Forsyth Nature Center: Meet the Animals that call this Place Home

Although Forsyth Nature Center may be closed to the public, I came across some photos that I had taken during a recent visit – before all this quarantine stuff began.

On this chilly day, my daughter and I decided to take a mini-adventure 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.

Although Forsyth Nature Center is open to the public, please follow these guidelines:
Please be safe.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands thoroughly and follow all mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control ( and NY State and local Governments.

Petting a large turtle statue at Forsyth Nature Center in Kingston, NY

> Forsyth Nature Center is open Year-Round, including holidays. The animals are on display all the time.
> Located next to a large playground, Forsyth Nature Center is a great way to spend an afternoon.
> Hours of Operation are different depending on the Season. Check their website before visiting the Nature Center.
> 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.
> The Forsyth Nature Center is small in comparison to other attractions in the Hudson Valley, but that does not take away from its charm.
> Strollers and wheelchairs are permitted inside the Nature Center.
> Bathrooms are located outside 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)

Forsyth Nature Center: Meet the Animals that call this Place Home

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.

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.

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

What is Forsyth Nature Center?

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 resident 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
Forsyth Nature Center: Meet the Animals that call this Place Home

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.

Forsyth Nature Center: Meet the Animals that call this Place Home

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.

The Forsyth Nature Center Butterfly Garden

Events and Programs

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)
A hungry alpaca at the Forsyth Nature Center
A look at a resident peacock at the nature center in Kingston, NY

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.

The Reading Nook at Forsyth Nature Center
The Reading Nook of 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.

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 walking along the path at the Nature Center in Kingston, NY
A sitting 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.

What others are saying about Forsyth Nature Center

According to Yelp, people are saying the following great things about Forsyth Nature Center:

“Perfect, quaint little neighborhood zoo! Little kids and families will enjoy their time here! It’s a quick easy walk about and you can be in and out in less than 30 minutes!”

“My son loves this place. It is right next door to an awesome playground that was newly renovated. We bring fruits and veggies from home and feed them to the animals, like carrots, apples, and celery. My 2 year old son loves feeding the cow. It’s a great weekday activity.”

Forsyth Nature Center: Meet the Animals that call this Place Home
A silly goat ready to eat.

> 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.

Where to Next????

Now that you’ve explored the Forysth Nature Museum with me, let’s see what to do next.

Read More:

Trevor Zoo in Dutchess County

Trailside Museum & Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park

Explore my Hudson Valley Map

My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses I’ve personally visited and written about to date. The blog posts written about each location are linked within the corresponding pin.

Map Key for the Hudson Valley Exploring Map

Until the Next Adventure…

Forsyth Nature Center: Meet the Animals that call this Place Home


Learn all about Forsyth Nature Center in Kingston NY. This great Hudson Valley Center is open year-round. Hudson Valley Families | Ulster County NY | Hudson Valley New York | Things to do in New York | Hudson Valley Free