canoe and a corn grinder are just a few of the things kids can play with in this exhibit.
The Curiosity Corner has books, games and puzzles that younger kids will really enjoy until they are big enough to appreciate the other exhibits.
Outside, eight miles of marked nature trails surround the center, and a Raptor Walkway has resident owls, hawks and the bald eagle.
Walk to the Pioneer Homestead a half mile from the nature center, where you can see what a small family farm looked like after the Civil War. Another trail takes you a third of a mile to the Valient Bridge, a covered bridge built by students in memory of teacher and environmentalist Joan Valient.
A nature play space area is designed to allow children to play in a world without limitations to imagination. Kids can climb through a hollow log, hop on stumps, play musical tubes and explore a nature touch table.
Meadowside Nature Center is located in Rock Creek Regional Park, 5100 Meadowside Lane
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free except for large groups and any special programs fees.
Click here for 7 nature play spaces in the Baltimore/Annapolis area