Creating Family Memories that Last a Lifetime!

Nature Center Discovery Lab

New Location in 2017! Take Magnolia Lake Circle, turn left at Site Z-67. Our new location is behind Sandy Mart. Read more about it on our Blog.

A one of a kind facility in this area, the Ocean Lakes Leonard Raker Nature Center Discovery Lab focuses on marine life. It all began with Leonard Raker, Founder and Curator (now retired), he traveled extensively during our off-season gathering items for exhibit. Our Sr. Naturalist, Brandy, has a degree in Marine Biology and loves to help guests learn about the ocean. The Nature Center offers exhibits and information on shells, fossils, sea life, wildlife and ecology of coastal South Carolina. Our knowledgeable staff is on hand to identify items discovered on our nearly one mile of the Atlantic Ocean beach and answer any questions you may have.

They also know where all the good “shell” spots are located along the Grand Strand. Join them on a beach walk or for an educational program. It will be enjoyed by the entire family! Stop in to meet our newest “teammates” Spot, a Leopard Gecko, and turtles Bubbles and Squirt. For our younger guests with upcoming science projects the Ocean Lakes Nature Center is a great place to gather information and get a head start. Brandy would love to assist you on ideas and marine life info. Make sure to follow up with them next summer and let them know how your project turned out! If you are at Ocean Lakes this summer please join our “Explore Our Beach” ID walk, it will be Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9am from June – August.

Hours of Operation:

In Season (and through October): Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM
Off Season: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM

Learn | Participate in Activities | Become a Jr. Naturalist!

Check our monthly Activities Calendar for details. Download our Nature Center Activities (for July 17th-August 12th, 2017).

Nature Center Activity for Kids

New! Become a Jr. Naturalist (Mid-June to Labor Day)

The Ocean Lakes Family Campground Jr. Naturalist Program is a nature-based badge program hosted by The Leonard Raker Nature Center Discovery Lab. Participants must complete specific activities from the Nature Activities calendar to earn a badge and become a Jr. Naturalist. Jr.  Naturalists can complete the program annually and will earn an additional badge each year they complete the requirements. Jr. Naturalists must be ages 5-10. Sign up at the Nature Center, $3 per child, cash only.