Briar Bush Nature Center
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:1212 Edge Hill Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA
Hours:Trails open dawn to dusk daily; museum, pond, and bird observatory open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Fee: Adults, $3; children ages 2 through 17, $2; children under age 2, free
Contact:, 215-887-6603

Bathrooms: In the bird observatory
Water/Snacks: None
Map: (click on About Us, then Grounds and Facilities)

Young kids will enjoy exploring nature along hillside trails and at a large pond, and climbing the Nature Playscape.

Briar Bush Nature Center
Photo by: Susan Charkes

Briar Bush Nature Center packs a great deal into only 12.5 acres in the midst of a residential neighborhood in Abington Township. It’s a wonderful place for young children to get acquainted with the outdoors in a safe, contained environment.

From the backyard of the nature center, wide, wood-chipped trails meander down a wooded hillside to a big pond where green frogs try to disguise themselves as mud along the shores. The trails total only 1 mile, but that’s plenty for the young children for whom this nature center was created. Along the way, kids can stop at the Nature Playscape, a play area inspired by natural structures, such as logs to balance on and a tunnel to crawl through. The playscape is constructed out of branches, boulders, and other materials found in the woods.

In a screened Butterfly House (open seasonally), kids can stand amid flying monarch and painted lady butterflies, and if they’re lucky, get one to land on a shoulder. The area around the Butterfly House is stroller-friendly. The trails are open during winter, which is a good time to look for animal tracks in the snow.

Two indoor spots on the grounds are open for nominal fees. The Griscom Bird Observatory, in a cottage, is a comfortable place to look out onto naturalistic bird-feeding areas. The Nature Museum features interactive exhibits about nature designed for young children. Briar Bush hosts numerous programs throughout the year for families. Check the website or call for more details.

Remember: No pets are permitted.

Plan B:

Pennypack Preserve is nearby; school-age kids will enjoy its variety of trails along ponds, a creek, meadows, and woods.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Easton Road at Edge Hill is a commercial area with shops and restaurants.


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