Family Activities:

Blandford Nature Center


Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn NW, Grand Rapids, 49504, MI

Bob, the ironically named Bobcat, is just one of the rescued animals your family will meet at Blandford Nature Center, a non-profit featuring 143 acres of woods, farmland and wildlife about 10 minutes from downtown. Rescued hawks, turtles, vultures, bunnies, snakes and more populate the Center (some of them being nursed back to health at the animal hospital), but Bob is the most popular. He was born in 2002 and purchased as an illegal pet whose owners had him neutered and declawed.

There are four miles of lovely wooded walking trails, all of them looped so there’s no possibility of getting lost. Take a 10-minute hike through the woods to Blandford Farm, a living example of how food is grown and taken from field to plate. Forty different vegetables are grown here; the farm also raises chickens, bees and goats. Check out the genuine one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, homestead barn, blacksmith shop and sugarhouse, which serves as a base for maple syrup operations in late-February and March (sap season) each year. Tip: Visit during this time to buy well-priced, fresh-tapped liquid gold at the gift shop.