Having a university nearby means that there are plenty of activities to choose from. I learned that growing up in Morris, Minnesota. The University of Minnesota, Morris was in my hometown and it was used frequently by the community. Not only were both my proms (and post prom parties) held there, but there was also lots of free music performances and cheap play performances. We could use the library and attend seminars. It had a plethora of opportunities.
And that was living in a small town of 5000 people.
Now living in the Twin Cities with exponentially more people, I have been given an even bigger array of choices. We are surrounded by colleges. From the University of Minnesota Main Campus to the teeny little Bethany College of Missions, from North Central located directly in downtown Minneapolis to St. Thomas University (with satellites in Minneapolis as well as the sprawling campus located in St. Paul), we are not without options.
So I thought we would investigate the University of Minnesota St. Paul. This campus’s main objective is the study of agriculture. That leads to an interesting campus. However, we went to the university solely to check out the Raptor Center.
Located at 1920 Fitch Ave. in St. Paul, the Raptor Center is located in the midst of the all the animal buildings: equine, small pets, cattle. The Raptor Center’s main concern is conserving and rehabilitating birds of prey to return to the wild. Birds of Prey= owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, etc. They have a few that will never be able to return, so the Raptor Center has created permanent habitats for them in the museum.
Here is where you meet a bald eagle, a red falcon, and a turkey vulture up close and personal. A volunteer will give you a private tour introducing you to their friends. You are also shown around the aviary where the birds who are being rehabilitated are staying. These include kestrels, red tailed hawks, eagles, and owls. Lots of owls.
Did you know that “raptor” means “to grab”?
Yeah, I didn’t either.
And there are 3 things that make a raptor a raptor. Their eyes, their beaks, and their talons.
Did you know that?
Yep, I learned that too.
And guess what! I retained it!
The Raptor Center is amazing. Seeing all the birds and learning about them is so amazing that it even held my 3 year old’s attention.
After we were done getting to know the birds, we were able to look at some artifacts of raptors: their skulls, their feet (blech!!!!shiver shiver!), and their feathers. We got to see how some feathers were soft and noiseless and others were strong and felt more like straw.
They even have a play corner for your little ones to play vet and read books and color. They could pretend to be scientists creating new potions.
The Raptor Center is a very low key place to take your children. And admittance is by donation.
What’s he looking at?
OH, yeah! Those are my kids with an EAGLE!!!!!!
It’s time for the raptors check ups!
Princess Pea, I’m pretty sure YOU could live in that nest! What do you think?
I would recommend the Raptor Center to anyone who is looking for an educational, interesting, and low key outing! It was a perfect excursion for my little ones.