The 21-acre Nature Center features a collection of indoor and outdoor exhibits and artifacts curated to showcase Southwest Florida’s unique ecosystem. The experience includes the newly renovated Susan and William Dalton Discovery Center with the new John & Carol Walter Discovery Wing, which features an invasive species and climate change galleries.
The Nature Center is listed as site #69 on the Great Florida Birding Trail and also boasts electric boat tours featuring live flora and fauna along the Gordon River; docent-led visitor programs on topics such as reptiles, birds of prey, oceans, and wildlife injury prevention; and a wildlife exhibit.
NATURE CENTER HOURS
Tuesday - Saturday
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
See new exhibits and revisit your favorites!
Between the classic Touch Tank and Little Explorer Play Zone to the new Augmented Reality and Science on a Sphere exhibits, the Dalton Discovery Center has something for everyone.
We've added multiple new exhibits to the Dalton Discovery Center! Be sure to check out the Invasive Species and Climate Change Galleries inside the new John & Carol Walter Discovery Wing.
Electric Boat Tours
All aboard from the Allyn Family Dock! Take a leisurely, informative, and fun 45-minute cruise along the beautiful Gordon River here in Naples.
Boats depart at the top of every hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and no reservations are required! Boat tours are included with your Nature Center admission fee.
Fun For the Whole Family
There's something for everyone at the Conservancy Nature Center! The new John & Carol Walter Discovery Wing features interactive educational experiences, like the New Discoveries Lab!
Additional Programs at the Nature Center
Our Education Team will lead two daily talks on the deck here at the Nature Center! Join us to learn about the Southwest Florida environment and the wildlife in our area.
11:15 a.m. & 1:15 p.m.
Little Explorers Program Schedule
The Little Explorer Play Zone is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day the Nature Center is open. We also have special programs available on select days. The specific dates are listed below. Class times start at 10 a.m. every Thursday.
Best for kids 18-months to 5-years-old
Bring your little ones to our Little Explorer Play Zone to participate in multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories, and crafts. You will have the opportunity to learn about topics that relate to our mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife, and future. Little Explorers will also get to meet ambassador animals and explore the entire Conservancy campus!
June 8: Fussy Flamingo
Hear about a young flamingo who doesn’t want to eat shrimp and discovers a variety of fruit which change the color of her feathers. Explorers will discover what a flamingo should eat and take home a fun and colorful craft!
June 15: Henry the Manatee
Come along as we learn all about Florida’s state marine mammal—the Manatee! Help us discover what a manatee eats and where they live. After the story, stick around for a fun activity and craft!
June 22: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Caterpillars go through a special transformation called metamorphosis. They have to eat a lot to go through this change. Come learn what this very hungry caterpillar eats before turning into a beautiful butterfly.
June 29: Bugs Bugs Bugs
Bees and butterflies are both flying insects, but they each have their own unique characteristics. Did you know bees have a special way of communicating with each other using dance? Or that almost all butterflies have symmetrical patterns on their wings? Come learn the science of these crazy critters with a healthy dose of music, dancing and art.
July 6: A Color of His Own
Come hear the story of a chameleon in search of his very own color and the special friends he meets along the way! Little Explorers will learn about camouflage and get to create a camouflage craft to take home.
July 13: Way Down Deep
Get ready to dive deep into our story and meet the many sea creatures that roam the ocean! Then visit our Dalton Discovery Center and meet some of our sea creatures up close.
July 20: The Grouchy Caterpillar
Help our ladybug friend tell time as she goes on a wild adventure! Make your own ladybug clock craft so you can follow along with the story!
July 27: Jenny Jellyfish
Join us in reading the story of Jenny and Jiggly, two moon jellies who get in a lot of trouble, but the helpful humans came to the rescue and save their lives! After the story we will sing the moon jelly song and make one to take home!
August 3: The Greedy Python
Come hear how about how the Greedy Python’s huge appetite affects the animals around him. Little explorers will go on a scavenger hunt to for food and make their very own python to take home with them.
August 10: Fabulous Fishes
Dive into the scaly and slippery world of fish! From a seahorse floating with seagrass to an angelfish hiding near the coral reef, dive in as we count just how many FINtastic fish we can see during a visit to our Dalton Discovery Center! Take home your own decorative fishy craft and learn just how many fish there are in the sea.
August 17: Little Owl Lost
Little owl has fallen from his nest and can’t find his mommy! Along the way, little owl makes new forest friends who help him find his way home. After the story, we’ll learn even more about owls, sing an owl song, and make an owl craft to take home!
August 24: Commotion in the Ocean
Learn about the many different animals that live in the ocean, from barnacles to blue whales, through fun, under the sea rhymes. Then join us for a guided touch tank encounter. Also, create your very own whale to take home!
August 31: Commotion in the Ocean
Discover how many friends you might find living in just a single tree! Help us put together our own “busy tree” and meet one of our tree-climbing animal ambassadors!