Our girls loved the Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence, Kansas. After taking them to the Booth Family Hall of Athletics, KU Hall of Fame, we thought it would be nice to take them to something a little bit more their speed. Prairie Park Nature Center hit it out of the park for our kids. Indoor and outdoor attractions. Live animals as well as taxidermy displays. Informational areas as well as a kid play room and, to burn off some energy, hiking trails to a nice lake. Prairie Park Nature Center was a lot of fun for our family.
A person on a budget can’t beat free. So, when we saw that the Prairie Park Nature Center was free to the public we added it to our list of things to see. Glad we did. Going in we did not know really what to expect. Nature centers come in a variety of size, shapes, and amenities. We have seen them with a few tanks and books to lavish interactive exhibits. While the Prairie Park Nature Center is not the best we have seen, we were quite pleased with our time spent there.
The Prairie Park Nature Center indoor exhibits were quite extensive. Several local as well as some exotic animals on display. Including one very loud macaw which seemed to get a kick out of screeching at my wife and girls to see how high they would jump. Besides the live animals, they had several static displays of natural habitat dioramas. A kid’s play room with stuff animals, a bunny hutch, coloring materials, reading books, and several other play items. My 4 and 2-year-old spent a lot of time in that area. While we did not partake in any, the Prairie Park Nature Center also offers educational programs on site.
One thing that the Prairie Park Nature Center has that many nature centers that we have visited have not is a birds of prey area. Here they had owls, eagles, hawks, and a crow on display. Something that we were not expecting and it was a nice addition to our visit. Unfortunately, their enclosure areas seemed to be a bit on the smaller size, a cage like design. Hopefully in the future they will be updated and enlarged. Maybe some enterprising young scout could take up the cause and earn their rank of Eagle Scout
My oldest daughter and I did enjoy talking a walk to the lake that is on the property. A little daddy daughter adventure. It was Thanksgiving break during our visit. Making for a less than stellar visual experience. But we made the most of it and had fun. There is also a small play area with a large climbing rock we enjoyed before leaving. All-in-all Prairie Park Nature Center was a great little stop that if we find ourselves in Lawrence we will enjoy again.
To see our reviews of other Kansas attractions, click here
Prairie Park Nature Center
Located at 2730 Harper St. Lawrence
Hours of Operation Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information https://lawrenceks.org/lprd/ppnc/
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