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Cure Cabin Fever!

After a cold and snowy winter, the Forest Preserves of Cook County are the perfect cure for cabin fever. In addition to daily programs at the Forest Preserves' six Nature Centers; the spring season also includes a number of special events taking place in locations throughout the county. All events are family-friendly and free.

New this year, the Forest Preserves is offering a free Nature Express bus from Forest Preserve headquarters in River Forest (536 N. Harlem Ave.) to select programs in the preserves. Space on the bus is free, but must be reserved in advance by visiting or calling 708-771-1189. Forest Preserve headquarters are easily accessible by the Green Line, CTA Harlem Bus #90 or PACE Bus #307 or #305. The Nature Express is funded by the Forest Preserve Foundation.



Winter Exploration Day
Saturday, March 1, noon - 4 p.m.
Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion, Grove 5, 87th & Western, Chicago
Bring the whole family outside for one last day of winter fun! Try a variety of outdoor activities for all ages, including sledding and snowshoes (depending on conditions), fire, nature hikes, crafts, snacks and more.

Maple Syrup Celebration*
Sunday, March 23, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
River Trail Nature Center, 3120 N. Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook
Celebrate the arrival of spring with a special day of activities including crafts, games, tree tapping and maple syrup history.
*Nature Center Express bus leaves Forest Preserve Headquarters at 10:30 a.m. and returns from River Trail at 3 p.m.

Rolling Knolls Forest Fun Day*
Saturday, April 5, noon - 4 p.m.
Rolling Knolls Forest Preserve, 11N260 Rohrssen Rd., Elgin
Discover what's coming to Rolling Knolls, the newest location for fun and learning in the preserves. Try disc golf, archery, nature play and more! Bring the whole family.
*Nature Center Express bus leaves Forest Preserve Headquarters at 11:30 a.m. and returns from Rolling Knolls at 4 p.m.

Annual Earth Day Parks and Preserves Cleanup
Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Whistler Woods, 480 Acme Dr., Riverdale
Help clean up the preserves in the morning, and then celebrate with fun activities, recycling, hikes and more. Register at In partnership with Friends of the Parks.

Arbor Day Celebration
Sunday, April 27, noon - 4 p.m.
LaBagh Woods, 5400 N. Cicero, Chicago
Enjoy tree plantings, Kids tree climbing, tree ID, tree-caching, scavenger hunts, art projects and more.

Spring Festival
Sunday, May 4, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest
Celebrate spring with a day of activities for all ages, including guided hikes, dip netting, a meet-and-greet with our newest animal, animal encounters, craft corner and much more.

International Migratory Bird Day Festival
Saturday, May 10, 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St, Lemont
Spend the day celebrating migratory birds as they travel north to their breeding areas. Learn simple ways to identify and protect these birds by visiting our Tip Stations. Answer the question "Why do birds matter?" by learning about the American robin.

International Migratory Bird Day
Saturday, May 10, noon - 4 p.m.
Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Rd, Barrington Hills
Celebrate the return of birds to their breeding range with an afternoon of activities.

Nature Block Party: A Celebration of Biodiversity*
Saturday, May 17, noon - 4 p.m.
Eggers Grove, 11201 S. Ave. B, Chicago
Discover the flora and fauna of the urban preserves with restoration activities, bird hikes, tree hikes, biking and more. Nearby Powers Recreation Area will be open for additional activities. Part of Urban Biodiversity Week, May 11-18. More at
*Nature Center Express bus leaves Forest Preserve Headquarters at 11:30 a.m. and returns from Eggers at 4 p.m.


Photo Meet-Ups
The Forest Preserves Photo Meet-ups series is designed for photographers of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. Each gathering will feature a Forest Preserve naturalist leading a brief tour of the area, highlighting interesting and unusual plants, scenic vistas and locations frequented by wildlife. During and after the tour, photographers can capture images and share tips and suggestions for getting the best shot.

Saturday, March 22, 10 a.m.
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 S. Willow Spring Rd., Willow Springs

Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m.
River Trail Nature Center
Meet at nature center before traveling to nearby photo location.
3120 N. Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook

Saturday, May 24, 10 a.m.
Grassy Ridge Meadow
Meet in parking lot.
1182 W Central Rd, Hoffman Estates
Hosted by Crabtree Nature Center

AfterSchool Outdoor Adventures
Calling outdoor adventurers ages 7-12! Meet up for wilderness skill building, hiking, exploring, nature-based art making and more.

Wednesday, March 26, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Thatcher Pavilion
8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest

Wednesday, April 30, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Dan Ryan Pavilion, Grove 5
87th & Western, Chicago

Wednesday, May 28, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Thatcher Pavilion
8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest

Spring Breakout Adventures
Spring is finally here - time to "break out" and enjoy the outdoors. Youth and families are invited for a day of exploration. Activities include team-building fun, hikes using GPS, animal pelt stations, art making and more. Come for the whole day or just an hour. Call 708-771-1010 for details.

Tuesday, April 15, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Caldwell Woods
6100 W. Devon Ave, Chicago

Friday, April 18, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Thatcher Woods
8030 W. Chicago Ave, River Forest


Skokie Lagoons Spring Birding Paddle
Tower Road Boat Launch, between Dundee and Willow Rds., east of I-94, Northfield
Celebrate Migratory Bird Day by joining a bird expert out on the water! Guides and binoculars available. Canoe instruction provided.
Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Tampier Lake Evening Paddle
Tampier Lake Boat Launch, 131st St west of Wolf Rd., Orland Park
Pack a dinner and enjoy a spring evening canoeing on Tampier Lake. Beginners welcome. Canoe instruction provided.
Thursday, May 29, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Aquatic Center Opening Weekend
Saturday - Monday, May 24 - 26, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
The Forest Preserves' three Aquatic Centers open Memorial Day Weekend.
Opening day (Saturday, May 24) is free!

  • Whealan Pool Aquatic Center, 6200 W. Devon, Chicago

  • Green Lake Aquatic Center, 1100 River Oaks Dr, Calumet City

  • Cermak Aquatic Center, 7600 W. Ogden, Lyons


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 26, 2014

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BOOKS - All About Poop.


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