Today’s Flash Family Fun Idea suggests you bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. Here are five reasons why:
- Tours are low-cost and often. Tuesday – Friday from 10:30am to 3:30pm, tours step off every half hour. With so many times available, it’s very likely you’ll get 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.
- In my experience, when I’ve gotten a personal tour, 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.
- 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.
- Your kids can’t get their hands on the raptors, but there are drawers of objects such as feathers and talons that little ones can touch.
- A children’s corner contains play vet sets, stuffed animals, x-rays, coloring sheets and books if you end up waiting a short time for a tour.
And here’s another tip: 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. The Raptor Center is located at 1920 Fitch Ave, Falcon Heights, MN 55108.