Great Outdoor Destinations for Tots
April 8, 2014

Finding new outdoor destinations that are suited for toddlers can be challenging at times. Below are some of my top picks for toddler-friendly locations that your little ones are sure to enjoy!

1. Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia is a great place for little ones to roam and explore. The best part for my 2-year-old, Miles, was the canopy walkway that is raised 50 feet above the ground. The views above the trees are amazing, even to my tot who spent the whole time pointing out from the canopy and saying his new favorite word, “Wow.” The Tree Adventure also has a huge Bird’s Nest where kids can sit on giant robin’s eggs and the Squirrel Scramble, a section of rope netting that kids can crawl across while getting a different view of the landscape below. They also have a garden railway, re-opening in May. The Katsura Tree, with its enormous gnarly roots was another highlight for my kids.

2. Klein Farm

Located in Easton, this family-owned dairy farm sells raw milk, beef, vegetables, cheeses, yogurt, and baked goods. We visit regularly with our kids. They enjoy watching the goats, sheep, pig, turkeys, cows, roosters, and other animals. There are also picnic tables and a playground for kids to play on. Visitors are welcome to walk around the farm and observe how the farm works. Last winter, we were there while a calf was born and Mr. Klein was happy to answer all of my 8-year-old’s questions. It was quite an experience!

3. Tyler Arboretum

Tyler Arboretum, outside of Philadelphia in Media, has the most amazing tree houses for kids to climb into and explore. Some of the tree houses are more appropriate for older children, but there are certainly plenty for tots to enjoy as well. They’ll also have fun exploring the Crooked Goblin Shack, a troll’s toll bridge, and giant wooden door that leads into the side of a hill, huge multi-colored frog sculptures, fairy houses, and more—all perfect for toddlers. Tyler Arboretum definitely will get your kids’ imaginations flowing! You can look back at my previous post on Tyler Arboretum to see how much fun it was for my little one.

4. Pool Wildlife Sanctuary

Pool Wildlife Sanctuary is headquarters for the Wildland’s Conservancy which is located in Emmaus. This sanctuary is perfect for hiking and exploring with children of all ages, but is a favorite spot for my 2-year-old. He loves the long boardwalk that runs along the Little Lehigh Creek where we almost always spot interesting birds and sometimes even a heron. There are plenty of hiking trails and meadows. One of our favorite areas is the a fish pond; all sorts of peepers peeking their heads out now that it’s spring! Be sure to check out some of the programs offered by the Wildlands Sanctuary, including this naturalist-led, family-friendly walk on Saturday, April 12. There is something for everyone, but many are geared specifically for young children.

5. Elmwood Park Zoo

Located in Norristown, Elmwood Park Zoo is ideal for little ones. My grandparents lived minutes from this zoo my whole life, so I spent a great deal of time here as a child and now I love taking my kids there as well. Elmwood Park Zoo is a smaller community zoo, but there is still plenty to do. There are lots of interactive areas, like the fish pond near the entrance, a petting zoo, and you can even feed the giraffes! When you are finished walking around the zoo, there is a playground and plenty of areas for sitting.

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Take a night walk. Choose nearby or new: your neighborhood, a local park, along a waterfront, or out in the country. Whether you’re guided by the bright lights of the city or by starlight, pay attention to what you can hear, see, and feel. Even a short walk will illuminate the senses!



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