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Fun with Kids at Tenafly Nature Center

Fun with Kids at Tenafly Nature Center

Acres of forest trails and live animals on-site bring learning to life and allow kids to experience nature firsthand—all just a few miles from the city.


With 400 acres of wooded land, the Tenafly Nature Center is a preservation area full of New Jersey greenery and wildlife. Just outside New York City, this nonprofit serves as an escape for city slickers and suburbanites alike. Take a walk through the 7 miles of trails, stop by the 3-acre pond, and attend one of many weekend programs for a fun, educational experience.

kids at tenafly nature center

Kids get a hands-on learning experience by examining insects outdoors in the Afternoon Explorers program.

Year-Round Fun

Open daily, the nature center is home to New Jersey-native animals including box turtles, corn snakes, bullfrogs, a barred owl, and a red-tailed hawk. The Visitor Center has a library with puzzles, books, and games for kids, but visitors are encouraged to venture outside any time of the year.

Each month, the center hosts a set schedule of events. On the first Sunday of the month, all ages can take a Guided Nature Walk through the forest with an environmental educator and learn about the seasons. The Seasonal Scavenger Hunt takes place every second Saturday of the month on the trails, and Nature Storytime takes place every third Saturday at the Visitor Center. Kids can learn more about animals and plants by registering for Little Naturalists (ages 2½-3) and Afternoon Explorers (ages 4-7), two eight-week programs offered throughout the year.

snake presentation at tenafly nature center

The nature center is home to an exhibit of animals that are native to New Jersey, such as snakes.

Annual Events

Most of the center’s annual events are based on the season and take advantage of the changing weather and holidays.

Each season at the nature center kicks off with a campfire, where you can learn what the season means for local plants and animals while enoying fireside treats like s'mores.

vernal pond at tenafly nature center

The vernal pond dries up and comes back each spring, and kids learn about the animals that live there for part of the year.

In March, learn how to tap trees for sap and then make your own maple syrup during Maple Sugaring Sundays. The season ends with a Pancake Brunch, complete with fresh maple syrup, of course!

In late March, the Lost Brook Trail Race invites visitors to run the center's 7-mile trail to raise money for the center.

The Camouflage Egg Hunt takes place near Easter. It’s not your average egg hunt—the eggs are dyed with natural colors to make them blend into the forest. Before searching for the eggs, kids learn how the natural dye is made.

Children ages 4-14 can spend their summer taking advantage of all that nature has to offer by signing up for TNC’s Summer Camp. Campers are broken into smaller groups based on age for themed activities.

During the fall, families can take advantage of apple season by bringing in freshly picked apples and participating in apple cidering

apple cider press at tenafly nature center

Use the center’s cider press in the fall to make your own fresh cider and taste your creation afterward.

For Halloween, the Nature Center creates a Haunted Forest. The not-so-scary walk takes place from dusk to sundown, and visitors can view the nocturnal animals from the exhibits on the trails.

Every three months, the center hosts a StoryWalk. Instead of just listening to a story, kids will experience it outdoors on an interactive walk through the trails.



Address: 313 Hudson Ave., Tenafly, NJ

Hours: Open year-round, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 11am-4pm

Admission: Free, but some events have fees.

For more information: 201-568-6093 or


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Samantha Neudorf

Author: Samantha Neudorf is a former editor at NYMetroParents. See More

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