Market invites kids to hands-on Nature Day


Kids can learn about nature, animals and artifacts up close at a family-friendly event this month.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is hosting its fourth-annual Nature Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 25.

The free event allows kids to get up close and personal with animals, see and touch artifacts, learn through stories and enjoy other activities such as take-home crafts. 

Nature Day will take place on the second floor of the market in the greenhouse and banquet space.

A bevy of West Michigan organizations will bring learning materials and/or live animals for kids to see.

“This is always one of our most popular events for families, bringing nature and wildlife education indoors during one of the coldest winter months,” said Amanda Gielczyk, VP of marketing and operations for the Downtown Market.

Blandford Nature Center will bring animals from its ambassador program, including a barred owl, barn owl, long-eared owl, domestic rabbit, American toad and eastern box turtle.

The Outdoor Discovery Center will bring a turtle pond with turtles and frogs that kids can touch, a black rat snake, eastern screech owl, red-tailed hawk or great horned owl, as well as hands-on artifacts including skulls, skins, feathers, antlers and furs.

The Michigan Entomological Society will bring preserved butterflies and moths in frames from around the world, while Say Yes to Nature will bring worms, bugs and hands-on educational activities and pieces.

ReptilesLS will bring various types of reptiles for kids to observe, and Casa La Parrot will present tropical parrots for kids to learn about, including some special-needs birds.

Kent District Library will lead nature-themed story time activities during the event and will bring hands-on activities for the kids, as well.

More information on the event is available online.

Image Courtesy Grand Rapids Downtown Market

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