An Adventure at the Harris Nature Center

Our adventures typically happen as a whole family, but every now and then we take a day to ourselves. Just us girls. My 4-year-old and I spent our last “girls day” at the Harris Nature Center, located at 3998 Van Atta Rd, Okemos, MI 48864. 

Check out the video below about our visit highlighting the different features at the Harris Nature Center that you won’t want to miss!


For those who have never visited the Harris Nature Center, there is honestly so much to see and do. It truly is a hidden gem in the community and here’s why: 

Indoor & Outdoor Spaces

Not only is it a great place to enjoy nature, but there are so many options to host small outdoor playdates or even a birthday party. A covered pavilion and restroom building accommodates the many outdoor guests. The Red Cedar River Overlook and Observation Deck are spaces to soak in the gorgeous views. Visitors can stop by the building when open and explore the nature trails dawn to dusk. The nature center even hosts outdoor events at the Gathering Circle, including concerts and educational programs throughout the year.

Natural Play Areas 

The Nature Exploration Area was created for children of all ages to interact with nature. Although the play areas were wet from the rain that morning, I know my daughter would have been thrilled to explore every single activity. The play area features the Eastern Box Turtle Sculpture, Beaver Lodge, Michigan Fossil Dig, Log Jam, and Sticks & Stones. Most of these play structures were made possible through community donations and the Harris Nature Center Foundation

Live Animals 

Our favorite part of visiting was seeing all of the live animal exhibits. From red-tailed hawks to the turtles, we spent a lot of time interacting with the resident animals. If timed right, you may even get to see the animals during feeding time. The turtles are our favorite, they love the attention and follow you around as you move around the Center.  

We hope you enjoy your visit to the Harris Nature Center as much as we did!

Brandie Yates
Brandie grew up in the small town of Ithaca, MI. She moved to the Lansing area to attend Michigan State University. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism with a focus in Broadcast, Public Relations Specialization and Dance Specialization. She currently works as the Marketing Manager for the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA). Brandie lives in Mason with her husband, two daughters, and two golden retrievers. Her hobbies include spending time with her family & friends, traveling, cooking, dancing, and going to the theater.


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