Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center is 62 acres of lush Connecticut wilderness and home to hundreds of local animal, plant and insect species. It was founded in 1958 with the intention of inspiring children to love, explore and connect with nature by preserving a patch of untouched land for them to enjoy.
Nearly 60 years later, the buildings and programs have evolved, but the natural elements remain perfectly pristine.
The park is open all year round so kids (of ALL ages!) can experience Connecticut’s wild wonders in any season.
The fields, forests, ponds and streams of the sanctuary are criss-crossed with two miles of walking trails open from dawn until dusk.
Visitors are welcome to touch, feel, climb and interact with nature just as long as they leave the animals and plants unharmed. Kids are encouraged to flip rocks and logs in search of worms and wade into the pond to hunt for turtles and frogs.
Aside from the animals you’ll encounter in their natural habitats, Earthplace also features several resident birds and amphibians used in their educational programs.
Vultures, like Ozzie here, are scavengers. As such, they play a very important role in the food web. Connecticut is home to both Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures. To see Ozzie up close, join us for a Birds of Prey Feeding, every Saturday at 3pm! #vulture #birdsofprey #scavengers #turkeyvulture #westportct #raptors
There are two Bald Eagles, a Peregrine Falcon, two Red-tailed Hawks, various species of owls, Big Brown Bats, Turkey Vultures and a Black Vulture, a Monk Parakeet, a Blue Jay, a Northern Mockingbird, and snakes.
These species ambassadors cannot be released back into the wild due to injuries.
The entry into the museum features the wonderful Connecticut Wall of Nature. Sculptured tiles showcase the mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and plants native to Connecticut.
The museum’s Natureplace room features interactive wildlife dioramas depicting different ecosystems in Connecticut in different seasons including Spring woodlands, summer seashore, fall meadow, and life underground.
Earthplace offers dozens of fun and educational programs for children of all ages and even for families and adults. Choose from summer camps, preschool programs, and scouting opportunities.
Unplug your child from the electronic world and plug into the natural world with our After School Enrichment Program (ASEP). ASEP provides a bridge between school and home that connects students with nature in a meaningful way. Explore the exciting possibilities of ASEP today! earthplace.org/page/kindergarten-5th-programs
Or you can simply spend the day wandering the museum and dozens of acres freely – just like the animals that live there!
Earthplace Nature Discovery Center is open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 1 – 4. Adult tickets are $7 and kids over one are just $5 each.