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This is a wonderful resource for children and adults...and it's free. The Nature Center opened in 1996 as a small building but a $2 million expansion in the spring of 2008 tripled the size. Add the boardwalk through a protected wetland and Daggerwing is a great place to spend a day!
They have interactive exhibits, educational displays, talks, and the staff will take their time answering questions. Best of all are two short (6/10 of a mile total distance walked) and wonderful boardwalks: through a shaded wetlands area that is great for moms with strollers, or those who just want to escape the sun and take a quiet stroll in nature. There are osprey, butterflies, herons, egrets, wood storks, coots, and yes, sometimes alligators in the area.
The elevated boardwalk is open every day from sunrise to sunset, and outdoors. The Nature Center is open at specific hours, so check the website or call ahead to make sure they're open. The indoor section of the Nature Center includes a classroom with some live animals, an Art Gallery featuring a different local artist each month, a Book Nook with toys for children or guidebooks for adults, and an exhibit hall featuring interactive displays and live animals.
The nature center is located at 11200 Park Access Rd, west of 441 between Glades and Yamato, inside South County Regional Park. Be warned: the address (11200) actually refers to the park itself, and everything within the park shares the same address. An online search for the address will take you to the park entrance but not the nature center. If on Google Maps, search directly for "Daggerwing Nature Center" or call. Afterward, you can go right across from the Nature Center to the Coconut Cove Water Park. Check days open and hours first; there is a fee for the Water Park, though the Nature Center is free. Both the nature center and water park are run by the county, as is the rest of the park.
Check their website for occasional special days like Butterfly releases or Earth Day festivities, etc. They also offer classes each month on different topics, from How To classes to family-friendly Animal Encounters programs to the younger-geared Children's Nature Series. They offer live alligator feedings ever Wednesday and Saturday, along with guided boardwalk tours, Night Hikes, Storytimes, and other programs each month.
Address: 11200 Park Access Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33498
Phone: (561) 629-8760