The Audubon Society of Rhode Island (no affiliation with the National Audubon Society) was founded in 1897, and today the organization protects and manages 95,000 acres of land. Several years ago they built a little gem of an Environmental Education Center right in Bristol, RI.
The Center has classroom and auditorium space, a great gift shop with lots of toys for learning about and exploring nature, and a small but comprehensive natural history museum. The building is set on a beautiful meadow which has trails and a boardwalk that lead right to the East Bay Bike Path and Narragansett Bay beyond. The setting is exquisite in the summer, but it provided a really cozy space to escape to when we just needed to get out of the house in between blizzards.
I went with a good friend and her little family early on Valentines Day Morning. Since it was school vacation week, the friendly staff had set up several bird-related crafts and activities.
The museum features local animals and habitats and was definitely designed with children in mind. The Audubon of Society of Rhode Island hosts lots of nature activities year round, for both children and adults, so make sure you check out their calendar or just stop by sometime!