As parent stare at the calendar and the long stretch of winter break the St. Charles Park District has plenty of great ideas to get out of the house and enjoy play time with nature.
Test your skills and knowledge at the first ever Nature Trivia Night from 4-6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3. Teams will answer questions about nature, the outdoors and the animals in the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center too for a chance to win some great prizes.
Build your winning team as this is a great fit for families, tweens and teens and even multi-generations to solve questions in a game-show format. Each team can include six members and the fee is $30 per team. Advance tickets are required for the event, so register before spaces fill.
“This is a brand new program,” said Emily Shanahan, Nature Program Supervisor at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. “It’s one of our first programs of the winter season.”
And there’s no rule that says you can’t arrive early and check out the nature center and pick up a few extra facts to help with the trivia game too.
There will be plenty of other great reasons to visit the nature center this winter break and if you’re looking to learn a little more during your visit join the Hanging with Hickory Friends programs at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Nature staff will be on hand to showcase a different animal each day and answer questions and invite visitors to get a closer look at some of the animals that reside in the nature center.
The nature center offers a great opportunity for visitors to get out, especially for families that are searching for something fun to do on the school winter break. Explore the grounds and follow one of the outdoor trails to see which animals remain active even in winter. Children can run and play on the Hickory Knolls Hideout, a nature play area located at Hickory Knolls Discover Center.
“There are so many different options, you can easily spend the day here outdoors playing, come in and warm up and visit the animals before heading back outside to explore more,” Shanahan said.
Admission to the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center and Hickory Knolls Hideout is free. The center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Winter is full of beauty too and the St. Charles Park District is having a Full Moon Hike Sunday, Jan. 16. Visitors will join a naturalist from the St. Charles Park District on a walk through one of the Hickory Knolls trails using the light of the full moon. As one’s eyes adjust to the darkness, notice how the other senses become heightened as you hear a twig snap and hopefully, the call of an owl from overhead. Shanahan said.
“And if it snows, the light of the full moon will reflect off the snow,” Shanahan said. “I’m super excited about this program.”
After enjoying the beautiful walk, return to the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center to warm up by the campfire. The walk starts at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $10 for residents, $15 for non residents. Be sure to dress in layers to be comfortable on the walk.
While cold weather may tempt us to hibernate at home, there are plenty of great reasons to get up and out in nature and enjoy the beauty of winter.
For more details, visit stcnature.org.