Explore one of the 10 Nature Centers in the Chicago Southland!
By Chicago Southland published April 29, 2014
YES! Spring has finally sprung here in the Chicago Southland! We don’t know about you, but we are pretty antsy to get out and enjoy the weather every chance we get. What better way to do this than by enjoying one of the 10 nature centers the region has to offer? From climbing the high ropes course at Irons Oaks to taking a quiet stroll down the wooded paths at Sand Ridge Nature Center, we’ve got your spring-time activities covered!
Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center
20000 South Western Avenue, Olympia Fields
Irons Oaks is a 38-acre nature preserve offering programs in environmental education, adventure education, corporate training and outdoor recreation. Hiking trails are open daily.
Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens
7402 West Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights
Naturally a great place to explore, learn and discover some of nature's wonders. Let nature be your guide, come visit and we'll show you why they call it the great outdoors!
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs
The new environmentally friendly interpretive center has live native animals, indoor turtle pond, wigwam and children's interactive room. The original 1886 schoolhouse nature center remains open. Over 3.5 miles of walking trails.
27341 Ridgeland Avenue, Monee
Monee Reservoir is a 46-acre fishing lake. Free shoreline fishing is available. Boat rental allows on-water fishing.
Plum Creek Nature Center
27064 Dutton Road, Beecher
A fine educational and recreational facility, featuring local natural history exhibits, hands-on displays for children and family programs offered throughout the year. Picnic facilities and camping by reservation.
Riegel Farm & Conservation Center
698 Burnham Drive, University Park
Riegel Farm has a very diverse group of animal residents. We have exotic birds and reptiles such as an alligator and snakes. Birthday parties, group tours, pony rides and hayrides.
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center
12545 West 111th Street, Lemont
Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s Sagawau is an environmental learning center established for nature study. Cross country skiing available in winter. Call ahead.
Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Avenue, South Holland
Owned and operated by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Sand Ridge Nature Center emphasizes the natural history of the Calumet region. Enjoy public programs, special events, live animals, interactive interpretive displays and 3.75 miles of self-guiding hiking trails though diverse habitats.
The Childrens Farm at The Center
12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park
Experience life down on the farm! Enjoy farm animals, nature and fresh air! Check out a blog about the Children's Farm here.
Thorn Creek Nature Center
247 Monee Road, Park Forest
Discover the woods through exhibits and several miles of trails. Bring your family for a day of fun in the forest.
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