The Western North Carolina Nature Center Offers Family Fun & Special January Programs for the Kids


Western North Carolina offers family fun for everyone of every interest. The options are only limited to your imagination and the amount of time you have to spend here. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, local festivals, museums, theater, shopping, good eats, all of these and moreyou'll find it here in Asheville and the surrounding area. Book your Western North Carolina vacation rental and you'll be conveniently located near the area's local attractions and adventures, while enjoying the all of the comforts of home.
Asheville and Western NC photo by Daniel Walker Cole
For the nature lovers, the Western North Carolina (WNC) Nature Center is a popular attraction for families. The WNC Nature Center is located on over 40 acres of Southern Appalachian habitat and provides fun, education, and safe opportunities to interact with the local wildlife. It's a one-of-a-kind adventure where visitors can learn more about native plants and animals. The WNC Nature Center features over 60 animal species including river otters, black bear, red wolves, and cougars, just to name a few. The center is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and dedicated to the advancement of conservation, education, science, and recreation.

The Nature Center hosts a variety of educational opportunities for all ages including camps, special programs, and volunteer opportunities. The center has a variety of educational resources available.

January kicks off Critter Time for Tikes and Tots, a special program geared toward children ages three through five and their parents. The program runs every other Wednesday through mid-March and offers a creative way for this age group to learn about animals in an up-close and personal way. Critter Time runs from 10a.m. to noon for five weeks.
Critter Time at the WNC Nature Center in Asheville
Activities planned range from indoor fun and games to animal encounters and walking tours. There is story time and craft sessions, where kids can take home their masterful creations for free. Each session focuses on a different group of animals including one for mammals, bugs, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and farm animals. You can view the 2014 Critter Time for Tikes and Tots schedule for dates, times and program details. The Critter Time program fees are Friends members: $10 per adult/child; all others: $12 per adult/child; all five sessions: members $40, non-members $50.

The WNC Nature Center is located at 75 Gashes Creek Road in Asheville and is open 7 days a week from 10a.m. to 5p.m. (The center is closed on Thanskgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day). Admission fee is $8 per adult, $6 for Asheville residents; $4 for youth ages 3-15; children ages 2 and under receive free admission. There are also discounted rates for members and seniors.

We hope you'll add the WNC Nature Center to your travel itinerary this year. If you plan to visit it, let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you. Happy nature adventures to you and your family!


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