Forsyth Nature Center:
Meet the Animals that Call this Incredible Place Home

Although Forsyth Nature Center may be hidden from plain site outside of Forsyth Park in Kingston, it is not a place to be missed! Open year round, this free and fun nature center is the highlight of my visits to Kingston, NY.

Kingston is the home of many great attractions – museums, historic sites, an exciting waterfront and an impressive performing arts center. But that is a post for another day…

Forsyth Nature Center is one of the top FREE destinations in Ulster County and should not be missed! Whether you’re an animal lover or not, Forsyth Nature Center offers a retreat away from the bustle of Kingston.

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Turtle statue at Forsyth Nature Center

Things to Know Before Your Visit to Forsyth Nature Center:

  • Forsyth Nature Center is open Year-Round, including holidays.
    • The animals are on display all the time, weather permitting.
  • Located next to a large playground, Forsyth Nature Center is a great way to spend an afternoon.
  • Hours of operation are different depending in the season.
    • Check their website before visiting.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs are permitted inside the Nature Center.
  • Bathrooms are located outside of the Nature Center.

Visiting Forsyth Nature Center:

Summer Hours: (Memorial day – Columbus Day)
Mon – Fri: 7am – 7pm; Sat, Sun & Holidays: 9am – 5pm
Winter Hours: (Oct – May)
Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm; Sat, Sun & Holidays: 9am – 1pm
(as of the date of this published post)

Sign in Forsyth Park for Forsyth Nature Center

Where is Forsyth Nature Center?

This wonderful Nature Center is located in the city of Kingston, NY in Ulster County, NY. Next to the Forsythe Park Playground off of Lucas Ave sits the Nature Center.

It is gated and easily accessible from within the park.

Although within a residential community, the Forsyth Nature Center is secluded enough that you feel like you are miles away from people and cars.

125 Lucas Ave Ext
Kingston, NY

How to get to Forsyth Nature Center

Located off Lucas Avenue and adjacent to Dietz Stadium Sports Complex. It is located in Uptown Kingston.

It is easily accessible from the Kingston Thruway Traffic Circle.

Parking: There is some free parking on the park grounds, but is limited at the Lucas Avenue entrance. There is more parking available when one enters through the Dietz Stadium Complex.

A memorial Tree at the entrance of Forsyth Nature Center in Kingston, NY

What is Forsyth Nature Center?

Before you go on your adventure to Forsyth Nature Center, here are some essentials you should have on hand:

  • If you’re going to be out all day exploring, you never REALLY know what the weather will be like. Even if you think you do know, it can start raining at any time, so this small life-saver is an essential item. This is another great buy on Amazon for under $15.

The Forsyth Nature Center is a wonderful outdoor learning center located in Uptown Kingston, NY. It’s located on the grounds of the Forsyth Park, the center houses many animals and a safe space to explore.

Forsyth Nature Center houses a nice variety of animals and the best part is that you can feed the animals. This elevated petting zoo offers the opportunity for adults & children to explore, become educated and have close encounters with these friendly animals.

Is the Nature Center Free?

Since opening in 1936, Forsyth Nature Center has been FREE to all. Donations are happily accepted at the entrance.

Feeding the bull at Forsyth Nature Center

Let’s Meet Some of the Animals:

Now that you have a sense of where the Nature Center is located, let’s take a closer look at the animals that reside there:

  • Peacocks
  • Ducks
  • Pheasants
  • Ground Birds (Chickens & Hens)
  • Goats
  • Bull
  • Birds of Prey
  • Reptile Exhibit
  • Turtles
  • Llamas/Alpacas
  • Pigs
  • Bunnies
Feeding goat at Forsyth Nature Center

What makes this place so special?

Animal Exhibits

Feeding the animals is the BEST part of visiting the Nature Center. There are posted signs in front of the habitats that guide you to what the animals like to eat.

On the day of our visit, we brought spinach, carrots and apple slices. The animals seemed to enjoy the carrots and the apples the best.

In addition to feeding the residence animals here, there is so much to learn during the visit. Plaques located in front of the animals offer educational information and tips.

Bull at Forsyth Nature Center

Gardens, Ponds, and Quiet Places

There is also a beautiful Reading Nook for those that are looking for a quiet place to unwind.

A quaint butterfly garden welcomes not only the butterflies but also the visitors that marvel at their site.

A Hummingbird Garden must be marvelous at its peak and I can’t wait to return during warmer weather.

Wildflower, Rose, Woodland, Sensory and Butterfly Gardens welcome all to enjoy.

Butterfly Garden at Forsyth Nature Center

Events and Programs at Forsyth Nature Center

The Forsyth Nature Center is a wonderful place to attend a special event or program.

Some great events & programs that take place at Forsyth Nature Center include:

  • Kingston Earth Fair (May)
  • Forsyth Nature Center Fall Festival (October)
  • Boo at the Zoo (October)
  • Naturalist Passport (May – August)
  • Bookworms (Late June – Sept)
Alpacas at Forsyth Nature Center
Alpaca at Forsyth Nature Center

What we saw & did during our visit

My daughter and I visited Forsyth Nature Center on a sunny but chilly day during the Winter. We were happy to see so many people out enjoying the great day.

Because it was our first visit to the Nature Center, we really did not know what to expect but were happily surprised to see many animals out and ready to greet visitors.

After viewing the majestic peacock and other ground birds, we headed directly to the Alpaca/Llama area (because that is my daughter’s favorite)

The Alpacas & Llamas were eager to socialize and eat. We brought carrots and spinach leaves with us during out visit and the animals really enjoyed the treats.

The Bull particularly enjoyed eating the sliced apples that we offered him.

All-in-all, we had a wonderful time. Because we visited in the winter, the gardens were not in bloom, so we did not get to see the butterflies or hummingbirds that are frequent visitors.

Reading nook at Forsyth Nature Center
Reading Nook at Forsyth Nature Center

Forsyth Nature Center & other Local Nature Centers

We are fortunate enough to have so much open space and nature here in the Hudson Valley. The Forsyth Nature Center is small in comparison to other attractions in the Hudson Valley, but that does not take away from its charm.

Here are some of the terrific nature centers in the Hudson Valley that you all should enjoy:

  • Greenburgh Nature Center – located in Scarsdale, NY, the Greenburgh Nature is situated on 33 acres. Since 1975 it has been a refuge for wildlife and an active educator in the process of appreciation of nature.
  • Croton Point Nature Center – located on 504 acres on the largest peninsula on the Hudson River, the Croton Point Nature Center’s building houses exhibits and hands-on activities for all to enjoy.
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum – located in Cornwall, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum focuses its efforts on creating responsible caretakers of our environment through educational programs and their Wildlife Education Center.
  • O’Hara Nature Center – located in Irvington, NY, the O’Hara Nature Centers offers a lovely place to explore their 10 gardens, each designed to work harmoniously with the environment. Education programs assist visitors in connecting with nature.
  • Weinberg Nature Center – located in Scarsdale, NY, the Weinberg Nature Center encourages an appreciation of nature and wildlife. The resident animals and children’s nature classes are perfect for any family to enjoy.
  • Rye Nature Center – located in Rye, NY, the Rye Nature Center educates its visitors and encourages the protection of our natural resources and promote environmental awareness.
People visiting Forsyth Nature Center
Seating area at Forsyth Nature Center

What is not allowed at Forsyth Nature Center:

Although dogs are allowed inside the general park grounds, they are not allowed inside Forsyth Nature Center.

Girl feeding goats at Forsyth Nature Center

More Places to See Animals in the Hudson Valley:

Trevor Zoo in Dutchess County, NY

Trailside Museums and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park

Tips for an Amazing Visit to Forsyth Nature Center:

  • Children 12 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Please be mindful and do not touch and/or collect the plants and/or animals.
  • Although concessions are not for sale at the Nature Center, there are designated picnic areas where you can enjoy your lunch or a snack.
    • Please take out what you bring in.

Until the Next Adventure…

Signature for Jackie at Hudson Valley Explored

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