Kids Creative Chaos: Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center and Bird Sanctuary: The Perfect After-School or Summer Camp Activity

Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center and Bird Sanctuary: The Perfect After-School or Summer Camp Activity


Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis has a lot to offer when it comes to Things to do in Indiana

Earth  Discovery Center Scavenger Hunt Activity
Take a scavenger hunt and find animals hidden in the mural.
One of of my favorite things to do in Indianapolis is to visit Eagle Creek Park. The park is full of fun, free (or nearly free), educational things to do with kids. The activities are spread out, so ask for a map when you enter the gate. I say free, but your car is charged a small fee to get through the gate.
Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center offers educational activities for Homeschoolers
Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center offers educational activities.
We enjoy bird watching at the Bird Sanctuary, Friday Night Frog Watches for Families, Swimming at the Beach, and visiting the Earth Discovery Center which is full of science and nature programs. You can visit the air-conditioned Earth Discovery Center and do a self-guided tour to learn about turtles, frogs, and other creatures that inhabit the park. We especially like the scavenger hunt room. They also offer summer camps and afterschool programs. If you are adventurous and want to spend some money try the Go Ape experience.

Eagle Creek Bird Sanctuary: The Perfect After-School or Summer Camp Activity
Eagle Creek Bird Sanctuary:
The Perfect After-School or Summer Camp Activity

When you visit the largest park in Marion County and one of the largest city parks in the nation, you will discover many treasures hidden among the 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acre reservoir. The Ornithology Center or Bird Sanctuary is accessed by two main gates, which charge $3 per bicycle, $5 per vehicle, and $50 for a season pass.

Need to unwind after-school? The Eagle Creek Park Ornithology Center is the perfect place. On most Wednesdays and Fridays at 4 p.m. you can take your children to 'Meet a Raptor.' Park Staff will introduce you to a live bird of prey and even let you get up close and personal in an intimate setting. It is a great opportunity to sneak educational programming into an afternoon of fun.

The Center is nestled between the reservoir and a fun frog pond, which offers many opportunities for bird and frog watching. Check the special events calendar for "Friday Night Frog Watches" where you can learn to identify the various sounds of frogs vs. birds. Also, outside the center, (weather permitting) rescued hawks and owls are exhibited in special cages. A rustic deck, perfect for outdoor picnics, overlooks the reservoir.

Inside, boasts two bird viewing areas complete with binoculars and reference materials. One area overlooks the reservoir. Here, you can challenge your children to a game of eye spy that focuses on the various bird species flying over the water.
On any given day, you will spy a Great Blue Heron, Loon, or one of the two-hundred and sixty other species of Indiana Birds that call Eagle Creek Park home. Kids won't need binoculars to view the circus of squirrels that have taken over the manmade bird sanctuary fighting with Blue Jays and frightening Cardinals.
The indoor exhibit is filled with Indiana wildlife in their natural habitat and interactive computer kiosks with fun facts. The best kept secret is the kiosk which allows you to listen to various bird songs, match them with the appropriate picture, and even compose a little tune of your own. All of this is included with the park's general admission. For an additional fee the park offers after-school programming at the Earth Discovery Center.

Make a day of it in the summer and visit the beach too. Swimming is $3-4 per person, they have lifeguards, and life jackets are available on request. Yes, there is acutally sand on the beach. Enjoy!

Recommended Reading:
Beginning Birdwatching for Kids

Things to do in Indiana

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America: The Best Birding Book for Kids from National Geographic's Bird Experts

Birds, Nests and Eggs (Take Along Guides)

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