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2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids

The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is one of our greatest assets here in Central Ohio!

The warm days of exploring the parks and all they have to offer are on their way, but don’t let colder weather keep you away! Many of the Metro Parks have Nature Centers that are lots of fun (and educational) for kids! Today I’m sharing 2 great Metro Park Nature Centers that will keep your kids entertained until it’s warm enough to splash in the creeks and spy on the bison!

When you’re done with this list, check out 2 MORE Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids!

Two Columbus and Franklin County Metro Park Nature Centers that are Great for Columbus Kids:

1. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

1775 Darby Creek Dr Galloway, OH 43119
Nature Center: 614-878-7106

The Living Stream is one of the highlights of the Nature Center at Battelle Darby! Kids can view live fish and turtles right at eye level. They can even crawl “underneath” the stream to see from the inside! You’re even allowed to touch!

There are mounted animals for viewing and pelts for touching!

The park offers programs for preschoolers on most Tuesdays! During the summer we attended a program about Seeds and the kids got to plant their own seed to bring home and watch grow! They were thrilled when it actually sprouted!

2. Highbanks Metro Park

9466 Columbus Pike (US Rt 23 N), Lewis Center, OH 43035
Nature Center: 614-846-9962

There’s a lot for kids to do at Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center! There are a lot of opportunities for hands-on learning and educational play! There are books, puzzles, coloring, matching games, puppets, a “tree” to climb in, a hut for pretending in and a glass covered stream for exploring!

Lots of educational fun behind these doors!

Live animals are on display and you can walk over the indoor stream to see what you can find!   

Lots of puppet fun!

Build your own log cabin!

Highbanks has programs for preschoolers, story times and birding activities for kids! Here are some updated photos from a visit in 2023:

Kids will love the interactive activities at the Nature Center at Highbanks! It’s such a good one!

This is a beautiful Nature Center! I love the library here, too! It has large windows for bird watching and my son enjoyed a huge pop-up book about birds on our last visit!

Outside the Nature Center at Highbanks Metro Park, they have an ADA accessible, larger-than-life eagles nest you can go inside! Don’t miss it!

If you’re looking for some new ideas for indoor fun, give one of these options a try! I recommend calling ahead to double check for seasonal hours!


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[…] a 1 mile hike to learn about turkeys! Meet at the Nature Center at Highbanks Metro Park on Saturday at 11:00 […]