Swope Park in Kansas City, MO is home to the famous Kansas City Zoo, numerous golf courses, and the Blue River. But the Lakeside Nature Center that is also inside Swope Park is an experience all its own. As both a nature center and an animal hospital, visitors get to explore and study the wonderful wildlife of Kansas City.
At the Lakeside Nature Center, you will have the chance to explore different exhibits and learn about birds of prey, snakes, reptiles, and amphibians. You can learn how to identify the different wildflowers that are unique to Kansas City, and take an explorative adventure as you hike one or many of the beautiful trails within Swope Park. There is even a wildlife program for children and adults who are especially interested in learning about and preserving the wildlife in Kansas City.
Things to Do
- Visit Wilma: Almost like a mascot for the Nature Center, Wilma is the oldest box turtle in Swope Park; Visit her and learn about her previous family, her eating habits, and the lifestyle of turtles
- Mother Nature Reads: Every Saturday morning at 10am, bring your little ones to enjoy an educational animal story from the Nature Center's own library; Each month features a different animal and a special art activity to do after story time
- Scavenger Hunt: Turn each visit into a game by collecting the scavenger list from the visitor's center and finding all the items as you explore the exhibits and hike the trails; You can also print the hunt list from their website and bring it with you
- Hike with a Naturalist: Once a month, hit the Fox Hollow Trail with one of the Center's own naturalists; Learn about the history of the park, the plants and trees, and the wildlife living nearby; Please dress appropriately for the hike and the weather and be sure to bring a water bottle
Lakeside Nature Center Insider Tips
- The Center is a very small facility for rehabilitating animals. It will take you less than an hour to view the animals and learn about the center, so take advantage of a nice spring or fall day to explore the trails around the Nature Center after you visit the exhibits.
- Every month, the Center hosts different events specifically geared towards children and their families. They include Magic Woods, Breakfast with Beasts, and special Earth Day events. Be sure the check the website and the calendar to find out which events are happening during your visit.