Do you remember The Magic School Bus Series? Remember how we all wanted Miss Frizzle's class room to be real? You know you wanted to ride the bus. Which character were you? Ralphie? Liz the Lizard? I always wanted to have Miss Frizzle's magic dresses, but sadly, we can't all have the things we want, right? But we CAN have her classroom! We found it! And just like PBS, this place is free too!
Welcome to the Robert N. Haysenyager Great Salt Lake Nature Center (aka Miss Frizzle's Classroom!)
A place where the kids can touch, smell, dissect and discover!
Instead of saying "Don't touch that" or "look with your eyes," we could say, "guys, don't you want to touch these dead animals?!" (I'll admit, it was kind of freaky seeing the heads attached.)
Some items it took some coaxing for them to hold. Little Breckyn wasn't too keen on touching the skulls.
Nests, feathers, books, flyers. This place had it all. Locke was in heaven. He's quite the birdman. Ask him about almost any bird and he can name it.
The only things that one couldn't touch were the stuffed animals place high on the walls.
There were vials of bugs, turtles, feathers, brine shrimp and all sorts of stuff.
She didn't' like holding a skull, but she was okay dissecting owl pellets (fresh). Which, you can totally buy if you are in to that thing!
Little Aberdeen and Breckyn's headbands are from the Etsy shop Jellabee! Melany, the shop owner, is a local Utahn as well.
Here Olyvia is checking out the Brine Shrimp display with little Aberdeen.
Little Aiko loved inspecting the little vials of bugs. Lining things up is what she does!
This place was crazy cool. There were so many things to look at. We only had 1 short hour in the Nature Center, we didn't know it closed at 4, it was kind of hard to pull ourselves away!
There were actually two buildings. The one on the east held our favorite, while the one on the west side held more animal displays (not much to touch, but much to look at.) We've got a whole other post about what you can do outside of the Nature Center too, so check it out in a few days!
Nesting season at Farmington Bay WMA is from March 1 to September 15. Vehicle access is restricted to the main road, ending at Goose Egg Island. During this time visitors must stay on the dirt roads and trails at all times.
- Dogs are not allowed at Farmington Bay WMA and the Nature Center during nesting season. From September 16 to February 28, dogs are allowed on the Nature Center trails, as long as they are leashed.
- Horses are not permitted at any time, and fishing is never allowed.
- Bathroom Biffy's Open. (Pretty dang clean too.)
AT FARMINGTON BAY, every day is different. The colors are always changing and the birds are always on the move. Here's a peek at some seasonal highlights:
February is Bald Eagle month. During the first two weeks of February, we can get as many as 400 Bald Eagles congregate at Farmington Bay WMA near the Great Salt Lake Nature Center.
March brings the massive Tundra Swan migration. Up to 10,000 of these beautiful birds stage at Farmington Bay on their way back north to the Arctic Circle. March is also the beginning of nesting season. Observe the Great Blue Herons as they begin to rebuild their nests atop the breeding colony at the Nature Center.
April–June is peak migration time. Thousands of shorebirds pass through the wetlands of Farmington Bay. Nearly 60 species stay on site to nest during the summer. This is the best time of year to see great diversity of birds.
July–August is a feeding frenzy. Species like Wilson's Phalarope are bulking up in preparation for their long migrations. Young birds like ducklings, geese and great blue heron chicks hang out in their nests waiting for their parents to return with fish to drop into their gaping bills.
September–October marks the departure of many shorebirds and the start of waterfowl migration. Upward of 200,000 ducks flock to the area's wetlands. Many of these ducks undergo an annual molt of their feathers making their identification tricky.
November–January things quiet down. Fewer species can be seen, but this is the best time of year to spot raptors, especially Northern Harriers and American Kestrels.
Info above from here.