Outdoor Fun For Every Season at Blandford Nature Center
My kids live their best lives outdoors.
They are happiest with a little sun on their cheeks and some grass between their toes. Blandford Nature Center is an awesome place to take kids for some fun, outdoor learning that always changes with the seasons.
If you’ve never visited Blandford before, it can be hard to know what to see and how much you can realistically tackle in one visit. We broke it down season by season and added some bonus tips to make sure you have the best visit ever!
Fall Splendor in Full View at Blandford
Fall at Blandford is simply beautiful! This is the perfect season to get out and explore all those acres of trails while the weather is just right. Take an afternoon and enjoy the fall colors. There is a short hike that will lead you from the main parking area over to the school and farm–autumn is a great time to check both of those out!
Fall also means Blandford’s annual Harvest Festival which is a must-do for family fun. This is an opportunity to experience autumn during simpler times: candle making, wagon rides, and scarecrow assembly are all offered.
Winter Exploration is Indoors and Out
As winter is winding down, a stop at Blandford to check out their Sugarbush operations is always a treat. Kids can see how real maple syrup is made! I would also suggest letting them taste some Maple Candy…you know, for the full experience.
Winter is the perfect season to spend some time indoors learning about Blandford’s Wildlife Rehab program. You can find all those animals and much more inside the newly built Visitor Center.
Listen to the Sounds of Spring at Blandford
A chorus of frogs will greet you as you walk up to Blandford in the spring! Spring is the season to take a walk around the Wetland areas near the parking lot and see who you can spot peeking out from water.
Around this time of year you can also see the lovely wildflowers. Blandford is packed with some of Michigan’s most prominent and beautiful wildflowers. The Trout Lily is a favorite of mine!
Drop the Kids off at Blandford Every Summer
Did you know that Blandford offers Summer Camps? They have a wide variety of camp offerings for children ages 4-12 years old. I’m signing my preschooler up for one of their half-day camp options and I don’t know who is more excited–he or me!
And while the weather is working in your favor, you may as well hike around a little after you drop off your child for the day. I think Blandford is just as enjoyable without my kids in tow.
Blandford Fun in Every Season
There are parts of a visit to Blandford that are fun no matter what season it is. Here are some things you can do on any visit:
1 – Visit the Star Schoolhouse. Always entertaining to explain to a child that this one room was the entire school!
2 – The Wildlife Trail is always a favorite stop for my family!
3 – Blandford is always offering interesting workshops and events for both children and adults–it’s worth checking their calendar to see what’s coming up.
4 – Teaching your child how to use a physical map!
General Tips For the Best Visit Ever
- Dress for the weather!
- Do not try to push that jogging stroller all over the trials–use a or baby carrier, backpack, or wrap; everyone will be happier.
- There are restrooms in the Visitor Center–stop before you hit the trails.
- If the mosquitoes are out, bug spray is a must.
- Though the trails are mostly shady, still wear sunscreen in the spring and summer.
- Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy after you’ve finished exploring.
About Blandford Nature Center
Located at 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
The Visitors Center is open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday and it is closed on Sunday.
Rates are $3 per person (typically more for special events). Memberships are also available, you can find more information about them here.