I’ve been wanting to write about the Sulphur Creek Nature Center for a long time now. When my son was two and three, we visited the center regularly for their awesome toddler wildlife classes (for 1-3 year-olds). I found it was the best place in the San Francisco East Bay to give my son hands-on wildlife experiences. In each class, the children are introduced to three animals (each child is given time to individually touch and meet each animal), while the naturalist tells fun stories and provides facts about the animals. Each class has a theme, such as “animal homes”, “body part fun”, or “diggers”. Then the kids make a theme-related craft to take home. Similar classes are offered for older children (and adults), in which classes head outside to explore nature hands-on, either in the small woods behind the Center or in the creek that flows through the grounds. Class sizes are limited, so children have time to truly meet the animals, and the prices are affordable, at less than $10.00/class.
The Nature Center is located in a natural park-like setting in the middle of a Hayward neighborhood. Visiting the park and the Discovery Center (when open) is free. The Center takes in injured wildlife for rehabilitation and care. Many animals are on display, such as coyotes, foxes, and a wide variety of birds (my son is especially fond of the hawks). The enclosures are mostly located outside, so visitors are free to walk around and see the animals. Inside the Discovery Center, you’ll find amphibians and reptiles. The grounds have picnic tables and a large grassy area, perfect for running around and playing. There is also a hill with a short trail through the trees, perfect for hiking with little ones.
Yesterday, we attended a birthday party at the facility. The child was turning five, and, for his birthday, he wanted to pet a tarantula. And he did! How cool is that? See below for a couple photos of my son holding the tarantula. The children were also introduced to a gorgeous king snake and a chinchilla. They made owl masks, and then headed outside for free playtime. The perfect party for any nature-loving kid!
Photos taken July 20th, 2013
Interested in going? The Sulphur Creek Nature Center is located in Hayward, at 1801 D Street. Park Hours are 10:00am-5:00pm daily. For current Discovery Center hours, I recommend you check the website… www.haywardrec.org/sulphurcreek.html. Check out the website for upcoming classes and events!
For a similar facility in the San Francisco East Bay, you may also enjoy the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek… Visit Report: Lindsay Wildlife Museum