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Eastman Nature Center is found within Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove. The building was recently renovated and is filled with things for families to explore: hands-on exhibits for kids such as a puppet theater and costumes for dressing up.
There are also live animals to observe, floor-to-ceiling windows for birdwatching, a wildlife mural scavenger hunt, and an open-air deck.
Outdoors, hit a trail and, if you'd like to learn more about your surroundings, there are cell phone audio stops and interpretive signs. Kids might enjoy checking out an exploration kit to tote along. Make sure to stop in the nature play area so they can climb and dig.
Other highlights of the park are the enormous Elm Creek Park Reserve Playground and the sand-bottomed swimming pond. You'll want to set aside several hours -- make a day of it, in fact -- in order to see it all.
Birthday Parties at Eastman
Rooms within the center are available to be rented for birthday parties and other private events. Learn more at the park's website.
Articles Featuring Eastman Nature Center
- Twin Cities Spring Nature Play & Programs Guide
- FFTC's Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities
- Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities
For more outdoor play ideas:
- 10 of the Best Twin Cities Playgrounds
- 20 Twin Cities Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds to Try This Summer
- Nature Playgrounds in the Twin Cities - Get Back to Green