Saturday, August 31
Activity Center, Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Join the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society for an evening with the stars at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, now a designated International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. We’ll meet at the Activity Center for a presentation, then proceed outside to view the stars, planets, and more! Weather-permitting, the program will go until midnight, but you may leave when you wish. No cloud date. Call (217) 351-2567 for weather updates. FREE. All ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more info: (217) 896-2455, or email@example.com.
In the event of inclement weather/overcast skies, cancellation notices will be posted at least two hours before the program on the Planetarium’s (217) 351-2567 phone line, and on our Facebook pages.
Nature Play Pre-K: Remarkable Rodents
Friday, September 6
NATURE PLAY PRE-K: REMARKABLE RODENTS
Natural Playscape, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 10-11 a.m.
This program is for preschoolers ages 3-6 to learn as we play in nature! Rodents live all around us, from the ground below to the trees above. Today, we will learn more about what makes these critters unique.
This is a chance for parents/grandparents to engage with your child as they experience the natural world with an hour of hands-on activities. Dress for the weather and a short hike; we will be outdoors for the entire program. FREE. Space is limited; register by Sept 5 at ccfpd.org. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outdoor Paint Party: The Nature of Watercolors
Sunday, September 8
OUTDOOR PAINT PARTY: THE NATURE OF WATERCOLORS
Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 1-3:30 p.m.
Watercolors are a wonderful tool for illustrating the natural world. With a little direction, they can capture the most brilliant fall colors or the most subtle spring hues. This class will offer a basic introduction to watercolor painting and explore its applications for botanical and biological illustration. Walk away with your own painting of the newly renovated waterfall and pond area at Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden. Register by Sept 4; $25 per person. All supplies included with registration! Bring your own supplies if preferred. Weather Backup: Education Room in the Museum of the Grand Prairie. For more info: email@example.com or (217) 586-2612.
Tuesday, September 10
Sangamon Forest Preserve, 9am – 12 p.m.
Help the Natural Resources department with seed collection. Collect seed from the prairies on our own preserves for future restoration projects. We have quite a few projects coming up this year so we’ll need a lot of seed and your help would be greatly appreciated! As always, we will provide any tools needed and anyone is welcome to come help!
Things that Bug You: Mosquitoes and Ticks
Friday, September 13
THINGS THAT BUG YOU: MOSQUITOES AND TICKS
Interpretive Center, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 6-7 p.m.
Curious about mosquitoes and ticks? We will discuss their lifecycles, ecology, and surprising facts! Preserved specimens will be available for you to see what each species looks like, and we’ll give pointers for protecting yourself from these critters. All ages. FREE. Register by Sept 12 at ccfpd.org. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Night at the Museum: Blacksmiths & Brews
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BLACKSMITHS & BREWS
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Ever wanted to be in our museum at night? Explore the museum after hours during this wonderful program while also enjoying a cash bar serving beer and wine! At 7 p.m., Shel Browder and Steve Mankowski, blacksmiths who have worked at Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne, will be on hand for a fascinating forging and blacksmithing discussion utilizing their storytelling talents. Participants are also welcome to explore the museum after the blacksmith’s presentation. $3 per person Space is limited; register by Sept 11 at ccfpd.org. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or email@example.com.
Saturday, September 14
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
More than Migration
Thursday, September 19
MORE THAN MIGRATION
Interpretive Center, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 4:30-6 p.m.
Every fall, the monarch butterfly migrates from North America to Mexico. Join us as we celebrate this incredible journey in conjunction with Welcoming Week 2019, and learn more about the ways that monarch butterflies connect us. Hear from individuals who have been to Mexico to witness the completion of this migration, learn more about the monarch life cycle, make a craft, and more. We may even release some monarchs! Be sure to check out our 2019 exhibit, More Than Migration: Monarchs Bring Us Together, to learn more about these fascinating butterflies and how that connect us. All ages. FREE. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third Saturday Hikes
Saturday, September 21
THIRD SATURDAY HIKES
Interpretive Center, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 10-11:30 a.m.
Fall and winter are some of the best times of the year for hiking. Join us on the third Saturday of the month this fall at Homer Lake and observe the changing of the seasons. Warm beverages will be available at the Interpretive Center after the hike. FREE. All ages. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or email@example.com.
Dancing in the Garden
Sunday, September 22
DANCING IN THE GARDEN
Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 3-5 p.m.
Join the Central Illinois English Country Dancers for some dancing in our beautiful Botanical Gardens.
English country dancing is joyous, lively movement to elegant music in a friendly, informal setting. All dances will be taught and then prompted. Live music will be provided by The Flatland Consort, a group of local musicians. Everyone is welcome to join in the dancing! No partners, costumes or previous experience are needed. FREE. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music on the Lake: Kilborn Alley
MUSIC ON THE LAKE: KILBORN ALLEY
Walnut Hill Shelter, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 4-6 p.m.
Enjoy one of the many great bands Champaign County has to offer – Kilborn Alley Blues Band – with a stunning view of Homer Lake! Past nominees for “Best New Artist Debut” and “Best Contemporary Blues Album” at past Blues Music Awards, their music has impressed fans and critics not just in this area, but worldwide! FREE. All ages. Refreshments will be available for purchase. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or email@example.com.
History on Tap: Mahomet
Wednesday, September 25
HISTORY ON TAP: MAHOMET
JT Walker’s Brewery, 402 E Main St, Mahomet, IL, 7 p.m.
Help us kickoff our new series, “History on Tap!” Join us as we travel the county to some of the area’s finest establishments for learning and libatious liquids. Not only will awesome local brews from JT Walker’s Brewery be on tap, but a full slate of local history will also be flowing. Greg Pasley, local historian and author of “Diggin’ Up Bones: Vol. 1-4”, will provide an in-depth look into the history of Mahomet and the surrounding community. Be sure to pick up a copy of Pasley’s books for the small price of $10 each (cash only). Program is FREE. Drinks available for purchase. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prairie Day for Homeschoolers
Friday, September 27
PRAIRIE DAY FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time to the late 1800s? Why not join us for our new program, Prairie Day for Homeschoolers! In this fun, educational, program, homeschoolers aged 7-12 will experience life on the Grand Prairie through hands-on activities such as butter making, washing clothes, candle making, and more! They will even spend part of the day in our one room school house! Parents are welcome, but not required to stay for the program. Please bring a sack lunch. $10 per child. Register by September 20 at ccfpd.org. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or email@example.com.
North Waterfowl Management Area, Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
Join the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society for an evening with the stars at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, now a designated International Dark Sky Park. We will meet at the North Waterfowl Management Area to view the stars, planets, and more! Weather-permitting, the program will go until 11 p.m., but you may leave when you wish. All ages. FREE. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE: In the event of inclement weather or cloudy skies, the cloud date is September 28. Call (217) 351-2567 for weather updates. Cancellation notices will be posted at least two hours before the program on the Planetarium’s (217) 351-2567 phone line, and on the CCFPD and CUAS Facebook pages.
Take a Child Outside Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, September 28
TAKE A CHILD OUTSIDE SCAVENGER HUNT
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 10-11 a.m.
Fall into this fun activity! We will be doing a Scavenger Hunt through the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden looking for signs of autumn. Participants will also learn about simple and compound leaves, identify various trees and take a guided tour of the area. $3 per child. Children ages 5-11 and must be accompanied by an adult. Register by Sept 24 at ccfpd.org. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or email@example.com.
History Along the Rail Trail
Saturday, September 28
HISTORY ALONG THE RAIL TRAIL
Kickapoo Rail Trail, Urbana Walmart Access Point, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Want to learn about the rich cultural history that surrounds the Kickapoo Rail Trail area? Join us for an engaging 6.7-mile bicycle tour of the trail as we stop along the way to discuss local history. The tour will begin at the access point near the northern end of the Urbana Walmart’s parking lot, and end near The Wheelhouse restaurant in St. Joseph. Bring your own bike; participants should make arrangements to return from St. Joseph. Light snacks provided. Bike tour may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Space is limited, so register early! Ages 13 and up. $3 per person. Register by Sept 27 at ccfpd.org; For more info: (217) 586-2612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make Ice Cream with New Friends
Monday, September 30
MAKE ICE CREAM WITH NEW FRIENDS
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 1-3 p.m.
School is out today in Champaign, but we are open at Museum of the Grand Prairie! This program is part of Welcoming Week for newcomers to our museum and to Champaign County from all over the world. Join us as we make ice cream, and stay to take a self-guided tour of our museum and gardens! Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles and children of all ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This program is a collaboration with the University of Illinois YMCA. FREE. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or email@example.com.