I just love the nature center in Memphis.
It's always so quiet when I go--not tons of visitors, but so much to do!
I feel like it is an underappreciated gem in the middle of the city, with acres and acres of beautiful lakes, ponds, marshlands, gardens, visitor centers, and trails weaving through it all.
We started our visit with fish feeding. For just a dollar you can purchase a good-sized bag of fish pellets and walk over to a bridge to feed the fish, ducks, geese, and turtles.
We were pleasantly surprised and amazed when we saw that the water lilies were blooming! As we wandered through the trails, we saw that they formed a massive forest all over the water throughout the nature center.
My fuzzy phone pictures just do not do them justice!
The nature center has tried to preserve the natural wildlife of the Mid-South as much as they can, for being situated smack in the middle of an urban area, so it is fascinating to see what this area was like before it was settled. They have boardwalks through the marshes and up high in a forested area (so you can study the forest from near the treetops instead of the ground).
They also have a couple of different visitor centers, including one with lots of live, native animals. My boys love the section where there is are several giant glass windows that extend through the depths of a pond. There is a huge alligator snapping turtle that lives in that pond, so the windows allow us to see him at the bottom with his mouth wide open to catch a fish.
They also have a number of fun activities, like boxes into which you can stick your hand to try to figure out what you are feeling, books, and cute little nature-themed wooden toys.
I told the boys to strike a pose on our way out and this is what we got!