Highbanks Nature Center

Highbanks Nature Center is one of our favorite spots to visit all year round. Whether we are there for an event or to explore on our own, we always have a wonderful time. My favorite thing is the fact that there is something for everyone to do. They have puppets, coloring pages and puzzles. A library filled with nature-themed books. Turtles, snakes and fish for you to see. Binoculars to help you see the birds soaring around outside of the center. Free nature-inspired events happening throughout the week. Did you know if your kiddo attends five or more events, they get a metro park badge? I’m telling you – they seriously have something fore everyone!

With that being said, I think it is a great spot to take the kiddos when its cold or rainy outside. The center is pretty open, which means you can see them at all times. Also, it means they have free-range to roam around and not feel confined like we tend to feel on cold, rainy days. I think there is enough to do inside that they won’t get bored. Last visit, we spent thirty minutes just playing with the puppets. They do have bathrooms on-site, which means you won’t have to leave for potty breaks!

He sprinted up because he was so excited!

We learn something new each time we visit!

They have such great info throughout the center. I love how bright and easily read everything is.

On select Friday’s, you can watch the naturalist feed the education reptiles and amphibians and learn what it takes to care for these. Upcoming dates:  2/24, 3/24 and 4/7.

“Hi, Mr. Turtle!”

This room is probably my favorite part. It is such a cozy little spot. It is filled with books, filled with different nature-themed books. We usually grab one of the children’s books and snuggle up on one of the chairs. They usually have bird books set out by the windowsill. It’s fun for the kiddos to see the bird outside in the book in front of them. They like reading different facts about them. They have a couple bird feeders outside of the window. Last time we were there, I could not believe the number of squirrels and birds we saw. At one point there was three or four cardinals. Such a beautiful site.

I am so glad they added in the library with the windows to view the bird feeders. It is so peaceful. Whether we are coming to play, go to an event or hike – we always make it a point to sit in here for a little bit.

The chairs are pretty comfy. Its a great little spot to sit and read together.

You won’t believe how many squirrels and birds we saw that day! It was such a cool thing to see.

I always let L use my Cannon camera when we are exploring nature. He would like me to let you know he took this picture of the squirrel. He is getting pretty good!

I just realized you could borrow binoculars the last time we visited. We are doing this next time!

I love how well organized the books are. They have a pretty big collection, including children’s books.

You are able to go inside and explore the tree. They have a few “animals” and “reptiles” to check out. I swear the snake looks REAL!! L thinks it’s funny to joke with me about it. There is also a flip-chart in there, too.

If you press the button on the “Terror of the Deep” – what looks like a black screen lights up and makes noise. It is one of L’s favorite parts of the center!

We never read the same book twice because they have a great assortment!

They always have a few different coloring sheets out.

The puppet show stage is always a big hit for the kiddos.

Puzzles can be found inside of the cabinets.

These wooden building blocks can also be found inside of the cabinets.

They have a great collection of puppets. Some make noise, which was fun (and scary).

Just outside of the center, you will find an entrance to the hiking trails. As you first exit, you will notice a deck with a few rocking chairs. It is such a beautiful view, very serene and peaceful. We usually take the trail to the left. Im not sure how far we go, but, after we go down the stairs a little way down – the kids play for a bit and we head back. Sometimes you are able to catch a waterfall on the lefthand side. It is always the perfect distance.

This walkway is straight out back of the nature center. It has a great view, as well as benches to sit on.

View from the walk out deck.

View from the walk out deck.


Upcoming Events 

Intro to Backpacking: How to Get Started – Outdoor Source will set you on the right path to start planning your backpacking adventure. Learn how to optimize gear purchases, bypass some beginner mistakes and feel comfortable planning and executing a memorable outdoor experience. Sun, Feb 12th at 1:00 pm.

Days of Old – Get the kids out of the house and into the Nature Center to enjoy some old fashioned fun with pioneer toys, butter making, and primitive fire starting. Sat, Feb 18  at 11:00 am.

Preschoolers: Froggy Fun – Find out what makes frogs special through a story and other activities. Ages 3-5. Wed, March 8 at 11:00am and 1:00pm. Thursday, March 9 at 11:00am and 1:00pm.

Storytime – Enjoy stories about water in the Nature Center. Ages 6 and younger. Mon, Mar 13 at 10:00 am.

The Brown Fruit Farm – Learn about the Brown Fruit Farm, which stood on land that is now part of Highbanks. Join expert T.K. Cellar as we look into the history of this charming business. Adults only. Sun Mar 26 at 2:00 pm.

Bald Eagles – Take a 3-mile hike to the Overlook Trail observation deck to see the eagle nest and perhaps the eagles in flight. Oak Coves. Sat Apr 1 at 10:00 am.

This is a small list of events. Click here to get the full list. Most of the times the events are FREE!


Highbanks Metro Park

9466 Columbus Pike | Lewis Center, OH 43035

614.846.9962

April to September: 9am to 8pm
October to March: 9am to 6pm
Christmas Day: closed

Parking: They have parking available right outside of the nature center. I haven’t ever had trouble finding a spot, however, if there aren’t any – turn right out of the parking lot and you will see more parking ahead on your left!