10 Best Nature Centers in Massachusetts!

To help balance out our otherwise active lives, sometimes we must escape into nature. And there isn’t quite a better place to do that than Massachusetts. The Bay State has an abundance of stunning natural spaces just waiting to be explored. Nature centers, science centers, sanctuaries and preserves all provide the public with educational but exciting experiences with our surrounding habitat. Here are our 10 favorite nature centers in the state. 

Green Briar Nature Center, East Sandwich, MA

Located on the shores of Smiling Pool in East Sandwich, the Green Briar Nature Center provides access to nature’s beauty and educational programs year-round. Walk the interpreted nature trails and enjoy the stunning wild flower garden in season.

South Shore Natural Science Center, Norwell, MA

Educating the public about the natural and cultural aspects of the South Shore, the South Shore Natural Science Center is set on 30 acres that are surrounded by another 200 acres of town conservation land. Visitors are welcome year-round to enjoy the outdoors and learn about environmentalism and stewardship inside of the center.

Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary, Boston, MA

You can find the Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary just outside of Boston, where the Boston State Hospital was once located. The urban sanctuary features trails and boardwalks that lead visitors through both meadows and wetlands. Year-round programs for both adults and children foster a true appreciation for nature.

Lloyd Center for the Environment Nature Center and Preserve, Dartmouth, MA

Overlooking the Slocum River estuary, the Lloyd Center for the Environment Nature Center and Preserve was created to raise awareness about protecting the fragile Massachusetts coastline and its resources. Also featuring a collection of live local reptiles, the center features a touch tank for both adults and children, as well as walking trails and environmental programs of interest to all.

Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Amherst, MA

Known for educating people about the environment, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment leads an average of 8,200 people—from children through adults—through programs that are focused on local nature and the environment. Featuring an environmental educational center that just opened this fall, the Hitchcock Center aims to foster a sense of responsibility in everyone toward nature.

Hamond Nature Center, Marblehead, MA

Located in the Wyman Woods Conservation Area, the Hamond Nature Center focuses on children, hosting day camp and summer programs to teach kids about nature. The area is accessed via Everett Paine Boulevard, and is a favorite of area families for hiking and spending quality time in nature.

Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center, Orange, MA

Sharing the excitement and wonder that stems from nature is the goal of the Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center. Their curriculum, taught by guest instructors, provides opportunities for deep exploration. Trackers and ecologists share their knowledge with those who sign up for the many programs offered.

Stony Brook Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary, Norfolk, MA

Featuring a hiking trail that is accessible from March through October, the Stony Brook Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary offers an audio tour and some of the best opportunities for bird watching in the state. The boardwalk is currently closed for repairs, so check the website to keep abreast of its reopening. Programs at the center include family science, ocean life, and evening wildlife.

Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon, MA

Featuring a nature center with programs on birding, ecology for kids, and the history of owls, the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary offers something for everyone. Their avid community outreach aims to educate all about wildlife research and conservation, in addition to a healthy love of the great outdoors.

Sherburne Nature Center, Tyngsboro, MA

Featuring 80 acres of uplands, fields, a marsh, and a beaver pond, the Sherburne Nature Center is where everyone in the region goes to learn about nature. The center features exhibits and an abundance of learning programs throughout the year. Explore on your own or take part in one of their educational endeavors.

View more Massachusetts Nature Centers and Botanical Gardens.
Share your favorites!
Massachusetts Search
Visit a Nature Center and Botanical Garden Near You
Find Nature Centers and Botanical Gardens Near You
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA
Only 21 miles from Boston, Garden in the Woods is a magical spot unlike any other botanic garden. With sharp, glacier-made ridges spilling into nar... Read More
280 Eliot Street, Natick, MA
An expansive retreat along Indian Brook and the Charles River, Broadmoor is an ever-changing environment teeming with wildlife: dragonflies darting... Read More
900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
MissionFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing... Read More
106 Central Street, Wellesley Hills, MA
Mission: To increase participation in science by engaging people with a diverse array of outstanding botanical resources for teaching, research, a... Read More
108 North Street, Norfolk, MA
A part of the Mass Audubon system, Stony Brook is a 250 acre preserve featuring forest, field, and wetland habitats that offer exciting opportuniti... Read More
Hartford Street, Medfield, MA
We think it's the rich history of Rocky Woods' 491 acres, laced by footpaths and former logging roads that meander through woods and wetlands and t... Read More
135 Wellesley Street, Weston, MA
Significance The significance of the Case Estates Area to Weston, and the region, derives principally from the horticultural activities of Marian ... Read More
208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA
Our MissionTo protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlifeOur VisionA Massachusetts in which nature whether found in a city park... Read More
208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA
At Drumlin Farm, you can experience life on a working farm and explore a wildlife sanctuary at the same time. Watch the pigs, sheep, goats, chicken... Read More
11 French Drive, Boylston, MA
VISIONNew England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill envisions a world where people and plants thrive.MISSIONNew England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill cre... Read More
414 Massasoit Road, Worcester, MA
Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester is the largest urban wildlife sanctuary in New England, with more than 400 acres cooperatively managed or owned by ... Read More
293 Moose Hill Street, Sharon, MA
Moose Hill is Mass Audubon's oldest sanctuary and one of the largest with nearly 2,000 acres. The 25-mile trail system brings you through diverse h... Read More
950 Main St., Worcester, MA
About Us:The Hadwen Arboretum, bequeathed to Clark University in 1907, contains 6.4 acres of unspoiled woodland green space in the heart of Worcest... Read More
10 Juniper Road, Belmont, MA
On Belmont Hill, just 6 miles northwest of downtown Boston, lies Habitat, an 93-acre urban oasis that has been devoted to environmental education s... Read More
963 Washington Street, Canton, MA
The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon (MABA) is a professional art museum within New England's largest conservation organization, connect... Read More
1904 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA
Operated in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Blue Hills Trailside Museum is the interpretive center fo... Read More
580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA
Mission:Reflecting the 1831 vision of its founders, Mount Auburn:commemorates the dead in a landscape of exceptional beauty and tranquility; provid... Read More
125 Arborway, Boston, MA
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University discovers and disseminates knowledge of the plant kingdom to foster greater understanding, appreciation,... Read More
Show More
Select a Massachusetts town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Nantucket County