If you have kids that are interested in nature, wildlife, or just really love playing in the woods- check out Tacoma Nature Center.  Tacoma Nature Center is a 71 Acre wildlife preserve in Central Tacoma, near Cheney Stadium.  While this is a service of Metro Parks Tacoma, this place is much more than your average park.  From the exhibits to Discovery Pond (the new nature-themed play area) there is plenty here to delight and entertain kids and adults alike, including:

Visitor Center

One of the great advantages of The Tacoma Nature Center is that it has an indoor option for those rainy days.  Inside there are exhibits with lots of animals to see up close and personal  including turtles, snakes, and more!

Discovery Pond

Designed as a natural play area for children to explore and interact with nature, Discovery Pond is the newest feature at the Tacoma Nature Center.  A pond with waterfalls and a log crossing, a slide inside a hollow log, boulder scramble, and lots of other unconventional play features. For hours and information on how to reserve the play area for exclusive use, click here!

Trails and the Nature Reserve

Start your journey through the woods around Snake Lake with a stop at the visitor center, where the staff will set you up with all the activities you can do on your walk.  In addition to the trails, there are nearly two miles of soft surface trails and a half mile outdoor access route for wheelchairs.

For more information about events, classes, workshops, and even space rental, check out the Tacoma Nature Reserve webpage here!

Thanks to Sean Werner at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage for the tip!


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Joint Base Living is a blog about food, neighborhoods, events, and things to do near JBLM!

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