Natural Playscape

Magic Included at no Extra Cost

The Natural Playscape is closed for the 2023 season.

How did you play when you were a kid? Did you: Climb on logs? Jump on boulders? Dream of adventures? Dig holes? Dam up water? Catch bugs? The Homer Lake Natural Playscape brings back the magic of those experiences for today’s kids! Kids can experience the wonder of nature play!

**The playscape stream runs 9:45am-dusk daily during warm months of the year. Touch the pad to activate the pumps, and please be aware that it can take some time for the pumps to draw up enough water to fill the basin and establish stream flow. The stream opens in spring after danger of frost has passed, and is turned off for the winter in the fall. During operational months, we appreciate your patience as repairs are sometimes needed on the pump and control system or when low lake levels prevent pump operation.

Click here to download the playscape brochure (3572kb pdf)

What is the Natural Playscape?

The Homer Lake Natural Playscape is a playground designed to connect people to nature.  Prepare to get dirty as you explore the plants, stream, logs, boulders, and animals!

These play experiences are akin to those that many kids had a generation ago, and which are becoming increasingly rare today. The Homer Lake Natural Playscape brings back the magic of those experiences for today’s kids, and help grow future advocates for the environment while also building healthier bodies and minds.

What are the benefits?

The benefits are many and varied, and have been demonstrated through research. They include:

  • A foundation for environmental stewardship
  • More creative play
  • Improved motor coordination
  • Enhanced emotional coping and reduced stress
  • Increased concentration and impulse control
  • Reduced symptoms of ADD and ADHD

Perhaps the most significant outcome is stewardship. As Ken Finch, President of Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood, says, “Among conservationists, the experience of childhood nature play is nearly ubiquitous.” Research has shown that “… participation with “wild” nature before age 11 is a particularly potent pathway toward shaping both environmental attitudes and behaviors in adulthood . . . the experience is likely to stay with them in a powerful way—shaping their subsequent environmental path."

Source: Nature and the Life Course: Pathways from Childhood Nature Experiences, Nancy M. Wells and Kristi S. Lekies, Cornell University, in Children, Youth and Environments, 2006

Please Remember

A trip to the Natural Playscape is different than most playgrounds. Kids will be dirty, wet and muddy.  Plan accordingly for the ride home.

  • Adults should supervise children at all times.
  • This playscape is designed for children 5-12 years old but all ages are welcome.
  • Pets and bicycles are not allowed.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Bring plastic bags or blankets for your car ride home.
  • Carry in, carry out trash


We would like to thank everyone for their donations! Thank you!

Click here to see our donors (555kb pdf)

Areas to Enjoy

  • Crawdad Creek
  • Compass Rock
  • Stump Jump
  • Boulder Bounce
  • Spiderweb
  • Bluebird House


For more information about the Natural Playscape, contact Pam Leiter, Assistant Museum & Education Director, at [email protected].