ALERTS FOR VISITORS

Wednesdays through the remainder of the summer are expected to be crowded with the potential for the parking lot to fill. If you plan on visiting on a Wednesday, please note that overflow parking is located at the Hickory Ridge Village Center and complimentary shuttle service is provided between 9 AM and 3 PM. To reach the overflow area, take a left onto Cedar Lane from the nature center and a right into the Village Center before you reach the light at Freetown Road. Please be safe and do not park illegally as you may be cited.

Please call ahead to 410-313-0400 with any inquiries.

Robinson Nature Center
6692 Cedar Lane

Columbia, MD 21044

Directions:
PDF | Google Maps

Phone:
410-313-0400 

Hours:
Wed.- Sat., 9 AM-5 PM
Sun., Noon-5 PM
The Center is closed Mondays & Tuesdays. Also closed Jan 1, Mar 27, Nov 24 & 25, and Dec 25, 2016. 

Daily Admission to Trails/Building*:
Adults $5
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 Memberships.

Do you have questions or comments about our new website? Contact us!

Mission Statement
Our mission is to facilitate the enjoyment and understanding of our natural resources and to bridge the gap between people and nature. By inspiring sound environmental awareness, we promote responsible stewardship of all of our natural resources and strive to connect people of all ages with nature through experience-based education.
About Us

We are a unique nature education facility situated on 18 acres of land adjacent to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. Geothermal heating/air-conditioning, porous paving, solar panels, innovative water conservation methods and a host of other features make this building environmentally-friendly and have earned it the LEED Certified Platinum designation. Each year, the Center runs over 420 programs including field trips, public programs, birthday parties, home school and scout programs. This Center was made a reality through the foresight and generosity of James and Anne Robinson. The Center continues to be partially supported by the James & Anne Robinson Foundation and is owned and operated by the Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks. Download our Facility Guide and/or plan your visit below!

 

Inclement Weather

Inclement Weather Line: 410-313-4452 (choose option 6). Call to find out about closings/cancellations related to weather.

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Plan Your Visit

Indoor Features

 

 

 

Permanent Exhibits

Rotating Exhibits

Discovery Room

Animal Wall

Touch Tank

NatureSphere Planetarium

LEED Green Building Features

Gift Shop

 

 

 

Permanent Exhibits

 Permanent Exhibits at Robinson Nature Center

Our indoor permanent exhibits provide locally-relevant information and
interactive interpretation.

Experience the Chesapeake Bay Watershed exhibit:
  • Navigate a hand-painted floor map of the Bay.
  • “Fly” through the Chesapeake watershed on a digital, tilting table display.
Discover the Changing Lives, Changing Landscapes exhibit:
  • View artifacts and a historical timeline of local land use.
  • Turn the wheel of our model grist mill and watch it transform grain into flour.
Wind your way through the Life of the Forest exhibit:
  • Delight in the sights and sounds of life through the seasons in an Eastern North American deciduous forest.
  • See what’s “out-of-sight” in logs and seasonal vernal pools on the forest floor.
  • Experience the mystery and darkness of the nighttime forest.
Travel to outer space and back:
  • The audio-visual alcove hosts ViewSpace, streaming a live feed of video and text from NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute.
  • The Backyard Habitat exhibit features a demonstration honey bee hive and bird feeders.

 

 

 

Rotating Exhibits

 Russ McCally Photographs

Russell McCally Photography 

May 27 - Aug 30, 2016*

Local amateur photographer, Russell McCally, displays a selection of images celebrating Howard County landscapes and wildlife. Exhibited works are on sale through Sunday, August 28. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these photographs supports programming at Robinson Nature Center. 
*The public is invited to attend a free Artists’ Reception and meet Russ McCally on Friday, July 1, 7-8:30 PM. 

 Chapel Oak exhibit by Foon Sham

"Chapel Oak" - Foon Sham

May 2014 - July 2016

Foon Sham, a sculpture professor at the University of Maryland College Park, sculpted the "Chapel Oak" to memorialize a large White oak tree that had been a landmark on the university’s campus. The sculpture is comprised of more than 1,500 individual pieces of wood and weighs approximately 5,000 pounds. The piece is on display on the front lawn of the Nature Center as part of Howard County Art Council's "ARTsites" program that seeks to make art more accessible by placing it in public spaces throughout the community.

 Mud Pies exhibit from the Walters Art Museum

"Mud Pies" reproduction - Ludwig Knauss

Aug 2014 - September 2015; Exhibit loan extended through 2016!

This piece is on loan from the Walters Art Museum through their "Off the Wall" program - an open-air exhibition that brings reproduced classic paintings to main streets and outdoor spaces. You can find the piece as you walk along the entrance drive circle from the parking lot to the Nature Center building.

Looking to display your art or to extend the reach of your exhibit?

Local artists are welcome and encouraged to apply to display their art work in the Robinson gallery space.  Please download the Artist Exhibit Guidelines and Application for more information. 

Organizations that loan exhibits temporarily and are seeking to engage new audiences are encouraged to contact us at 410-313-0400. 

 

 

Discovery Room

 Children's Discovery room

  • Try out scientific skills at our field station or open a themed Discovery Bin to investigate local plants, animals and ecology.
  • Release your inner-artist and create a masterpiece on the chalk board within the hand-painted seasonal wall mural.
  • Read to your little one from our large, rotating collection of children’s nature books while overlooking the forest below.
  • Get an up-close view of some wonders of the aquatic world in our saltwater Discovery Tank.

 

 

Animal Wall

Animal Wall

Many of our programs include live animal presentations. When the animals are not out and about, you can visit them in the Discovery Room where our animal wall provides you a view of their tanks. 

 

 

Touch Tank

 Touch Tank

Come meet the animals in our touch tank! The touch tank is open:

Saturdays, 10:30AM-11:30AM and 2-3 PM
Sunday, 1-3 PM

 

 

NatureSphere Planetarium

NatureSphere Planetarium and Full-Dome Movie Theater

The NatureSphere is a digital planetarium and full-dome movie theater located on the mezzanine level of the Nature Center. The NatureSphere seats up to 50 people. Public programs are scheduled throughout the year (see our Public Programs tab for a schedule), and private parties can be booked in the space (see our Parties & Rentals tab for details).

 

 

LEED Green Building Features

 

Green Construction for Green Education brochure

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized, consensus-based green building certification system. Buildings are evaluated and awarded LEED certification at one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The higher the level, the more aspects of green design and construction must be addressed and documented. Very few buildings reach the Platinum level. Robinson Nature Center was certified as LEED Platinum in February 2012.

Click on the links below to read more about the LEED features in Robinson's Green Construction for Green Education brochure.

 

 

Gift Shop

Robinson Nature Center gift shop products

 

The Robinson Nature Center gift shop is open Weds - Sat; 9 AM - 5 PM and Sun; Noon - 5 PM or during special programs and events. Access to the gift shop does not require admission.

We carry a variety of sustainable goods including local honey, science kits, field guides, books, children's toys, puppets, astronomy items and much more. Here's a sample of what you can find:

  • award-winning toys interactive science kits
  • local, hand-crafted ceramics
  • local, all-natural skin care items from Zosimos Botanicals
  • a wide selection of books for children and adults
  • artistically designed "Blue Q" bags and pouches made from 95% recycled post consumer materials
  • plush, award-winning specialty puppets from Folkmanis
  • hand-crafted, nature-inspired jewelry
  • vegan, faux-leather wallets from Lavishy
  • local, hand-crafted therapeutic heat pillows from Cherapy
  • locally-turned wooden bowls
  • natural and local bee products, including Bee's Wrap

Outdoor Features

 

 

 

Trails

Nature Place

Improvements

 

 

Trails

 

Robinson Nature Center Walking Trails brochure

Robinson Nature Center has approximately 1 mile of trails. Portions of the trail are paved, while the majority of the trails traverse rugged, wooded terrain.

Click on the links below to download or browse Robinson's Walking Trails brochure and a map of the trails.

Accessing the Trails

Our trails are accessible to pedestrian traffic when the building is closed. However, if you are driving to the Center, please note that the parking lot gates are only open during the building's hours of operation. For safety reasons, the trail may be closed if there is maintenance scheduled or if there are high winds.

What You Can Expect

Along our trails, you will encounter a stream crossing and views of the Middle Patuxent River. Currently, the section of the trail with access to the ruins of the Simpsonville Mill is closed due to construction. The trails are non-surfaced and take approximately 20-30 minutes to hike. Along the trails, you can enjoy a variety of trees marked by arboretum signage generously donated by the Howard County Forestry Board.

Please pay admission or purchase an annual pass if you plan to use our trail so that we may continue to maintain the trail.

Trail Rules

 walking trail marker tag

Please stay on our trail, marked with the yellow trail hiker symbol. Do not make your own trail.

Bikes are not allowed on our trails as the trails are narrow and we do not want our walking patrons to be disturbed.

Dog Policy

Keep the Nature Center Wild! We request that you refrain from bringing a dog to the Nature Center or the Nature Center trail. Many visitors come to the Nature Center to see birds and other wildlife that dogs scare away. Additionally, the Nature Center serves a large number of children who may be scared of dogs. We want children to feel safe and to have the chance to enjoy the wildlife. Please note that the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks maintains numerous trails on which leashed dogs are welcome.

 

 

 

Nature Place

Nature Place play elements

Have you ever spent time in our Children's Discovery Room and wished your child could take that same opportunity for inquisitive play outdoors? Your wish is now a reality with the Nature Place at Robinson!

Developed in consultation with a design team from the nationally-recognized Nature Explore group, this space provides opportunities for children to explore nature with their imagination, creativity and energy. See a video of the ribbon-cutting here.

We hope you enjoy the new space. You can also be a part of making this space for connecting children with nature at Robinson even better. Check out the opportunities below.

How You Can Help:

DONATE
Small, large and in-kind donations are welcome. Click here to see all of the exciting play elements that you can contribute towards.

VOLUNTEER
Would you like to be one of our Play Naturalists facilitating activity and orienting families to the space? Contact us (410-313-0400) and let us know of your interest.

JOIN
By becoming a Friend of the Robinson Nature Center, or by purchasing an annual pass, you can support the upkeep of the Nature Place in addition to other membership benefits!

 

 

 

Improvements

Currently, the Nature Center has two improvement projects underway.

Skylight for Front Entryway - Glass panels will be added to the skylight above the Center's front entry to provide patrons entering and exiting the building with protection from bad weather. Projected completion in spring of 2016.

Skylight improvement project

Robinson Conservation Office – The new Robinson Conservation Office was completed in Spring 2016. The office houses staff involved in conservation stewardship efforts along the Robinson trails as well as additional equipment needed to maintain trails

Robinson Conservation Office

Education

 

 

 

Field Trips

Home School Programs

Trainings & Teacher Resources

Scout Programs

 

 

Field Trips

Please note, Summer 2016 field trip slots are full. Fall 2016 booking is open.

 

Robinson Nature Center Field Trip brochure

Please use the following links for more information about field trips or to request a field trip: 

Helpful hints for your field trip planning:  

  • We begin accepting requests for Fall and Winter field trips the day after Memorial Day (May 31, 2016 for the 2016-2017 school year).
  • We begin accepting requests for Spring and Summer field trips on the 3rd Monday in August (August 15, 2016 for the 2016-2017 school year).
  • Please submit your request form at least one month in advance of the field trip date you are requesting. You should receive an email confirmation once your form has been submitted.
  • All field trip communication (confirmation forms, teachers' packets, schedules and invoices) will be provided via email. Please add kcostin@howardcountymd.gov to your email safe list to ensure that you receive these documents.
  • If you see any changes that need to be made to the schedule or the number of students and adults that will be attending the field trip, please call Kevin Costin at 410-313-0410 at least one week in advance of your trip so that the nature center can accommodate any changes. The nature center cannot guarantee accommodations for groups that fail to make requested changes known prior to the day of their trip.
  • We recognize that you may wish to cancel for a variety of reasons, but our policy encourages early decisions as to not affect other schools. All cancellation requests must be submitted to the Nature Center in writing at least 30 days prior to the field trip. If a field trip is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the scheduled date, the cancellation will be subject to a 20% administrative fee. The fee is calculated based on the total cost of the scheduled field trip. This policy also applies to schools that are considered a ‘no-show’ for their confirmed field trip. 

 

 

Home School Programs

 Home School Program

 

NEW! Pre-Home School Classes 2016-2017

4-5 yrs / $30 per child per season (3 classes)*
Give your young homeschooler a chance to learn skills and gain exposure to nature and science topics at an age-appropriate pace. We offer three seasons of classes (fall, winter, and spring) focusing on different themes (listed below). Sign up to attend classes on the first Thursday of the month or to attend on the first Friday of the month. Classes are held between 2:30 and 4 PM. Parents may attend class with their children. Siblings younger than 4 years old are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent at all times. *Registration opens June 1 for Howard County residents and June 8 for non-residents. Click here for online registration.
Fall Topics: Habitats, Seasons, First Impressions
Winter Topics: Nature at Night, Dinosaurs, Animal Signs
Spring Topics: Snakes & Turtles, Butterflies, Birds

 

NEW! Home School Classes 2016-2017

6-13 yrs / $30 per child per season (3 classes)*
Give your home-schooled student hands-on, immersive experiences in nature and science topics. We offer three seasons of classes (fall, winter, and spring) focusing on different themes (listed below). Students are divided by age (6-9 yrs & 9-13 yrs). Children ages 6 to 9 can sign up to attend classes on the first Thursday of the month or to attend on the first Friday of the month. Classes for children ages 9 to 13 are offered on the first Thursday of the month. Parents may attend class with their children. Siblings younger than 4 years old are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent at all times. *Registration opens June 1 for Howard County residents and June 8 for non-residents. Click here for online registration.
Fall Topics: River Ecology, Meadow Ecology, Forest Ecology
Winter Topics: Stars & Constellations, Fossils & Dinosaurs, Tracking Animals
Spring Topics: Herpetology (Reptiles & Amphibians), Entomology (Insects), Ornithology (Birds)

 

Home School Parent-Guided Workshop 2016-2017

All ages / 2nd Thursday of each month Sep 2016-May 2017* 
$15 per season (3 workshops), Howard County resident; 
$18 per season (3 workshops), non-resident; 
Free, under 4 yrs

Join us for monthly opportunities to connect with other home-school families in an informal learning environment. Children socialize and collaborate with one another on parent-assisted educational projects and imaginative play opportunities. By joining, gain special access to a private, collaborative classroom space reserved specifically for home school families,special equipment, a tailored student project and social play opportunities on the 2nd Thursday of each month (September-May). Register for one, two or all three seasons of workshops. To ease crowding, please choose from one of two time slots (1 to 2:30 PM or 3 to 4:30 PM) when you register. Each adult and child that plans on attending must register individually for the workshop. Price is per person/per season. *Registration opens June 1 for Howard County residents and June 8 for non-residents. Click here for online registration.

Participant Forms and Code of Conduct

To attend the home school program, each child 4 years and older must register and bring in a Participant Information Form. Siblings under the age of 4 are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

All participants must agree to abide by the Code of Conduct during the program and at all times in the facility and on the grounds of the Robinson Nature Center. Repeated infractions of the Code of Conduct, or severe infractions that jeopardize the safety of other participants and patrons, may result in dismissal from the program.

Click here to download the Participant Information Form and the attached Code of Conduct.   

 

 

Trainings & Teacher Resources

Robinson Nature Center periodically offers environmental education and natural history training programs throughout the year to teachers, educators and interested members of the general public. Trainings offered count towards professional development for schools certifying or recertifying as Maryland Green Schools.

Currently, we do not have any public workshops scheduled. Typically, we offer the following trainings during the winter season:

Growing Up WILD
Project WILD
Project WET
Project Learning Tree
Flying Wild

Private and custom trainings can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more. For more information, or to schedule a custom training, contact Kelly Vogelpohl at 410-313-0408 or kvogelpohl@howardcountymd.gov.

Maryland Master Naturalist Certification Training

Certified Maryland Master Naturalists engage citizens as stewards of Maryland's natural ecosystem and resources. Individuals apply, and if accepted into the training course, receive over 60 hours of instruction from experts in diverse fields. Class topic range from insects, mammals and stream ecology to interpretation, astronomy and geology and include hands-on experience outdoors. In order to receive certification, participants in the program must give 40 hours of volunteer service to host sites and pay the certification fee to UMD Extension.

Robinson Nature Center typically hosts a class of Maryland Master Naturalists every other year. Please note our 2016 class is currently in session and no longer accepting applications. To find out about other locations offering the program, go to www.extension.umd.edu/masternaturalist and click on "Train in the Piedmont Region." 

 

 

Scout Programs

Browse our Scout Program brochure below for information on our current offerings.

Robinson Nature Center Scout Program Brochure

Scout programs at Robinson Nature Center include admission to the nature center and a naturalist-led program of your choice that allows your scout troop to complete requirements necessary for selected badges or achievements. At the end of each program, scouts receive a certificate of program completion. Please note that scout leaders are responsible for securing badges once their troop completes all requirements. 

Click on the links below to read more about program options in Robinson's Scout Programming brochure.

 

Additional Scout Opportunities

Planetarium Programs - These programs are designed to help fulfill requirements for the Senior “Sky” badge, Cadette “Night Owl” badge, Tiger “Sky is the Limit” elective and Boy Scout “Astronomy” merit badge. Each program can be tailored to meet the needs of your group.

LEED Tour - Learn how engineers build “green!” LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification system that promotes sustainable development and environmental health. LEED tours can be tailored to any level of scout.

Scout Volunteer Work Days - Get to know other scouts in your community while working together to help the environment! Potential projects include forest and stream clean up, tree plantings, invasive plant removal, trail maintenance and garden work. All groups must sign up in advance and maintain a ratio of 1 leader per 12 scouts. Scout work days are free to attend and open to scouts of all ages. Tools, gloves and snacks will be provided. If you are interested in participating in our next Scout Work Day, please contact the Nature Center’s Volunteer Coordinator at 410-313-0406. 

 

Book a Scout Program

If you are interested in a scout program, call our front desk for information at 410-313-0400. You can also submit an online request for a program by clicking here. Please note that programs are run during the operating hours of the Nature Center (Weds-Sat from 9AM to 5PM and Sunday from Noon to 5 PM). The latest start time for a scout program is between 2 and 3 PM (depending on the length of the program.)

Public Programs

 

 

 

Check out our Spring/Summer 2016 program brochure, or browse programs by date below.

Robinson Nature Center Spring/Summer 2016 program guide

 

We recommend pre-registering for programs as some fill up before the day of the program. Additionally, some programs may be cancelled if a sufficient number of participants do not register in advance of the program. If you plan on walking-in, we recommend calling to make sure there are still spots available for the program. 

**If you are deaf, hearing impaired or have speech disabilities and require the services of an interpreter for any of the programs below, please contact us at 410-313-0400 at least 2 weeks in advance so that we may accommodate your needs.

 

July Programs

August Programs

 

 

 

July Programs

Wednesday, July 6

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "One World, One Sky". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Impact!". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, July 9

NEW! Lil' Stars - 11 to 11:30 AM. 3-8 years with an adult. Let your little one discover outer space through views of the stars and planets, stories and song. Each month we focus on a different theme. For the month of July, our Lil' Stars will explore "Animals in the Moon"! Preregister to secure your seats, and please arrive 5-10 minutes before the program so we may begin promptly. $3 per person with daily admission or Robinson annual pass.

Sunday, July 10

NEW! Summer Spectacular - Noon to 4 PM. All ages. Celebrate the season at this family-friendly festival with fun-filled activities that highlight sights, sounds and smells of summer. Create fun crafts, meet live animals, get your face painted, and explore the trails with the new Robinson trail app, “Robinson’s Curious Compass.”Don’t miss your opportunity to catch an original production created and performed by nature center staff in full costume. $8*, annual pass holders;$10*, general admission; Free, under 3 yrs.
Check out the full schedule of events by clicking here!

Wednesday, July 13

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Zula Patrol". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Earth, Moon & Sun". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Friday, July 15

Family Fridays at the NatureSphere - 6:30 to 7:30 PM. Ages 5 years and up with an adult. This program features the full-dome movie "Passport" preceded by a fun, family-friendly planetarium presentation about current happenings in our night sky. Tickets are $6. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, July 16

NEW! Kinder-Garden Time - 10 to 11 AM. 4 years and up with an adult. Join us in the children’s garden for some parent/child gardening (weather-dependent)! Enjoy a demonstration on various gardening projects, and get hands-on experience with age-appropriate tasks for adults and kids. Projects could include weeding, planting, watering, turning soil, mixing compost and harvesting. This opportunity is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 10 children and their adult chaperons.

Sunday, July 17

River Romp - 12:30 to 2:30 PM. (FULL - Call to be added to wait list.) All ages. Celebrate summer with your family by cooling off in the Middle Patuxent River! Bring your own picnic, and join a Robinson naturalist at the river for lunch followed by fun, family-friendly river games. Come dressed to get wet. We wade in the water and recommend that you wear close-toed water shoes. Participation is limited to 25 individuals, and all participants must check in at the front desk. $5 per person. 

Wednesday, July 20

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "One World, One Sky". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Stars". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, July 23

NEW! Lil' Stars - 11 to 11:30 AM. 3-8 years with an adult. Let your little one discover outer space through views of the stars and planets, stories and song. Each month we focus on a different theme. For the month of July, our Lil' Stars will explore "Animals in the Moon"! Preregister to secure your seats, and please arrive 5-10 minutes before the program so we may begin promptly. $3 per person with daily admission or Robinson annual pass.

Wednesday, July 27

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Little Star that Could". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Astronaut". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, July 30

NEW! Summer Sounds Family Campfire - 8 to 9:30 PM. 7 years and up. Summer nights are alive with the stirring of nocturnal animals, humming of insects, and flying bats. We create our own natural symphony in our Nature Place as we wait for sunset. Then, we’re off to explore the forest depths and river edges in search of amazing creatures of the night. Use echo locators to hear the inaudible signals that bats use to locate their prey, and we’ll get up close to one of our favorite nocturnal animals. Afterwards, get cozy while roasting marshmallows over the campfire to the accompaniment of live music. $8 per person.

 

 

 

August Programs

 

Wednesday, August 3

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "One World, One Sky". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Black Holes". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Friday, August 5

Family Friday at the NatureSphere- 6:30-7:30 PM. Ages 5 years and up with an adult. This program features the full-dome movie "Stars" preceded by a fun, family-friendly planetarium presentation about current happenings in our night sky. Tickets are $6. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Friday Late Nights in the NatureSphere- 8 to 9 PM Ages 18 years and up. This program is for adults and features the full-dome movie "Impact!" preceded by a planetarium presentation about current happenings in our night sky and space science. Tickets are $6. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, August 6

First Saturday Discovery Days - 11:30 AM to Noon. Ages 3-10 years with an adult. On the first Saturday of the month, join us as we introduce a new, nature theme through games, stories and crafts. August's theme is Streams. You can continue to explore the theme throughout the rest of the month in the Discovery Room's Field Station and with docent-led activities. This program is available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 15 children and their adult chaperon. No registration necessary. Program is free with daily admission or annual pass.

Wednesday, August 10

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 5 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "We Are Aliens". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Impact!". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Friday, August 12

Kids' Night Out- Nature at Night - 6 to 9 PM. 5-10 years. Spend Friday night out with your friends at the nature center after-hours! Enjoy a pizza dinner and tons of fun activities  including nature games, a sunset hike, live animal presentations, and a full-dome movie (Astronaut) in out NatureSphere planetarium. Mom and dad, enjoy your evening out while the kids are having fun. This is a drop-off program and requires a participant information form for each child. Cost is $40 for 1st child ($30 members) and $20 additional child ($15 members)

Saturday, August 13

NEW! Lil' Stars - 11 to 11:30 AM. 3-8 years with an adult. Let your little one discover outer space through views of the stars and planets, stories and song. Each month we focus on a different theme. For the month of August, our Lil' Stars will explore "Jupiter and the Gas Giants"! Preregister to secure your seats, and please arrive 5-10 minutes before the program so we may begin promptly. $3 per person with daily admission or Robinson annual pass.

Wednesday, August 17

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "One World, One Sky". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 5 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Zula Patrol". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Friday, August 19

Family Friday at the NatureSphere- 6:30-7:30 PM. Ages 5 years and up with an adult. This program features the full-dome movie "Stars" preceded by a fun, family-friendly planetarium presentation about current happenings in our night sky. Tickets are $6. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, August 20

NEW! Kinder-Garden Time - 10 to 11 AM. 4 years and up with an adult. Join us in the children’s garden for some parent/child gardening (weather-dependent)! Enjoy a demonstration on various gardening projects, and get hands-on experience with age-appropriate tasks for adults and kids. Projects could include weeding, planting, watering, turning soil, mixing compost and harvesting. This opportunity is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 10 children and their adult chaperons.

NEW! Bay Beasts and Crab Feast - 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. All ages. Join in on this Maryland summer tradition with a twist. Learn about the creatures that live in and depend upon the Chesapeake Bay and meet the Bay's "living fossil." Then head to our river pavilion for an old-fashioned crab feast catered by Salerno's. Steamed crabs, two meats, three sides and lemonade and iced tea complete your meal. Register by August 13. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $37 per person.

Sunday, August 21

River Romp - 12:30 to 2:30 PM. (FULL - Call to be added to wait list.) All ages. Celebrate summer with your family by cooling off in the Middle Patuxent River! Bring your own picnic, and join a Robinson naturalist at the river for lunch followed by fun, family-friendly river games. Come dressed to get wet. We wade in the water and recommend that you wear close-toed water shoes. Participation is limited to 25 individuals, and all participants must check in at the front desk. $5 per person. 

Wednesday, August 24

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (morning) - 10 to 10:30 AM. Ages 3 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Little Star that Could". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Summer Wednesday Full Dome Movies (afternoon) - 2 to 2:30 PM. Ages 7 years and up. Join us for a popular children's full dome movie in the planetarium. This program features the full-dome movie "Earth, Moon & Sun". Tickets are $2 for those who preregister or $3 on the day of the show. Due to dark conditions, we cannot seat late arrivals once the show has begun. Please arrive early to be seated. To see a preview of the film, please click here.

Saturday, August 27

NEW! Lil' Stars - 11 to 11:30 AM. 3-8 years with an adult. Let your little one discover outer space through views of the stars and planets, stories and song. Each month we focus on a different theme. For the month of August, our Lil' Stars will explore "Jupiter and the Gas Giants"! Preregister to secure your seats, and please arrive 5-10 minutes before the program so we may begin promptly. $3 per person with daily admission or Robinson annual pass.

 

 

 

Parties & Rentals

 

 

 

Birthday Parties

Rentals

 

 

 

Birthday Parties

 

Robinson Nature Center Birthday Party brochure

Robinson Nature Center offers birthday party room rentals and birthday party packages. 

Click on the links below to read more about options available in Robinson's Birthday Party brochure.

Scheduling Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are scheduled on the weekends during the following time slots.
Saturdays  10AM – 12PM or 2PM – 4PM
Sundays  2PM – 4PM

*All options include a $200 security deposit.

Birthday Party FAQ's

By when do I need to sign the permit for my birthday party?
We request that you sign and return your permit one week from the date you book the party. You MUST sign and return your permit no later than 30 days in advance of the party. If we do not receive the signed permit 30 days in advance, the permit will be cancelled. If booking a party less than 30 days in advance of the event, your permit will need to be signed at the time you book the party. You may drop off, fax, mail or scan & email your signed permit. Fax to 410-313-0409 and call 410-313-0400 to confirm the fax was received.

What is your rescheduling policy?
You may reschedule one time prior to 30 days in advance of the event with no penalty. Rescheduling less than 30 days in advance of the event is considered a cancellation.

What is your cancellation policy?
If you cancel your party more than 30 days in advance of the event, you will be refunded your deposit and payment minus a 20% administrative fee. If you cancel your party or need to reschedule the party less than 30 days in advance of the event, no refunds will be issued. If you are rescheduling the party, Robinson can transfer your deposit to the new date. You will be responsible for paying the price of the birthday party package or room rental for the new date.

Can I arrive early to set-up? 
Birthday party packages provide a complimentary half-hour prior to the rental time listed on the permit. You may arrive a half-hour early to set-up, but please do not arrive earlier as we will not be able to accommodate your set-up any earlier. If you are renting a room only, your set-up time must be included in your rental time.

Can I stay later than the time listed on my permit to clean up?
Time for cleanup is included in your 2 hour birthday party package. If you must stay later than the time listed on your permit, you will need to pay for the additional time or it will be taken out of your deposit. If you are renting a room only, your clean-up time must be included in your rental time.

If I have more than 40 guests, what do I do?
Please note that maximum occupancy of the birthday rooms (40 people) is set and enforced by the Office of the Fire Marshal. Any violations could result in fines. If you would like to invite more than 40 guests, please speak to the Rental Coordinator about renting a larger space. If more than 40 guests arrive on the day of your party, only 40 will be permitted to enter the birthday party room.

What types of decorations are allowed and who decorates the room? 
For birthday party packages, we decorate the room with non-helium balloons and a birthday banner before you arrive. If you would like additional decorations, you are welcome to set them up during your complimentary half-hour set-up time. However, hanging decorations from the walls or ceiling is not permitted. No helium balloons.

Why can't I bring helium balloons?
Please do not bring helium balloons as our ceilings are high and helium balloons are difficult to rescue once they escape. 

Why can't I hang things on the walls or from the ceiling?
Please do not hang things on the wall or from the ceilings. Tape from decorations can strip paint and the ceiling tiles can be easily damaged.

What am I required to do for clean-up? 
You must complete your clean-up by the end time listed on your permit. Before you leave, you must ensure all trash from the party is in the trash or recycling bin, the floors have been swept and the tables have been wiped down. Broom and paper towels are provided. We will take the trash out to the dumpsters.

 

 

Rentals

 

Robinson Rental Guide

The Nature Center offers room rentals and facility package rentals for large events and weddings. Rental requests can be made by calling, 410-313-0400, or visiting the nature center.

Click on the links below to read more about rental options in Robinson's Rental Guide.

Rental Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When is the nature center open for event rentals?
A:
Event rentals are permissible Wednesday through Sunday. The nature center is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM. Rentals may not begin earlier than 8 AM or end later than 11 PM.

Q: Are there additional fees for after-hours events?
A:
Yes, any rental occurring outside our regular operating hours (Wednesday through Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM) will incur a $ 50 per hour administrative fee.

Q: Do I need to include setup and cleanup time in my rental?
A:
Yes, you are allowed access to your rental space only during the hours you have paid for as indicated on your permit. All materials may only be brought in and removed during that time. The schedule for setup and take down of tent rentals for the Mezzanine Patio must be coordinated in advance. We can provide contacts for local tent rental companies at your request.

Q: Is alcohol permitted during event rentals?
A:
Alcohol is permitted to be served within the rental spaces at the Robinson Nature Center with regulation of its service and consumption covered in the facility rental permit. Alcohol may only be sold if a temporary liquor license is obtained from the Howard County Liquor Board.

Q: Is a security deposit required?
A:
A $ 200 refundable security deposit is required for each rental space. Large event and wedding package rentals have a flat $800 refundable security deposit. Security deposits will be returned upon acceptable condition of the rental space at the conclusion of the permitted event.

Q: What is the cancellation policy for rentals?
A: Written notice of cancellation is due at least 30 days prior to the event. Additional notice may be required for larger events, as determined by the Rental Coordinator. If the reservation is cancelled more than 30 days before event, a 20% administrative fee will be retained. If the event is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the event, the security deposit and rental fee will be retained.

Get Involved

 

 

 

Memberships

Volunteer Opportunities

Sponsor An Animal

Community Partnerships

 

 

 

Memberships

Memberships to the Nature Center help support and enhance our programs, and allow members to access special benefits. Membership benefits are listed below in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. 

 

Annual Pass

Annual Passes are sold in the following categories. Prices listed are (R) for Residents of Howard County/ (NR) for Non-Residents of Howard County.

Senior or Student - $20 (R)/ $40 (NR)
Students must present valid school identification. Senior rate for individuals age 50 and up. 
Individual - $25 (R)/ $50 (NR)
Family - $50 (R)/ $100 (NR)
 Includes family members of the immediate household. 

 

Friends Membership

Add $50 to any of the membership levels above, or become a Friend through the membership levels below, to support exciting new projects at Robinson.

Patron - $175 
Includes two complimentary tickets into the NatureSphere. 
Supporter - $250
Includes two complimentary tickets for the NatureSphere and two complimentary guest passes into the nature center. 
Sustainer - $500
Includes four complimentary tickets for the NatureSphere and two complimentary guest passes into the nature center. 
Lifetime - $1,000
Includes lifetime complimentary admission for an individual;  four complimentary tickets for the NatureSphere and four complimentary guest passes into the nature center. 
 

**Please note the Friends of the Robinson Nature Center website is experiencing technical difficulties. If you are looking to renew your membership or become a new member, please visit: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/MRLAPF26R3EDWNWVYNPE

Select "Robinson Nature Center Dedicated Fund" for your donation. Thank you for your support!**

 

Annual Pass and Friends Membership FAQs

How long do memberships last?  

Memberships are valid for 1 year from the date of purchase. 

What are the benefits of my Annual Pass?  

  • Complimentary general admission to the Center & trails
  • Member-discount pricing on select programs
  • Member discount on purchases from the gift shop during certain times of the year
  • Optional member e-newsletter updates (center projects, upcoming programs and special offers)
  • The ANCA reciprocal membership program allows Robinson Nature Center annual pass holders free or reduced admission at other nature centers that participate in the program. For a list of nature centers that participate in the ANCA reciprocal membership program, click here.

What are the benefits of my Friends Membership?  

  • All the same benefits of an annual pass, plus
  • Friends-only benefits (listed next to each Friends level above)
  • Financial support for Title 1 school scholarships
  • Friends-only activities and events

Does my Family pass include my Grandchildren/Grandparents?  

Family passes cover everyone in the immediate household. Below are two exceptions:
  • Grandparents may purchase a Family pass to include their grandchildren, however the children’s parents are not included under this pass.
  • A Family pass issued to parents can cover grandparents bringing the children to the center, but not when parents and grandparents are visiting together.

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like to volunteer at the Robinson Nature Center please complete the Robinson Nature Center Volunteer Application

If you would like additional information about volunteer opportunities at the Robinson Nature Center please contact Brian Campbell, Volunteer Coordinator at 410-313-0406 or bcampbell@howardcountymd.gov

The Robinson Nature Volunteer Manual is available online.

Scout Volunteer Work Days - If you are in a scout group, this volunteer opportunity allows you to get to know other scouts in your community while working together to help the environment! Potential projects include forest and stream clean up, tree plantings, invasive plant removal, trail maintenance and garden work. All groups must sign up in advance and maintain a ratio of 1 leader per 12 scouts. Scout work days are free to attend and open to scouts of all ages. Tools, gloves and snacks will be provided. If you are interested in participating in our next Scout Work Day, please contact the Nature Center’s Volunteer Coordinator at 410-313-0406. 

In addition to the volunteer opportunities available at the Robinson Nature Center, the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has numerous other volunteer opportunities. To find out more about these opportunities, click here.

 

 

 

Sponsor An Animal

Sponsor An Animal
Photo credit: Vic Gladstone

Caring for live animals is a big job and requires many resources. The animals at Robinson Nature Center serve as educational ambassadors, providing numerous learning opportunities for the public and helping us spread a message of awareness and conservation. 

You can support the animals residing at Robinson Nature Center with an annual sponsorship. Each sponsorship comes with a package of benefits and make great gifts!

An annual amphibian or reptile sponsorship is $150 and includes the following:
  • Get your name on digital signage at the nature center celebrating your partnership with our animal care program for one year.
  • Receive a certificate of sponsorship, a fact sheet about the animal, and a gift with your animal’s printed portrait. 
  • Get the opportunity to experience a private, behind-the-scenes encounter with all of our animals.
  • Receive a “letter from camp,” mid-year update from your sponsored animal.
  • Have your photo with your sponsored animal added to our sponsors album on Facebook (optional).

An annual aquatic animal sponsorship is $75 and includes the following:

  • Get your name on digital signage at the nature center celebrating your partnership with our touch tank program for one year.
  • Receive a certificate of sponsorship and a special gift celebrating aquatic animals.

Contact the front desk at 410-313-0400 for details.

 

Community Partnerships

Robinson Nature Center strives to connect adults and children to the world around them through offering exciting experiences and programs that focus on natural and cultural history relevant to our local area and region. We are honored to recognize the critical role that partners play in helping to achieve this mission.

What is a Community Partner?

Robinson Nature Center partners with groups and organizations that donate their time and resources to the Center. In return, the Center acts as a venue and resource where these groups and organizations can achieve their goals, improve their visibility and reach their constituents. Each organization is unique in its involvement with the nature center. If your organization is interested in finding out more about community partnerships with the center, contact Pam Reese, Community Liaison, at 410-313-0673 or pareese@howardcountymd.gov

Click on the logos to connect with some of our Community Partners and read about the contributions they make to the Center below:

Support for outdoor nature play space at Robinson, professional development, field trip assistance and environmental activities; coordinates Robinson's Friends group.


Field trip scholarships to Robinson for Title 1 schools.

Robinson partner logo_HoCo Offices

Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) - Partner area for nature programming

Bureau of Environmental Services - Recycling programs at Robinson and free compost bins for County Residents

Office of Sustainability - Support for sustainability initiatives at Robinson.

 

Click here for Port Discovery's website

Animals, Animals, Animals Program Series at Robinson, appearances at special events, and loan of rotating exhibits. 

Celestial Searchers does not have a website

Planetarium programming in Robinson's NatureSphere and appearances at special events.

Click here for STScI's website

Permanent exhibits, loan of traveling exhibits, and content for the Robinson's "ViewSpace" exhibit.

Click here for Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center's website

Live animal programs at Robinson and appearances at special events.

Click here for HAL's website

Safe solar-viewing and telescope viewing on Robinson's green roof.

Click here for APL's website

Collaborative programs with Robinson and loan of temporary exhibits.

Click here for Central MD Photographers Guild website

 

Photographs programming at Robinson and provides photos for use in marketing materials.

Click here for Howard County Bird Club's website

Donation of Robinson bird mounts, birding programs at Robinson, professional development for staff and appearances at special events.

Click here for Howard County Beekeepers' website

 

Maintenance of Robinson beehives and appearances at special events.

Click here for Howard County Woodworkers Guild website

Robinson Legacy room barn-siding carvings and bird trail carvings.

Click here for MD Master Naturalist's website

Volunteer naturalist training curriculum for Robinson volunteers.

Click here for Howard County Master Gardeners' website

Compost demonstrations at Robinson and appearances at special events.

Click here for the Conservancy's website

Co-facilitate teacher training workshops with Robinson.

Click here for MD DNR's website

Professional development for Robinson staff and appearances at special events.

Click here for the College's website

Facilitate archaeological study and excavation of Robinson's land.

Howard County Forestry Board

Sponsor Robinson's arboretum and donate trees for events.

Click here for Salerno's website

Cater and provide generous donations of food for special programs at Robinson.

Click here for Giant Food's website

Provides generous "treat" donations for Robinson's Trick or Treat programs.

Patuxent Valley Nurseries, LLC

 

Provide tree and shrub donations for Robinson native plant gardens and trail plantings.

Click here for David's Natural Market's website
           

Provides generous "treat" donations for Robinson's Trick or Treat programs.

Click here for Dance Exchange's website
           

Lead "Moving Field Guides" (interactive, intergenerational outdoor movement experiences) at Robinson.

Click here for the Audubon Society of Central Maryland's website

Provide support for native plantings on Robinson grounds.

Click here for USDA's Agricultural Research Service's website

Members of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service conduct insect surveys and entomology research on Robinson's land.

Click here for UMBC's website

Conduct research on Baltimore Oriole and Orchard Oriole migration on orioles that breed around Robinson.

Click here for the Oyster Recovery Partnership's website

Chesapeake Bay oyster reef restoration efforts, educational opportunities and oyster shell recycling at Robinson and other sites across the Bay watershed.

Click here for WYPR's website

Promotes Robinson Nature Center and special programs through a Media Underwriting Partnership.

Click here for Wegman's website

Donates prizes for Robinson's annual Adult Easter Egg hunt.

Click here for Whole Foods' website

Participates in corporate volunteer projects at Robinson. Promotes Robinson through partnership. Provides donations for various programs.

Click here for Digital Magic's website

Graphic design assistance and photography at Robinson events.

Click here for Howard County Tourism's website

Assist with outreach events, publicity, promotion/advertising of Robinson.

Click here for Maryland Science Center's website

Collaborates to offer professional development and joint-programming with Robinson. Supplies temporary exhibits.

Click here for National Aquarium's website

Collaborates to offer professional development and joint-programming with Robinson.

Click here for Jailbreak brewing company's website

Sponsors Nature Center trivia nights through brew donations; These nights raise money for field trip scholarships for Title 1 school children.

Click here for Home Depot's website

Sponsors the HCPSS Pumpkin' Chunkin' competition hosted by Robinson providing competing teams with in-kind donations of materials to build their machines

 

Linganore Wineries

Partners for the Valentine's Day Wine-Tasting and Truffle Making classes at Robinson; provides prizes for the Adult Egg Hunt at Robinson

Terrapin Adventures

Provides prizes for the Adult Egg Hunt at Robinson

Chick-fil-a Johns Hopkins Road

Provides prizes for the Adult Egg Hunt at Robinson

Turf Valley

Provides prizes for the Adult Egg Hunt at Robinson

Awards & Press

 

 

 

Awards

Press

 

 

Awards

  • Trip Advisor - Certificate of Excellence (Awarded in 2016)
  • International Best Programming Award (Awarded by LERN in 2015) 
  • Trip Advisor - Certificate of Excellence (Awarded in 2014)
  • National Award for Wooden Design (Awarded by WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council in 2014)
  • Best of Howard Award for Kids Activities (Awarded to Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks by Howard Magazine in 2013)
  • Maryland Green/Sustainable Tourism Award (Awarded by the Maryland Office of Tourism in 2013)
  • Maryland Green Travel Partner Designation (Awarded by the Maryland Office of Tourism in 2013)
  • Maryland Green Center Designation (Awarded by Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators in 2013)
  • Landscape Site/ASLA Award (Awarded by the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association in 2012)
  • LEED Platinum Building Award (Awarded by the US Green Building Council in 2012 )
  • AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Award (Awarded by the Maryland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2012)
  • People’s Choice and New Construction Wintergreen Awards (Awarded by the Maryland Chapter of the US Green Building Council in 2011)
  • Certified Merit for Excellence in Construction (Awarded by Associated Builders and Contractors in 2011)
  • Washington Contractor Award for Best Sustainable Projects New Construction (Awarded by the Associated General Contractors of America in 2011) 
  •  

     

    Press

    March 27, 2016 - Read all about the egg hunt programs for all ages at Robinson Nature Center in the Baltimore Sun. Click here to read the article.
    February 8, 2016 - A photo gallery of Robinson's Frozen Fest was published in the Baltimore Sun. Click here to see the photos.
    January 4, 2016 - Port Discovery Children's Museum featured Robinson Nature Center and the partnership between the two organizations on their blog. Click here to read the article.
    January 3, 2016 - Robinson Nature Center and the Frozen Fest were featured on Philly.com as 10 nearby getaways from Philadelphia. Click here to read the article on Philly.com
    December 11, 2015 - Robinson and Howard County's Therapeutic Program win International Best Programming Award. Click here to read the article in the Baltimore Sun.
    November 3, 2015 - A photo gallery from the 2nd annual "Pumpkin Chunkin'" event was featured in the Baltimore Sun. Click here to see the photo gallery.
    May 20, 2015 - Robinson's "Magic of Moonlight" program was highlighted in the National Association of Interpretation's Legacy Magazine. Click here to read the full article.
    May 13, 2015 - Our Lady of Perpetual Health Visits Robinson Nature Center. Click here to see photos from the field trip in the Columbia Patch.
    April 28, 2015 - Astronomy Day at Robinson Nature Center gets kids excited about space. Click here to read the full article in the Baltimore Sun.
    April 16, 2015 - Robinson Nature Center made the Baltimore's Sun's list for top 100 best places to take the kids this summer. Click here to read more in the Baltimore Sun. 
    March 10, 2015 - Columbia Patch readers name Robinson as one of the top 10 places to take out-of-town visitors. Click here to read more in the Patch.
    February 11, 2015 - Nanoscience comes alive at Robinson Nature Center. Click here to read more in Chesapeake Family Magazine.
    January 23, 2015 - Maryland Science Center and Robinson Nature Center help local families discover the stars. Click here to read the press release.
    January 17, 2015 - Robinson is featured as a day trip destination in Washington Gardener Magazine. Click here to read the full article.
    October 25, 2014 - County Executive Ulman cites Robinson Nature Center as one of his favorite accomplishments at County Executive. Click here to read more in the Baltimore Sun
    October 9, 2014 - Robinson Nature Center hosted a listening panel for the US Department of Education's Green Ribbon School Tour. Click here to read more about the tour in the Baltimore Sun.
    July 24, 2014 - Robinson Nature Center was added to the Baltimore Regional Green Map as a resource.  Check out the map at: http://www.baltogreenmap.org/regional-map/ 
    July 16, 2014 - "Howard County breaks ground on outdoor exploration space for kids" - Robinson Nature Center is creating a Nature Place for kids. Click here to read more about the space in the Baltimore Sun.
    March 4, 2014 - "Robinson Nature Center Wins National Award for Wooden Design" - Robinson Nature Center was chosen by the Wood Products Council from among 140 entries as the 2104 National Wood Design Winner. Click here to read more about the award in the Columbia Patch.
    February 27, 2014 - "Robinson Nature Center's First Annual Bay Day" - Robinson held a Bay Day event to celebrate Chesapeake Bay food, culture and ecology. The Baltimore Sun featured a 16-photo gallery of pictures from the event. To see the photos, click here.
    November 21, 2013 - "Howard County's Robinson Nature Center wins 2013 Green Sustainable Tourism Award" - Robinson Nature Center was selected as the state's 2013 winner of the green sustainable tourism award by the Maryland Department of Tourism. Read more about the accomplishment in the Baltimore News Journal by clicking here, or in the Columbia Patch by clicking here.
    September 30, 2013 - "Columbia's Robinson Nature Center gets 'green' designation" - Robinson was certified as a Maryland Green Travel Attraction Partner for its sustainable practices and educational efforts. Click here for the full article in the Baltimore Sun.
    July 8, 2013 - "My Daily Photo Walk - Robinson Nature Center" - Read all about the simple pleasures of a trail walk at Robinson Nature Center in the Fredrick News Post. Click here for the full article
    June 28, 2013 - "Robinson Nature Center Recognized as a new Maryland Green Center" - The Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators certified Robinson Nature Center as a Maryland Green Center, recognizing its accomplishments in sustainability and community partnerships. Click here to read the full press release.
    February 8, 2013 - "River exploration, archaeology and more at Robinson Nature Center camps" - The Baltimore Sun featured Robinson's summer camps. Read about all the fun campers had last summer and how you can enroll your child/children in camps this summer by clicking here for the full article
    Winter 2012 - "Giving Children the Gift of Nature" - Biohabitat's recognized the Robinson Nature Center as a model example of how a local government can serve the public through connecting them with nature. Click here to read the full article and scroll down to the section entitled "Connecting Children to Nature: Public Service," to read about Robinson.
    October 26, 2012 - "Howard County's volunteer of the year brings night sky to life" - Read about Joel Goodman, Howard County's volunteer of the year, who helps put together programs for Robinson's NatureSphere planetarium and inspires children to learn about astronomy. Click here for the full article in the Baltimore Sun.
    October 8, 2012 - "Digging up the past at Robinson Nature Center" - The Baltimore Sun visited the Digging Up the Past public archaeology event - a collaboration between Robinson Nature Center and the Anthropology Department of Howard County Community College that allows the public to excavate one of the archaeologically-significant sites on the Robinson property. To read more about the event and some of the neat artifacts uncovered click here for the full article.
    August 13, 2012 - "LEED Platinum Robinson Nature Center is a Wintergreen Award Winner" - Read about the green features of Robinson that helped iit win a 2012 Wintergreen award for exellance in green building. Click here for the full article.
    August 2012 - "Project Detail - Robinson Nature Center" - Robinson Nature Center was featured in Architect Magazine. See beautiful pictures of the center and read more about the details of the project by clicking here for the full article
    March 9, 2012 - "Robinson Earns LEED Platinum Certification" - Robinson Nature Center earned the LEED Platinum certification. This is the highest level of sustainability that can be acheived under the US Green Building Councils' LEED certification system for new construction projects. Click here to read the full article.  
    November 29, 2011 - "Across the Universe at Robinson Nature Center" - Read about "First Friday NatureSphere Nights" - a program in the nature center's NatureSphere planetarium. Click here to read the full article
    November 7, 2011 - "Award of Merit - Green Project" - Robinson Nature Center was selected as the 2011 Award of Merit - Green Project by Engineering News. Click here to for the full article

    Camps

    Check out our summer 2016 camp brochure or browse camps in order by date below!

    Camp registration is OPEN! 

    Robinson Summer Nature Camp Guide

    Have fun exploring your world at our nature summer camps! We have camps for children and youth ages 2 to 14. At nature camp you can:

    • Play and explore in the river 
    • Meet live animals 
    • Make new friends while having fun both indoors and outdoors 
    • Create nature-inspired crafts 
    • Learn survival skills 
    • Take part in team nature and astronomy challenges 
    • Watch full-dome movies in our NatureSphere planetarium 
    • Overnight/sleepover options 

    AND more....

    Click on the links below to discover more in Robinson's Summer Nature Camp brochure.

    Below are nature summer camps held at the Robinson Nature Center. Camps are listed in order by date with links to more information on each camp. Camps that are full are noted below. You can call 410-313-0400 to be added to the wait list for full camps. As summer approaches, we often are able to accommodate wait-listed participants.

    To attend these camps, each camper must register and bring in a Participant Information Form as well as a Medication Authorization Form if bringing medication to camp. Please note that a Physician's signature is required on all medication forms for prescription medications. We cannot accept any medications without this signature. Finally, children attending nature summer camps at Robinson must adhere to the Code of Conduct while at camp.

      

    Robinson Nature Center Summer Camps  

     

    Dates 

     

    Ages 

     

    Lil’ Pine Cones Mini-Camp - Amazing Animals (morning session) (FULL)

    6/8-6/10  

    4-5 yrs  

    Lil’ Acorns Mini-Camp (Parent/Child) - Forest Friends (FULL)

    6/8-6/10  

    2-3 yrs  

    Lil’ Pine Cones Mini-Camp - Amazing Animals (afternoon session) (FULL)  

    6/8-6/10  

    4-5 yrs  

    Lil’ Pine Cones Mini-Camp - Water Wonders (FULL) 

    6/15-6/17  

    4-5 yrs  

    Lil’ Acorns Mini-Camp (Parent/Child) - In, Around & Under the Water (FULL)

    6/15-6/17   

    2-3 yrs

    River Explorers I Mini-Camp  

    6/15-6/17

    6-8 yrs

    Lil' Pine Cones Mini-Camp - Water Wonders  (FULL)

    6/22-6/24

    4-5 yrs

    Lil' Acorns Mini-Camp (Parent/Child) - Forest Friends (FULL)

    6/22-6/24 

    2-3 yrs

    River Explorers I Mini-Camp (FULL) 

    6/22-6/24

    6-8 yrs

    Animal Trackers Mini-Camp (FULL)

    6/29-7/1

    6-8 yrs

    NEW! Lil' Pine Cones Mini-Camp - Nature Puppets & Play (FULL)

    6/29-7/1

    4-5 yrs  

    Supervised Camper lunches and movies (Add-on)

    6/29-7/1

    6-8 yrs  

    River Explorers I Mini-Camp (FULL)

    6/29-7/1

    6-8 yrs

    Nature Games - It's On  (FULL)

    7/5-7/8

    7-9 yrs

    Epic Water Ventures Mini- Camp (FULL)

    7/6-7/8

    8-10 yrs

    Surviving Off the Land Camp (Only 5 spots left!)

    7/12-7/15

    10-12 yrs  

    Nature's Mysteries Overnight Mini-Camp (Only 2 spots left!)

    7/13-7/16

    8-11 yrs

    Nature Games - It's On (Only 1 spot left!)

    7/19-7/22

    7-9 yrs  

    NEW! Nature - the Next Generation  

    7/20-7/22

    9-11 yrs

    Surviving Off the Land Camp (FULL)

    7/26-7/29

    10-12 yrs

    River Explorers I Mini-Camp (Only 3 spots left!)

    7/27-7/29

    6-8 yrs  

    NEW! Lil' Pines Cones Mini-Camp - Nature Puppet & Play (FULL)

    8/3-8/5

    4-5 yrs

    Lil' Pine Cones - Amazing Animals (JUST ADDED! Only 6 spots left)

    8/3-8/5

    4-5 yrs

    River Explorers (JUST ADDED!)

    8/3-8/5

    4-5 yrs

    NEW! Surviving Off the Land Camp - Expedition (CANCELLED)

    8/3-8/5

    12-14 yrs

    Animal Trackers Mini-Camp (FULL)

    8/10-8/12  

    6-8 yrs  

    Lil' Acorns Mini-Camp (Parent/Child) - Forest Friends (FULL)

    8/10-8/12  

    2-3 yrs  

    Supervised Camper lunches and movies (Add-on)

    8/10-8/12

    6-8 yrs

    River Explorers I Mini-Camp (FULL)

    8/10-8/12

    6-8 yrs