Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to visit especially with younger children. If you’ve ever paid full admission to the zoo only to discover your children aren’t even remotely interested in looking at the animals, you might have regretted the whole adventure.
Not to fear, a visit to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is completely FREE and worth the trip if you are planning on traveling. Even from the age of nine-months old, this is a child-friendly visit that will excite the whole family. Located in Green Bay, the Wildlife Sanctuary is a 700 acre urban wildlife refuge that is a local favorite.
Get up close and personal with nature
Whether you attend a program or just drop in randomly, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to see and interact with nature.
You can feed the ducks and geese corn, which is great if you can buy ahead of time. Reason being you can purchase a lot more than you’ll get in the bags they sell at the Observations Building and it saves you precious time and sanity to avoid having to wait.
Finding your way around
Typically if it’s your first time, you’ll want to head towards the Nature Center for parking and exploring. When you come through the main entrance, you’ll veer to the left.
If you plan on bringing a stroller, know that you’ll walk a little further from the main parking to get to the Nature Center. Also getting to the main bridge to feed the birds will take a little extra effort rolling down a hill. Although going up it can provide an extra workout for you!
Bathrooms are conveniently located right in the front of the Nature Center building. Again, a must know when traveling with younger children. You can print a Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary map here.
Inside spaces to learn and play
Even if you run into poor weather, the sanctuary provides plenty of fun indoors. There’s a really cool (slightly scary for some) tube slide, small cave tunnels and animals to see and learn about at the Nature Center.
Just a short walk away on the wildlife trail, you’ll find another building. The Woodland Building allows you to see and learn about snakes, turtles and even more critters.
Explore the great outdoors
The Wildlife Habi-Trail is just a few steps away from the main Nature Center. You’ll find plenty of shade (great for those hot days), climbing areas and close up views of animals like otters, bobcats, wolves and more!
Did you know there is over six miles of trails to explore? You’ll regularly see chipmunks, all types of birds and even wild turkeys.
One of my kid’s favorite spots at the sanctuary is the Observation Tower. You can climb up super high to get a great view of the deer and the landscape. There is also deer food available for a few quarters.
The opposite route of the wildlife trail and down the stairs, you will find the floating boardwalk to see the ducks and geese and you can then make your way to see the waterfalls. A note for the wise, try to put young children in a stroller if possible, the boardwalk only has ropes to keep your little ones dry.
Fishing is also available for those who are younger than sixteen or those who have a disability.
Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
1660 East Shore Drive
Green Bay, WI 54302
Nicole Virant is a working and stay-at-home mama to three silly little girls. When she’s not playing monster at the park, she teaches college students and does corporate training at NWTC.
Check out her blog Mom Versus Dad.