New Smyrna Beach has thrilling natural attractions, incredible wildlife viewing areas, and a culture of natural preservation. The city offers a clear opportunity for the whole family to learn and engage with the richness of the wildlife and learn why it is so important to protect and care for it.
Thankfully, you have two family friendly centers near New Smyrna Beach to see the wildlife up close. They are both located at 100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL, 32127. Entrance to one provides you entrance to both.
You and the kids can learn how the city and various groups protect the wildlife, and what that means for Florida ecology. Below is a brief overview of the Mary Keller Bird Rehab and the Marine Science Center. Hit both in one day for an exhilarating wildlife adventure.
Inside the Marine Science Center
The Marine Science Center is a collective of exhibits focused on wildlife recovery. The team rehabilitates marine life, birds, and other species on sight with the hopes of releasing every animal to their natural habitat. Species you will find include sea turtles, a range of birds, stingrays, and many types of fish in massive aquatic tanks.
The inside of the Marine Science Center features a 13-foot-long touch pool filled with harmless and beautiful cownose rays. Guests can find lionfish, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, spadefish, and other species in the surrounding tanks.
The Mary Keller Bird Rehab
The Mary Keller Bird Rehab is a milestone wildlife center and extension of the Marine Science Center. To date, the exhibit team members are responsible for saving 13,000 birds across close to 200 different species. Many of these species only spend a seasonal stint in New Smyrna Beach, migrating from South America.
Traditionally, the birds are released in their natural habitat upon recovery. Some birds become icons of the rehabilitation center if they are deemed unable to be released, staying on the premises to educate the tens of thousands of yearly visitors.
The Mary Keller Bird Rehab center features two main areas. The first is a large screened area where guests can stroll along the exhibit’s edge on the lookout for recognizable species. Inside the building, visitors can periodically see actual recoveries. Aids may add splints on birds, repair broken wings, and help in their rehabilitation. Guests can see it all unfold through a viewing window.
Center Exhibit Details
Call the Marine Science Center at (386) 304-5545 for more details on exhibits. You can ask various questions about the different exhibits, such as the Turtle Terrace outdoor patio. Visitors can walk through an assortment of pools displaying currently-recovering sea turtles. The classroom lab features family friendly discussions and showcases several times a month.
In the surrounding area, you can also head out to explore the nearby nature trails of Ponce Inlet for some stunning water views in the thick foliage. In the area, you will find the Bird Observation Tower. Can you spot any of the species from the exhibit? Perhaps they were saved by the center at one point in time.
A Culture of Preservation and Protection
Wildlife is constantly pushed to the fringes. With the Mary Keller Rehab Center and the Marine Science Center, the family can learn more about what it takes to protect and care for the wildlife and support an ecology that often struggles due to human interference. The center offers you a unique encounter with wildlife care that you can appreciate and take with you forever.
While seeing the many parks and wildlife preserves such as Blue Spring State Park and Canaveral National Seashore, stay at one of our comfortable and relaxing oceanfront vacation condo rentals in New Smyrna Beach. Contact our team at (386)-478-7863 to find out how you can finalize a vacation to New Smyrna Beach in your future.
Looking for more information?
Check out these other great blog articles about family-friendly adventures and natural attractions near New Smyrna Beach.