We walked there from the boat dock and it was an enjoyable walk. Took approximately 1 hour because we made many stops along the way. The Nature Center is located towards the most distal part of the Island, so if you walk there, you will have the opportunity to do a lot of things such as sightseeing, playing at parks (if you have children), sitting down in the shade, seeing wild animals such as deer, birds, and squirrels. There are also at least three public bathrooms on the way and an interesting "Bird Park" that seemed to be closed. If you did not make any stops, you could walk to the Nature Center from the dock easily in 20-30mins. My 7 year old daughter easily made the walk without any complaints.
Nature Center: small and doable in about 15 minutes. There are also clean bathrooms inside and someone working at the front desk to answer your questions. They sell stuffed animals and some little souvenirs that were a little more expensive than the items found on the Green Pier. There was a coloring station that consisted of a small table and two little chairs, pictures and coloring pages were provided. There was a digital microscope and we spent some time placing everyday objects underneath for viewing (dollar bills, hands, nails). There were also some interesting facts and an iPad connected to a large screen TV...wasn't operating the day I visited but I think it was supposed to be display a short video.
Afterwards, we did not want to visit the Wrigley Monument nor the Gardens, so we took the bus back to the Pier. Bus cost $2/person and arrives every 20 minutes. The stop was situated less than a one minute walk from the Nature Center.
Overall, it's a quick place to stop if your'e visiting the Island. Something fun to add to the itinerary for the day.
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