About a month ago we took some out of town family members to visit the The Wilderness Center in Wilmot Ohio.
It was our first trip to the nature center so we weren't sure what to expect and were hoping for the best. As we pulled into the parking lot, I was immediately impressed with the facility. It was a state of the art building that was extremely well kept. At that point, I knew we made a good chose and was excited to see what was in store for the day.
The day we were visiting they were hosting a special Birding for Kids program. So we quickly parked and made our way into the center.
During the first part of the program the naturalist gave a 15 minute presentation about different types of birds. She engaged the children by asking questions and had quite a few items to pass around the room.
After the presentation, the group made their way to the observation area in the center. The naturalist helped the group identify a number of different birds, some squirrels and raccoons.
Then it was time for the group to take a nature walk. Each child received a pair of binoculars and a bird bingo sheet filled with different birds actions (Preening, Singing, Flying etc). Then we all headed out to the lake.
During our walk the naturalist periodically stopped to point out different birds, their sounds and what they were doing. This provided a opportunity for children to check off items on their bingo sheets.
When we got to the lake, the naturalist gave each child corn kernels to feed to the ducks. Did you know that it is much healthier to feed them corn than bread?
Then we walked out on the dock to feed the fish.
Once the naturalist led walk was finished, we continued our hike around the lake. Experienced a beautiful view at the observation deck, met up with a group catching dragonflies at a small lake (the kids loved watching them) and then ended with a picnic lunch in a covered pavilion.
We spent about 3 hours at the center and thoroughly enjoyed our time. We'll definitely be visiting again!
We were short on time so we didn't get to check out the interactive and educational children's area. Next time it will be our first stop as my kids always enjoy learning about nature.
About The Wilderness Center
Planning Your Trip
- Check the weather and dress accordingly. It's always helpful to dress in layers so you can add/remove items it you get too hot or cold.
- The hiking trails go through the woods, so they may be muddy in spots. Bring shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. You may want to pack an extra pair for the car ride home.
- Pack some snack items like pretzels, fruit, or granola bars. Active children (and adults!) burn up energy fast. Remember to stay hydrated as well. Reusable bottles are a great option because they can be refilled at the drinking fountains in The Wilderness Center. Not to mention that they are also good for the environment.
- The center often hosts special events similar to the Birding for Children event we participated in. View The Wilderness Center Website to see what programs are available.
- Incorporate geocaching the outdoor scavenger hunt. You will need a GPS device or a GPS enabled mobile phone. Go to the Geocaching website to learn more and to identify which geocaches are hidden at The Wilderness Center (There are LOTS of options).
- Bring along a camera to capture the fun!