Not everything about Mystic centers around the water. In fact, there’s plenty to explore on land at this 300-acre nature center that includes both walking trails and a nature museum. Kids can see frogs, snakes, turtles and other live animals in instructive exhibits, and then go off looking for their own along eight miles of gentle hiking trails. Particularly popular is the pond trail, which includes a boardwalk from which you can view ducks and bullfrogs in their native habitat; along other trails, raptor enclosures introduce you to owls, hawks and other winged friends. During summer and fall, the center also offers weekly drop-off programs for kids aged 4 to 10 with guided expeditions in search of all manner of creepy crawlies.