The 10 Best Nature Centers in New Hampshire!

One of the best parts of living in a state like New Hampshire is the richness of the natural world waiting just beyond your front door. Visit one of the incredible places in the Granite State dedicated to preserving and explaining our surroundings and become even more connected to this place we call home. From science centers to farms to nature preserves, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy, be they experienced outdoorsman or curious newcomer. 

1. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, Holderness, NH

Opened in 1966, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has become one of the preeminent nature facilities in the region. The only institution in Northern New England that holds accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a trip to Squam Lakes Center in Holderness is as exciting for children as it is adults. Explore our incredible natural surroundings through live animal exhibits, educational programs, and lake cruises. If you have the time, be sure to take a stroll in the lovely, informal public gardens on the grounds. 

2. The Little Nature Museum, Warner, NH

The Little Nature Museum certainly packs a punch in its Warner location. Explore the collections of fossils, minerals, rocks, sea life, insects, and taxidermy birds and mammals. Be sure to check out the hands-on exhibits, where younger visitors may even win a prize! 

3. Harris Center for Conservation Education, Hancock, NH

The goal of the Harris Center for Conservation Education is to provide a comprehensive appreciation for our natural world, and to encourage its future preservation. Offering programs for families, children, and adults, this Hancock institution is one of the most impressive centers in the North East for learning about our surroundings and the responsibilities we have towards them. 

4. The Margret & HA Rey Center, Waterville Valley, NH

Margret and HA Rey, authors of the popular children’s series “Curious George,” left a legacy of enjoyable learning in the arts, the sciences, and the natural world. Visit the Waterville Valley center for opportunities such as “Curious George” Story Time, and stargazing led by volunteers from the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. 

5. Peabody Mill Environmental Center, Amherst, NH

Set on 600 acres in picturesque Amherst, the Peabody Mill Environmental Center presents an incredible opportunity to get children interested in the natural and scientific areas of life. Programs from Fingerprinting to Animal Track Identification to Make Your Own Electromagnet are specifically designed for the junior scientists among us. 

6. The Science and Nature Center at Seabrook Station, Seabrook, NH

A free nature experience in Seabrook, the Science and Nature Center is a dream for kids with an interest in the environment. While its primary function is as an electricity plant, Seabrook Station has dedicated itself to not only preserving its surroundings, but teaching future generations about their conservation as well. From touch tanks brimming with sea creatures to energy exhibits, self-guided tours are sure to fascinate visitors of all ages. Take the fun outside and wander the three-quarter-mile on site nature trail. 

7. McLane Center at Silk Farm, Concord, NH

The McLane Center at Silk Farm provides classic natural and conservation education. Whether you opt for youth groups, camps, family programing, or other environmental programing, the McLane Center taps into the natural world with understanding and reverence, right in Concord. 

8. Seacoast Science Center, Rye, NH

While our presence as a coastline state may be tiny, the ecological diversity and pure natural beauty of our ocean front is anything but. Stop by the Seacoast Science Center to learn more about our maritime environs. From Touch Tanks to Live Exhibits to Lectures, a trip to this Rye destination should be on your shortlist. 

9. Prescott Farm Environmental Center, Laconia, NH

The Prescott Farm Environmental Center takes nature seriously, and it's plentiful programing is evidence of just that. Prescott Farm offers “WildQuest Camps” during the summer and school vacations, and hosts a nature-oriented preschool on site, “Fledglings Preschool.” Also visit this Laconia location for 160 acres of conservation land open year round, heritage gardens, and three miles of hiking trails. 

10. Newfound Audubon Center, Hebron, NH

Nestled along the banks of Newfound Lake, three wildlife centers come together to form this Audubon Center. Paradise Point Nature Center, Ash Cottage at Hebron Marsh, and Bear Mountain Sanctuary work together to provide an unparalleled natural adventure. Whether you hike, birdwatch, snowshoe, Nordic Ski, or just love to veg out among serene beauty, a trip to the Newfound Audubon Center will not soon be forgotten. 

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