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Science and nature centers in NH range from bird to cave explorations

New Hampshire's variety topography and natural history transfers to a wonderful range of places to visit to see science and nature. Beaches, forests, and caves are alive with mysteries if you look close enough into their tidal pools and mossy corners.
Nature centers and bird sanctuaries and natural history museums are built and maintained to help people see plants and animals in their undisturbed states. As an outdoor family activity, you can hardly do better: children love to explore and discover.

science and nature in New Hampshire
New Sundial 500x250 - America's Stonehenge - Salem, NH
America's Stonehenge

105 Haverhill Road Salem, NH, 03079 Phone: 603-893-8300

Stroll among the pines and ancient megaliths

A hike through America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, is a nature trip like no other. Not only will you find yourself wandering in a beautiful pine forest, you'll also explore an archeological site of the type rarely found in North America. The woods are full of ancient megaliths and stone chambers, which many scholars believe were erected by Bronze Age voyagers who lost their way in the Atlantic and wound up on New Hampshire's shores. Others believe the monuments were erected by Native Americans or colonial farmers. You can decide for yourself. The site includes a small museum where a video presentation gives you some of the history. And be sure to pet the gentle alpacas who share the property.
seacoast science Center rye nh
Seacoast Science Center

Odiorne State Park, 570 Ocean Boulevard Rye, NH Phone: 603-436-8043

Located in Odiorne State Park, the Science Center offers an aquarium, and focuses on marine and area wildlife. Learn about the natural science of the Gulf of Maine and the plant and animal life that inhabit it. Events are scheduled on a daily basis, year-round, for all ages
Hours; Open daily February to October, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; November-February, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Ages 13 and older, $10; seniors and military,$8; ages 3-12, $5
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center - Holderness, NH
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

Route 113 Holderness, NH, 03245 Phone: 603-968-7194

This 200-acre facility on Squam Lake offers many, many ways to enjoy and learn about the animal and plant life of this water body. The property comprises open meadows, forests, and marsh boardwalks. Natural exhibits are home to native animals like bears, mountain lions, raptors, river otters, bobcats, and more. Take a tour of the animal exhibit trail and walk the hiking trails. There is a variety of cruises on the lake. Enjoy strolling through Kirkwood Gardens and browse the gift shop.
Trail Admission: Adults $22, Seniors $20, Ages 3-15 $16, Members and 2 & Under Free.
Lake Cruise Admission: Member Adults $23, Seniors $21, Ages 15 and under $19 ; Non-Member Adults $27, Seniors $25, Ages 15 and under $23.
see science center
See Science Center

200 Bedford Street Manchester, NH, 03101 Phone: 603-669-0400

This hands-on science center has nearly 100 exhibits where children and adults can do actual science experiments. The museum’s Millyard Project is a scale model of the Amoskeag Millyard of Manchester circa 1900, built entirely of Lego blocks – 2 million in all. Other activities include the Science of Ice Hockey; Reptile Mountain, and Moonwalk.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Check for seasonal changes in hours and programs.
Admission: $8 per person over age 3
great bay national estuarine reserve
Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Discovery Center is 89 Depot Road ; many other access points Greenland, NH Phone: 603-868-1095

This 25,000-acre tidal bay and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve are places of learning and outdoor exploration. The area can be reached at many locations, but a good starting point is the Discovery Center, with exhibits about plant and animal life of the bay, and guides to explore it.
Visitors may hike on the many trails through forests, salt marshes, and mudflats, accessible at Adams Point, Crommet Creek, Great Bay Discovery Center Campus, and many other coastal sites. Boating may include kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, or motor boats. Several boat access sites are available. These are tidal waters so be sure to check tide charts before you go. The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is part of NH Fish & Game and any Reserve property and it is open to hunting and fishing .
Hours for Discovery Center: May through September, Wednesday-Sunday, 10ay-4 p.m. October: Weekends only. Grounds are open dawn to dusk year-round.
Paradise Point at Newfound Audubon Center - Hebron, NH
Paradise Point at Newfound Audubon Center

North Shore Road Hebron, NH Phone:

This nature center on Newfound Lake offers 5 trails, a store and a library.
Hours:Open Memorial Day - Labor Day. Events are scheduled there during the summer months.
Twin Mountain Fish and Wildlife Center

Route 3 Whitefield, NH, 03595 Phone:

Visitors will find information on New Hampshire wildlife and fish. Exhibits feature videos, a hatchery, nature trails and a fish tank. Open May-October. Admission is free.
Madison Boulder Natural Area

Off Route 113 Madison, NH Phone: 603-823-5563

A National Natural Landmark, this boulder was deposited glacially and is over 80 feet long and 35 feet high.
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center - Concord, NH
McAuliffe–Shepard Discovery Center

2 Institute Drive Concord, NH, 03301 Phone: 603-271-7827

This institution honors New Hampshire’s native son and daughter, astronaut Alan B. Shepard and teacher Sharon Christa McAuliffe. This memorial provides engaging activities and a vast collection of interactive exhibits about space travel inside an entertaining learning environment that includes a planetarium , an observatory, and workshops for young and old.
Hours: Open Weds-Sun 10:30am - 4pm. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.
Shieling State Forest

Old Street Road Peterborough, NH Phone: 603-431-6774

This small forest (45 acres) has been dedicated to the advancement of nature and conservation education. There are self-guided nature trails, a learning center, and a demonstration of woodlot management. Events are scheduled there throughout the year.
Harris Center for Conservation Education

King's Highway Hancock, NH Phone: 603-532-2400

Nature center offering nature programs kayaking, hikes,and walks. Open year-round.
Warren Fish Hatchery and Education Center

Old Route 25 Warren, NH, 03279 Phone: 603-764-8593

Visitors may tour the hatchery. Interactive exhibits focus on local wildlife management and habitats, as well as the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon. Open Year Round, 8am-4pm. Admission is free.
Wapack National Wildlife Refuge

Route 101 Peterborough, NH Phone:

This preserve offers ample opportunity for wildlife observation, particularly of migrating hawks. Hiking trails lead past forested land, a bog, a swamp and a rock cliff. These trails are available in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well. Camping and open fires are not permitted.
Mount Washington Observatory Resource Center

2936 White Mountain Highway North Conway, NH Phone: 603-356-2137

Learn about Mount Washington and the weather observatory at its summit. Open year-round. Admission is free.
Rocks Estate

4 Christmas Lane Bethlehem, NH Phone: 603-444-6228

A natural preserve, this area features hiking trails, picnic areas and educational programs. Other events are offered throughout the year. Open year-round.
Cathedral of the Pines - Rindge, NH
Cathedral of the Pines

10 Hale Hill Road Rindge, NH, 03461 Phone: 603-899-3300

Sibyl and Douglas Sloane III founded the Cathedral of the Pines in 1945 as a memorial to men and women, including their son, who sacrificed their lives in World War II. Situated on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the Grand Monadnock, the Cathedral of the Pines is a breathtaking open-air cathedral and meeting space on 236 acres. Historic monuments honor the service of American men and women — both military and civilian. Visitors from all over the world participate in events here and explore the extraordinary sanctuary grounds and meditate in outdoor chapels and gardens. A warm jacket is often necessary. Guided tours are available; groups are required to make reservations. Fee charged for group tours.
Urban Forestry Center

45 Elwyn Road Portsmouth, NH, 03801 Phone: 603-431-6774

The center consists of 182 acres of field, forest, and salt marsh, several buildings, and the annual interest income from a trust fund. It is used as a tree farm to demonstrate proper forest management, a bird and wildlife sanctuary, a garden and landscape demonstration site, and as a learning center in forestry planning, forest management, ecology, tree and plant identification, and wildlife stewardship.
Stonedam Island Conservation Area

Stonedam Island Road Meredith, NH Phone: 603-253-3301

Self-guided nature trails are the centerpiece of this nature center, which focuses on conservation programs. Educational events are scheduled at the site throughout the season. Open July - Labor Day.
Tin Mountain Conservation Center

An activity-oriented nature center, scheduling lectures, trips and childrens programs in various locations throughout the Jackson area. Some programs will have a fee for participation.