Both a zoo and a wilderness educational center, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is an open air exhibit featuring the wildlife of New Hampshire. Focused largely on teaching ecological concepts, the center operates in an expansive meadow, allowing for the nature of the area to serve as the classroom. Three hiking trails, a wide walking path suitable for families, and an outdoors playground for younger children make it fun and easy to explore. The outdoor exhibits allow for maximum interaction with the local wildlife.
The science center grants the opportunity to observe the animals up close and learn more about their habitats and natural adaptations. As many of the animals have been injured, most are unsuitable for life in the wild. Everything from deer and foxes to black bears, river otters, mountain lions, and bobcats can be seen. Looking out on Squam Lake (or taking the boat cruise there) is a way to experience even more sightings of native birds.
Located in Holderness, New Hampshire, the Squam Lakes Science Center is easily accessible from I-93, about one hour of driving time from nearby Manchester. The center’s live animal exhibit trail is open daily from May to October, from 9:30am-5pm. Admission is $19 for adults and $14 for children. Tours are self-guided, or given by docents (Thursdays only.) Two hours is a good window of time to allow for a full visit. Picnic facilities are located beside the center, allowing for a scenic lunch in combination with a visit.