We love our indoor Minnesota Nature Centers. First, they’re wonderful places for little ones to explore indoors. They have many nooks, crannies, animals, books, toys, and more. Secondly, they’re often not too busy, which allows you to feel a little more comfortable letting your kids wander around. Third, they’re free – always a bonus! (donations welcome) And finally, they offer both indoor as well as outdoor exploration, so you’re not confined to one or the other if the weather is not ideal.

Make sure to check the times before you head out. Many centers don’t open until noon on Sundays!


Mississippi Nat’l River Visitor Center (In Lobby of Science Museum, St Paul MN)
Hours: Monday Closed | Tues-Thurs: 9:30am-5pm | Fri-Sat: 9:30am-9pm | Sun: 9:30am-5pm

Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center (Part of N Mississippi Reg’l Park, Minneapolis MN)
Hours: Monday Closed | Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-4pm | Sunday: 12-4pm


Richardson Nature Center (Part of Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington MN)
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 12pm-5pm

Minnesota Valley Nat’l Wildlife Refuge & Visitor Center (Bloomington MN)
Hours: Mon Closed | Tues-Sun 9am-4pm* (open to 5pm in summer)

Dodge Nature Center (W St Paul MN)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm | Sat-Sun Closed

Lebanon Hills Visitor Center (Part of Lebanon HIlls Reg’l Park, Eagan MN)
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm

River Bend Nature Center (Faribault MN)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm | Sat 9am-4pm | Sun Closed

Wood Lake Nature Center (Richfield MN)
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-5pm | Sun 12pm-5pm


Westwood Hills Nature Center (St Louis Park MN)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm | Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm

Eastman Nature Center (Part of Elm Creek Park Reserve, Osseo MN)
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 12pm-5pm

Lowry Nature Center (Part of Carver Park Reserve, Victoria MN)
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 12pm-5pm

Rapids Lake Education & Visitor Center (Part of MN Valley Nat’l Wildlife Refuge, Carver MN)
Hours: Monday Closed | Tues-Fri 9am-4pm | Sat-Sun Closed


Harriet Alexander Nature Center (Part of Central Park, Roseville MN)
Hours: Mon Closed | Tues-Sat 10am-4pm | Sun 1pm-4pm

Maplewood Nature Center (Maplewood MN)
Hours: Mon Closed | Tues-Sat 8:30-4:30pm | Sun Closed

Oakdale Discovery Center & Nature Preserve (Oakdale MN)
Hours: Mon-Wed 8am-4:30pm | Thurs 8am-8pm | Fri 8am-4:30pm | Sat 12-4pm | Sun 1-4pm

Willow River State Park Nature Center (Hudson WI)
Hours: Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Mon Closed | Tues-Fri 11am-3pm | Sat-Sun 11am-4pm


Tamarack Nature Center (Part of Bald Eagle-Otter Reg’l Park, White Bear Lake Township MN)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm | Sat 9am-5pm | Sunday 12pm-5pm

Wargo Nature Center (Lino Lakes MN)
Hours: Mon Closed | Tues-Fri 8am-4pm | Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 12pm-5pm

Silverwood Park (St Anthony MN)
Hours: Open daily 9am-5pm* (open til 8pm Apr-Oct)

Springbrook Nature Center (Fridley MN)
Hours: Open daily 9am-5pm

Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center (Part of Coon Rapids Dam Reg’l Park, Coon Rapids MN)
Hours: Summer Mon Closed | Tues-Sun 9am-5pm (Sept-May only open Sat-Sun 9am-5pm)
** Parking Fee Daily Permit $5

See all of our nature centers here

sKIDaddlers was started by 2 local Minnesota moms with a love for traveling and a knack for research.  Learn more about us and what you can find on our site here.