Robinson Nature Center
6692 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044
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Wed.- Sat., 9 AM-5 PM
Sun., Noon-5 PM
The Center is closed Mondays & Tuesdays.
Daily Admission Information*:
Children (3-17 yrs) $3
Under 3 FREE
* Wednesdays are complimentary for families and individuals. Group visits are subject to admission fees and must be booked in advance.
Annual Pass Information:
Family, Individual, Senior and "Friends"-level annual passes are available. For more information, see Annual Passes.
The Robinson Nature Center is a unique nature education facility situated on 18 acres of land adjacent to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, which provides over 1,000 acres of forest, meadows and river valley to explore. Geothermal heating/air-conditioning, porous paving, solar panels which generate 15% of electric needs, innovative water conservation methods and a host of other features make this building environmentally friendly and one of only three LEED Certified Platinum buildings in the State. This project was made possible through the foresight and generosity of James and Anne Robinson and the James and Anne Robinson Foundation. Come see for yourself what the center offers:
- Interactive and multisensory exhibits for all ages
- NatureSphere, a digital planetarium and dome-style theater, with programs and movies
- Video alcove with ViewSpace, a self-updating multimedia astronomy display
- Children’s Discovery Room with hands-on activities
- Nature trail with arboretum and views of the Middle Patuxent River
- Balcony and green rooftop for outdoor nature viewing
- Classrooms and auditorium with seating for 150 people
Upcoming Special Events
Click on links to register online for these programs (requires a Howard County Recreation & Parks user account) or call 410-313-0400 to register for any of these events.
Discovery Days Musical Nature Series - Bring your 3-10 year old out and enjoy the opportunity to explore nature through artistic expression and music. Themes vary by week. Each program is available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 15 children and their adult chaperone. This program is free thanks to generous support by the Howard County Council for the Arts & Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Upcoming dates and times below.
Saturday, May 25. 1st Program from 10-10:45 AM. 2nd program from 11-11:45 AM.
Campfire Chat: The Civil War - Howard County was a microcosm of the nation with soldiers on both sides. In several battles, Howard County brothers fought each other, as well as sons against their fathers. Demonstrations and displays on the life of the Union and Confederate Howard County soldiers are presented in this entertaining program. Afterwards, relax and enjoy roasting some marshmallows! $10 per individual or $25 per family. Please call to register under the family rate. Registration/Info: 410-313-0400.
Saturday, June 8. 7:30-9 PM
Leave Your Mark: Art Tile Project - You and/or your child create original art work for a tile which will be installed inside the Center's main building. Art supplies and themes are provided by the Nature Center. Proceeds support Friends of the Nature Center scholarships for Title 1 School Field trips and construction of an outdoor nature play space. $35 for one tile or $100 for 3 tiles. If you missed your chance in spring, you can register for summer opportunities. Dates and times below.
Saturday, June 15. 10-11:30 AM
Wednesday, July 31. 10-11:30 AM
Insect Extravaganza - Bring your family out for an incredible afternoon of fun-filled activities that highlight our six-legged friends. Take a guided walk through the forest and gardens at Robinson Nature Center; search for and identify butterflies; discover aquatic insects in the stream; get your face painted, create special crafts and join in games. Register for one of the following arrival times. $8, Robinson annual pass holders; $10, general admission; Free, under 3 yrs. Reduced Robinson annual pass holder price/General registration/Info: 410-313-0400.
Sunday, July 14 at 12:30 PM
Sunday, July 14 at 1 PM
Sunday, July 14 at 1:30 PM
Sunday, July 14 at 2 PM
Sunday, July 14 at 2:30 PM
**Morning field trips in April and May of 2013 are completely booked. Call 410-313-0400 for afternoon availability.**
Spring filled up fast, so don't miss your chance to book your field trip for next year. We are now accepting field trip requests for Fall of 2013.
Please use the following links for more information about field trips or to request a field trip reservation:
Robinson Field Trip Brochure
Robinson Field Trip Request Form (This request form must be completed and submitted in order to schedule a trip.)
Please submit your request form at least one month in advance of the field trip date you are requesting.
Planetarium Show Options
Upcoming Nature Programs:
NEW! Beaks, Feathers and Talons: Youth Birding - Are you 9-13 years old? Do you love the outdoors? Develop a new hobby that gets you outside and trained to find and identify birds! In this two-part series, enjoy the opportunity to meet other youth that love the outdoors. Discover how to tell one bird from another by looking for unique colorations and listening for varied songs and calls. See live birds of prey; work with bird mounts and take outdoor trail walks with Howard County Bird Club members and Robinson Nature Center naturalists. Each session meets some of the requirements for the Boy Scouts of America Bird Study merit badge. Join for one or both sessions. $8 for an individual session or $14 for both sessions.
Saturday, June 29 from 8-10 AM
Saturday, Jul 6 from 8-10 AM
NEW! Maryland's Magnificent Meadows Evening Walk - Let Robinson Nature Center naturalists lead you to the meadows of the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) during the "golden hour" of the evening. Discover the plants that grow in meadows and use sweep nets to collect and examine insects and butterflies of the meadow up close. Have fun catching lightning bugs as the sunlight fades. $8 per participant. Participants must register and pay in advance at the nature center for this program.
Saturday, July 6 from 7-8:30 PM
Register for spring and summer programs now! Join us for night hikes, explorations of the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, a music in nature series, planetarium shows and cultural history programs. Click on the brochure to see a full listing of spring and summer programs.
Upcoming Planetarium Programs in the NatureSphere:
The NatureSphere is a digital planetarium and dome-style movie theater. Click on links to register online for these programs (requires a Howard County Recreation & Parks user account) or call 410-313-0400 to register. To preview any of the films listed, click here.
NEW! Summer Wednesday Full-Dome Movies at Robinson Nature Center - click here for a schedule of films playing this summer. Tickets are only $2 if you preregister or $3 at the door.
First Friday NatureSphere Nights - Spend a warm evening in the comfort of the NatureSphere exploring the planets, constellations and solar phenomena in the current night’s sky, and then enjoying a full-dome feature film. Tickets are $6. Children must be over the age of five and accompanied by an adult. Pre-register to secure your tickets. Feature films and upcoming program times listed below.
Passport to the Universe - June 7 from 6:30-7:30 PM
Stars - June 7 from 8-9 PM
Star Storytelling: Our Constellations - Bring your 3-8 year old out for half-hour planetarium presentations that reveal the stories behind our favorite constellations. Through views of space, stories and song, give your little one a special nighttime experience during the day! Each month we’ll focus on a different set of constellations. Tickets are $3 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Preregister to secure your seats. Upcoming dates and times below.
Saturday, June 1 from 10-10:30 AM
Saturday, July 6 from 10-10:30 AM
Search the Skies - Bring your family out for a full-dome movie preceded by a planetarium presentation that highlights current astronomy and space events each program. Tickets are $3 per person. Programs with an asterisk (*) denote special opportunities, weather permitting, to enjoy safe solar viewing with members of the Howard Astronomical League (HAL) on the center’s green roof. Feature films and times listed below.
Stars-Saturday, June 1 from 2-3 PM
*Two Small Pieces of Glass, June 15 from 2-3 PM
In the News
Robinson Nature Center recognized in “Giving Children the Gift of Nature” - check out the section entitled, "Connecting Children to Nature - Public Service"
Robinson Nature Center photographed for Architect Magazine. Check out the beautiful photos by clicking here.
The trail is approximately 1 mile of rugged, wooded terrain. It includes a stream crossing, passes along the Middle Patuxent River and guides visitors to the old mill race and ruins of the Simpsonville Mill. Click here to view the Nature Center map.