Rock Cree Park Nature Center5200 Glover Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20015
Website ~ Map Link
Bottom Line: A nice nature center with a fun discovery room for younger kids. Visiting the stables next door was an added bonus to our outing. 4/5 stars.
On a cold January day (remember back when it was cold… briefly?), I took my four year old to check out the Rock Creek Park Nature Center.
Upon entering the building, we spied a table full of “please touch” nature items — skulls, antlers, pelts, shells and more.
There is also a gift shop by the entrance, for anyone looking to pickup some nature related paraphernalia.
We headed into the main exhibit room, which is full of displays of various local animal life.
Each display had pictures and interesting information, but the display cases with stuffed birds and animals are what caught my little one’s attention.
There is not much that is interactive in this room, which is a negative for a preschooler with a short attention span. However, he did enjoy looking at the few tanks we found with live animals — mostly turtles. There is also a beehive display, but the bees were dormant when we visited.
Downstairs, there is another display room that had stuff to look at on the walls, but again, did not hold the attention of my guy for long.
We headed back upstairs and found the Discovery Room, which was the jackpot for someone needing tactile interaction.
In here we found all sorts of fun things: lots of animal puppets, coloring pages, books, flannel wall, animal footprints and more.
The nature center is staffed by a park ranger who is on hand to answer questions. There are also daily guided nature walks, and a planetarium that has several different free shows throughout the week.
After getting our fill of the nature center, we walked across the parking lot to check out the Rock Creek Park Horse Center.
The horses at the stables are a combination of privately owned and owned by the horse center. They are available for lessons and trail rides. After I asked if it was okay for us to walk around, we explored the grounds, saying hello to the horses in their stables and in the paddock.
Seeing big animals up close was a fun change of pace and made for an interesting outing.
The Rock Creek nature center seems bigger, cleaner and little nicer than the facilities I’ve been to in Arlington, so if you are looking to try a new nature center, I recommend checking it out.
Looking for more places to play? Check out my reviews of other Playgrounds, Parks, and Play Areas in Arlington and the greater Metro DC area.
Find more parks by visiting my main Arlington Parks & Playgrounds page.