Watkins Nature Center

Watkins Nature Center offers close-up wildlife investigation with its resident live animals, hands-on exhibits, interpretive programs, and special events. Live animal displays include insects, amphibians, reptiles, and birds of prey.

The nature center also features indoor and outdoor ponds, a songbird feeding area, a butterfly/hummingbird garden, composting area, and an outdoor nest box exhibit. 

Nature hikes, campfires, animal shows, puppet shows, crafts, summer day camps, and other programs attract over 90,000 visitors each year.

Specialty programs are offered for school groups, Scout groups, home-school students, and adults. Volunteer opportunities are offered year-round for teens and adults ages 14 and over.

Admission is free, but nominal fees apply for programs.

Please click one of the links below to learn about our programs!

Trash to Treasure Green Craft Fair

GO GREEN WITH YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING THIS YEAR! Join us for our 11th Annual “Trash to Treasure: Green Craft Fair” at Watkins Nature Center, on Saturday, November 9, 2019, from 10 am-4 pm. Explore local crafters and artists who create treasures made from at least 50% recycled, organic, fair trade or sustainably-harvested materials. Learn about ways to get involved in your community and create recycled crafts with members of local non-profit and environmental groups.

Agent of Discovery

agent of discovery logoWe are partnering with Agent of Discovery, a free educational mobile game for families, to encourage kids to learn and explore the surroundings of the Watkins Nature Center. The app is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.


Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in Watkins Regional Park, one mile west of the Six Flags America amusement park.

From the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 15A (Central Avenue) east. Continue for approximately three miles. Turn right onto Watkins Park Drive (Route 193) and follow the park signs to the facility.

From Route 301, turn onto Central Avenue (Route 214) west. Continue for approximately three miles (past Six Flags America). Turn left onto Watkins Park Drive and follow to the park entrance on the right.