Planning a staycation for Spring Break but don’t know what to do with your children? Don’t worry because the St. Charles Park District will be the ultimate activity guide. If you’re in need of childcare, Pottawatomie Community Center will entertain your children with vacation-themed camps and field trips. And when it’s time to spend quality time together, head over to Hickory Knolls Discovery Center to enjoy special nature activities all week long.
From Monday, March 25, through Friday, March 29, Pottawatomie will keep your children busy with a week of vacation destination themes including Hawaiian Luau, Disney World, Fiesta, Hollywood and Traveler’s Choice. The themes will be incorporated in the games, crafts and snacks, and children also will have the option to dress according to the day’s destination.
“We thought the themes would be a fun way to engage the kids and get them excited for the activities of the day,” said Taylor Krawczyk, Recreation Supervisor.
The fee is $44 a day, per child, from 6:30am-6pm.
All-day field trips are another option for children on Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27. From 10am-4pm Tuesday, future scientists and other curious children won’t want to miss the chance to explore the SciTech Museum in Aurora. Some of the interactive exhibits include weather, energy, magnetics, space and optical illusions. The fee is $65 and a boxed lunch is included.
On Wednesday, children will start their field trip at Color Me Mine in Geneva, where they will create a ceramic piece, and then travel to Chuck E. Cheese in Batavia for pizza and gaming. The trip is from 9am-5pm. The fee is $75.
“We try to plan a variety of trips that will be pleasing to everyone. It’s a good way to get your children out of the house and socialize with peers in a safe, supervised environment,” Krawczyk said.
Pottawatomie also offers before and after care on the field trip days from 6:30am-6pm. The fee is only $15.
Adventure also awaits you and your children at Hickory Knolls during the week of Spring Break, even on Monday when they are normally closed. Special activities will be planned each day including critter visits from 10:30-11:30am. Get up close and personal as you learn about the animals, why they live at the nature center and how to properly care for them. Some of the animals include snakes, salamanders, turtles, Peter the rabbit, Petunia the guinea pig, and more.
Then from 1:30-2:30pm staff will lead groups on guided hikes outside. Explore a half-mile route in the natural area to look for spring activities. Hickory Knolls Manager of Nature Programs and Interpretive Services Pam Otto said participants will listen for frogs, watch for owls and red-tailed hawks and look for signs of wildlife based on tracks, scat and evidence of food.
This time of year you’ll see indications of insect activity as well. “It’s a really good time to look for cocoons and other insect structures,” said Otto, adding that early spring is good time to head out, and remove, egg cases of the introduced Chinese praying mantis.
“Nature is not programmed; you can’t predict what’s around the next corner,” Otto added. “We encourage people to take a little bit of a break, get out and reconnect with their wild neighbors. You never know what you’ll find!”
Even if you can’t make the special activity hours, drop in anytime to unwind and explore the center. In addition to the animals, there are exhibits on display including the preserved bull musk ox, and interactive play areas inside and out
Hickory Knolls’ Monday hours during Spring Break will be 10am-4pm. Standard hours for the center are Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm and Sunday from 12-4pm.
For more information, visit www.stcparks.org.