When people want to see and learn about animals they usually go to their local zoo. While this is without a doubt a great way to spend the day as a family, there is another, lesser-known alternative to zoos – nature centers. These facilities focus on both animals and the environments around them, giving visitors a more well-rounded experience. Nature centers can be found throughout the country and The Empire State is no exception. Check out this list of some of the best family-friendly nature centers in New York State.

A visit to a nature center is an excellent, educational way to spend the day as a family. You can hike the facility’s trails, learn about animals native to the area, and become more informed about the environment around you. The Empire State has dozens of places where you can do just that – many of them just a short drive from one of New York State’s major cities. So next time you’re in New York City or Rochester, be sure to pay one of these oft-overlooked attractions a visit. And when you’re done, be sure to check out this unique Long Island ice-cream-and-milkshake shop. Have you visited any of the nature centers on this list? Let us know about your experience in the comments!

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