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Milwaukee Recreation
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Hawthorn Glen


What is Hawthorn Glen?

  • A home for many native wild animals and plants.
  • 25 acres of woodland, prairie, fen, and open space.
  • A hands-on nature center that over 12,000 children attend each year with their schools and families.
  • A place for families to enjoy various outdoor activities.
  • A place for scouts to learn about and assist in outdoor education programs and community service projects.
  • Operated by Milwaukee Recreation.

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  School/Group Field Trips

As the Outdoor Education Center for Milwaukee Public Schools, more than 12,000 students visit Hawthorn Glen each year. We offer a wide variety of programs that tie directly to classroom curricula and will meet or exceed state standards. The naturalists guide students through hands-on learning experiences by conducting nature hikes and visits to the Little Nature Museum, which is home to many native Wisconsin animals.

Our nature center is conveniently hidden in an urban setting, located just north of 60th and State Street in Milwaukee. Join our naturalists in exploring the woods, a restored prairie and our Little Nature Museum. Bring your own bag lunch or food for a cookout. A campfire outside (or inside during inclement weather) and roasting forks are provided. Please indicate when registering if you wish to have a cookout. No cookouts during December - March.

Sessions may be scheduled for outings held between 9-11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Many session times include a lunch break and a short playground visit (if requested and weather permitting). Please inform us of any time variations. Additional playground time before/after your visit is not permitted. Our naturalists are prepared to focus learning experiences on material related to your classroom curricula.  Programs are listed by seasonal availability.  A copy of our current Outdoor Education Field Trip Guide is located under resources.

  Cross Country Ski Rentals (Winter)

When snow conditions permit this season, come to Hawthorn Glen to rent our cross-country skis! You can hit the trails and experience a new side of winter in Milwaukee.

Boots, skis, and poles are provided. A Wisconsin state I.D. or driver’s license must be used as a deposit. No reservations taken, just show up. Equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. Hawthorn Glen will determine snow conditions at the facility, please call 414-777-7888 for more information. Online registration is not available; simply show up and have fun!

  Mobile Nature Outreach

Experience our education programs in your classroom as our naturalists transform your learning environment into a wonderland of natural discovery.  Outreach programs are 45 minutes in length and are held Monday-Thursday between 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Click here for more information!

  Outdoor Education Classes & Special Events

Experience Life outdoors with Milwaukee Recreation!   Hawthorn Glen offers year-round environmental education classes and special events for youth, teens, adults, seniors and families.  Our popular nature activities include gardening, maple sugaring, Mother/Daughter Hike, Father/Son Hike, learn to ski programs, Campfire Cooking, Friday Night Tales for Tots, Halloween Glen and more.  Check out the Outdoor Education Section in our seasonal recreation guide to view these opportunities.

  Little Nature Museum

Come and visit the Little Nature Museum and see animals native to Wisconsin, including tree frogs, several species of turtles, snakes, many birds and even a hawk. 

Monday-Friday:  4-5 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 3-4 p.m.

Attendance is FREE! 

  Volunteer Opportunities

Help us preserve the past, enjoy the present and shape the future by volunteering at Hawthorn Glen!  We have opportunities for youth and adults and invite groups of all sizes to participate.  On-going projects include trail maintenance, litter clean-up, trimming shrubs and trees, exotic species removal, buckthorn eradication and garlic mustard removal.  Please contact 414-475-3000 to make a difference today!

  Facility Rentals

Hawthorn Glen is a perfect place to host a small indoor or outdoor gathering! Click here for more information.

  • Archery
  • Arts & Crafts Opportunities
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Families at Hawthorn Glen
  • Halloween Glen
  • Hawthorn Glen (Aerial)
  • Outdoor Education Classes
  • Overnight Camping Experience
  • Winter Wonder Woods
  • Wonder Bugs Summer Camp for Young People



1130 N. 60th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Enter on 60th St.,
just north of State St.


Please use this information to contact Milwaukee Recreation's Outdoor Education staff:

Phone: 414-647-6050
Email: Outdoor [at]

(When emailing our staff, please replace the "[at]" with a traditional "@" symbol. Ex:

Please wait while we gather your results.

Bus Information

Please work with your school administrator to identify which bus companies are permitted to be used for MPS field trips.

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