The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

Today’s Flash Family Fun Idea suggests you visit the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota with kids of any age for a fun and educational visit. Here are five reasons why we love it:

5 Reasons to Visit the Raptor Center with Kids

  1. Tours are low-cost and often. Tours typically run every day of the week with the exception of Mondays – though you’ll want to scour the booking page for available tour slots. With so many times available, it’s possible to secure a guide all to yourself! Kids ages 3-17 and seniors pay just $3 for a tour; adults are $5. The fees help with the care and rehabilitation of the birds.
  2. Tailored experience. In my experience, when I’ve gotten a personal tour (again, totally depends on whether or not others sign up for the same slot), the guide has tailored it to the ages of my children. Don’t worry if your toddler doesn’t have much of an attention span. Or, if you’ve got an inquisitive older child, they can ask as many questions as they like. This could make a wonderful outing for a homeschooling family.
  3. The birds are beautiful! Get up close to bald eagles, kestrels, owls and falcons. The Raptor Center treats about 800 injured birds a year with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. If you’re interested in witnessing a release, an annual event is held in the fall at Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings.
  4. Hands-on experience. Your kids can’t get their hands on the raptors, but there are a few objects such as feathers and talons that little ones can touch.
  5. The U is fun! The St Paul campus of the University of Minnesota is quiet and lovely to walk around with kids in mild weather. Tip: book a tour on a Wednesday afternoon and finish off with a pint of ice cream from the Dairy Salesroom, open 2-5pm.

Visit The Raptor Center

Free parking is scarce around the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus. If you’ve got some extra time (and a stroller), consider parking on a residential street in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood and walking a few blocks. There is also a parking garage about a half block from the visitor center. The Raptor Center is located at 1920 Fitch Ave, Falcon Heights, MN 55108.

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