National Eagle Center, Wabasha: Family Day Trip

Small girl outside the National Eagle Center in Wabasha Minnesota

We were blessed with gorgeous weather for a long weekend camping trip along scenic Highway 61. The first thing we did upon tumbling out of the camper in Wabasha, Minnesota, was spend a good fifteen minutes soaking up the sun along the bank of the Mississippi river. It’s along these banks that majestic bald eagles winter and build nests to raise their young. You can learn all about these raptors – and get just about nose-to-beak with them – at the adjacent National Eagle Center.

Since (obviously) this website’s got a strong family slant, I’m going to list what my kids were most drawn to at the Eagle Center. I’ll also note that we planned our visit to last about an hour and a half, including time spent exploring the exhibits and watching one of three live eagle programs presented daily.

The Birds: Up-Close Eagle Experiences

Not surprisingly, the kids loved the very personal feeling of being close to the birds. Only a low railing separated them from the five rescued eagles – four golden and one bald eagle – that call the National Eagle Center home. Each one has been rehabilitated from life-threatening injuries, but will never be able to be released into the wild. Below, Erin is visiting with Columbia, who was struck by a van around 2003.

Girl looking at Columbia, a bald eagle at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota
On view are the non-releasable Bald Eagles that now call the National Eagle Center home

Hands-on Exhibits in the Interpretive Center

Thanks for providing my kids with stuff they can touch! And play with, too. There’s a giant eagle’s nest for children to “hatch” eggs in, a station to make crayon rubbings, telescopes for eagle-spotting, and a large artifact corner. Plus, there are objects passed around during the live program that help hold the kids’ interest.

Little girl exploring the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota
Learn about the National Eagle Center’s Mission

Live Feeding

The kids got squirmy during the eagle program (through no fault of the presenter; she was great), but came front and center for the feeding portion of the show. Who isn’t tempted by food? They watched the celebrated bald eagle Harriet devour her daily meal of fish whole. Fun fact: eagles consume their entire prey, then cough up “pellets” of the indigestible material later! (Owls do this, too.)

National Eagle Center Family Fun Checklist

  1. Take part in the center’s daily programs featuring live bald and golden eagle ambassadors, including the fascinating live feeding.
  2. Explore the beautiful interpretive center to learn more about eagles.
  3. Stroll through the Preston Cook American Eagle Collection to see how this majestic bird has inspired American art.
  4. Take a turn at the telescope to view wild eagles. Visit during a winter month to see the birds that make the Mississippi River their winter nesting place.
  5. Plan your trip during special events, like Friday and Saturday Nature Programs or special tours.
  6. Hit the gift shop on the way out
  7. While in the area, make a visit to LARK Toys is five miles south of the National Eagle Center in Kellogg, Minnesota, and is also worth a stop!
  8. Looking for a nearby place to camp, we really love Frontenac State Park.

We all agreed that the National Eagle Center was a worthwhile stop on our tour down Highway 61. Considered “the world’s premier resource for impactful eagle education,” we would love to hear about your recent visit to the National Eagle Center and the nearby Wabasha/Kellogg area. Leave us a comment.



National Eagle Center
50 Pembroke Ave
Wabasha, MN 55981

Where to Park: You will find free parking both nearby street parking and in public lots that are a couple blocks away.

Website. The center’s website has some great resources for families wanting to learn more about Eagles.


2 thoughts on “National Eagle Center, Wabasha: Family Day Trip”

  1. ? What a TRULEY WONDERFUL experience! A 3 yr old, a 6 yr old, a 30 something and a 60 something had an educational, fun, visit. Enjoyed every minute and kids are still talking about it! Don’t forget LARK TOYS just down river and INTERNATIONAL OWL CENTER AND NATURE PARK in Houston MN. Wowed Zowwie ? ? ? Minnesota Rocks !!
    Thank You ?

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