You can’t tell from the weather outside, but spring really is here! It is a great time to be outdoors. The bugs haven’t started to really swarm, it’s not too hot and the weather really can be simply perfect. It is also a great time to introduce your kids to nature. Here are a few great ideas for a nature filled trip.
The Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge – Basking Ridge, NJ (Somerset County)
The Great Swamp has activities every week. They have tours, information and guides. This location is huge with over 7,000 acres of land and trails. You can stick to the trails but it is recommended that you wear waterproof footwear and long pants. The “Nature Detective Trail” has 11 unique places for you to stop and discuss nature with your kids. There are also educational programs that run often.
The Reeves-Reed Arboretum – Summit, NJ (Union County)
The Reeves-Reed Arboretum is a hidden little spot that few realize is an untold treasure. Beautiful gardens in a relaxing setting make is a perfect place for a nature walk. They also sponsor many events for children.
Wildcat Ridge – Rockaway, NJ (Morris County)
This hiking trail is a bit more challenging. It’s great for a family who has children ages 7 and up. There are some well-defined trails used by Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts every spring as well as local hikers. A great place to spy some of the Bald Eagles in the area.
Turtle Back Zoo – West Orange, NJ (Essex County)
Turtle Back Zoo is not the zoo you remember from your childhood. It has been magnificently transformed in the last ten years. New exhibits and enhancements are made each year. You will find a wealth of nature and great teaching moments with respect to nature. You will also find some amazing docents who will dote on your kids and share lots of props to demonstrate nature.