The Robins Nature Center at Maymont
Maymont Nature Center, Shields Lake Drive, Richmond, VA, USA
museums, indoor-activities, fun-paid-activities
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Indoor Running, Climbing, Playing, and Observing Animals at Robins Nature Center
My family loves to visit the Robins Nature Center on rainy or cold days! It is the perfect way to burn off some energy, while still learning. My children both love to jump and climb on the "Run of the River Rocks", which is an interactive activity with a recreated beaver lodge to visit, and rocks that resemble those from the James River! They also love to pretend to ride the kayak. Their favorite, though, is the River Reach. It is a 34-foot tall sculpture with netting. It is safe for children to climb, but you may need to go up with your little ones. My children, ages 4 and 7 are both comfortable to go up alone, but it certainly took a few visits! While the children climb River Reach, they will see images of river microorganisms.
Once they've tired from running and climbing, they can visit with the animals: otters, turtles, fish, frogs, snakes, and more. There are many aquariums, and most have information specifically about the one you are viewing, so you can guide your children throughout the center. My son particularly loves the interactive activities, like the Freshwater Interactive Animation, which replicates lifelike interactions with animals and water in a river environment.
Tickets are required, and you will need to purchase them for a specified date and time. Members have free admission to the Nature Center. We usually spend about one hour playing and looking at the animals. Restrooms are at the entrance, along with a couple of vending machines.
On a nice day, you could pack a picnic and head straight to Maymont's grassy area, behind the Nature Center. This is a very short walk. Additionally, there are souvenirs in the gift shop to remember your day as you exit.