South Shore Natural Science Center
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:48 Jacobs Lane, Norwell, MA
Hours:Trails: dawn to dusk daily; science center: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Fee: Trails: free; science center: adults, $7; children ages 2–15, $3
Contact:; 781-659-2559

Bathrooms: At the science center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain in the center

USGS Cohasset

Interpretative center, pond, animals.

South Shore Natural Science Center.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

The South Shore Natural Science Center is located on 30 acres of land surrounded by 200 acres of town conservation/recreation land consisting of meadows, woodland, and a pond. You can hike six trails, but the main attraction here is the EcoZone museum.

Interactive exhibits in the museum focus on southeastern Massachusetts’s wetlands, woodlands, and meadows ecosystems. Kids will love to see the live turtles and frogs, and a tunnel underneath the turtle pond exhibit allows kids to crawl through, peer up at turtles from below, and watch them swimming.

Other animals to visit include snakes and spotted salamanders, and a favorite is the barred owl, Hedwig, who lives behind the building. At the small working greenhouse, you can see a Venus flytrap as well as a variety of other plants; there is also a rainforest section. Jacob’s Pond, behind the center, offers a fun boardwalk trek leading to a bench overlooking the pond and marsh. Smaller children will delight in following the storybook trail behind the center, which is a short trail marked with pages from a book about a city mouse and a country mouse.

Remember: The center offers extensive programming throughout the year, from walks to animal education to archaeology, for families and kids. Call ahead or visit the website for dates and details.

Plan B:

Wompatuck State Park (Trip 64) is just north of the center and offers camping and lots of trails for bike riding.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Take MA 123, which turns into Main Street, into Norwell to find places to eat.


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