Set in a beautiful 10-acre canyon, Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward is a little tucked away animal welfare oasis. The mission of the Center is to care for and rehabilitate wild animals, while also doubling-up as an educational center for the public.
In the outdoor space at Sulphur Creek, animals are on display – rabbits, foxes, coyotes, raven, owls, and eagles – each with a placard that teaches guests about the species. When we visited, it wasn't busy, so we were able to get really good views of the animals as they had breakfast and moved around their caged homes.
After seeing all the outdoor animals, we headed into the Discovery Center, where we met more animals – snakes, a newt, a spider – and learned about different animal nests, compared skulls and much more. Although Sulphur Creek Nature Center isn't big, the center kept us more than busy as my kids had access to toys, books, hand puppets, and theater – at which they spent ages, perfecting a little puppet performance for us to watch! At times, a docent brings animals out and shows the children how to handle them.
Pro tip: Pack a lunch for this half-day trip as there are ample picnic tables, trees to provide shade, and space to run around (although don't head into the overgrow as there is poison oak).
A birthday party was taking place while we were visiting Sulphur Creek. The kids sounded like they were having fun and with their private live animal presentation, they probably were! Throughout the year the center offers many events including toddler and youth programs, at very affordable prices.
One of the really cool things about this center is its animal lending library. If your kids are requesting a pet, this is a great way for your family to have a test run. For $25 you can borrow, for up to one week, a guinea pig, rat, mouse, or hamster!
We will certainly visit again, as it is a great fun and educational place to pop to for the morning before heading back home for nap time!
1801 D Street
Hayward, CA 94541
Parking and Admission Free
[Photos by Linda Bernardi ; Minna Kane and Carol Burton; all rights reserved]