Updated: July 30, 2014 6:15AM
Officials at Thorn Creek Nature Center believe they have the solution for keeping kids busy this summer.
The center offers hikes, and several exhibits, including a children’s fossil find, mammal and amphibian displays, a bird-viewing window and much more, according to a release from the center.
Thorn Creek Woods allows hikers to view wildlife such as deer and their fawns over 31/2 miles of trails. The center is at 247 Monee Road, near Park Forest, and is open from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays — though it will be closed on the Fourth of July — while the trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, the release said.
Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club for kids ages 9 to 12 will meet from noon to 3 p.m. July 12. Attendees should be prepared to get muddy, wear boots, no open-toed shoes and long pants, and bring a water bottle and insect repellent, the release said. They should be able to walk about two miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possibly wet and/or muddy terrain, it said. The club is a free program. Registration is required by July 10.
Hiking, stream-stomping and bug catching will be part of a summer exploration camp, Summer Safari: Adventures in Thorn Creek, for 8- to 10-year-olds from 9 a.m. to noon July 22 to 24. Children should bring a lunch and a water bottle, and wear play clothes: long pants, a light, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and sturdy shoes for exploring (not open-toed shoes), the release said. Insect repellent and sun block also are highly encouraged. Snacks will be provided. Participants should be prepared to walk two miles on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. The cost is $35 per child, and registration and payment are required by July 14, the release said.
A Prairie Sampler Work Day with Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension Service takes place the third Monday of the month from May through September, with the next session slated for 9:30 a.m. to noon July 21. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult, and registration is required by July 18. Participants should bring their own gloves, hand clippers and kneelers if desired. They should dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots, the release said. Refreshments will be provided.
The Wednesday Morning Walkers participate in a morning walk with a naturalist on a weekly basis from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Registration is required two days before a participant’s first walk by calling or emailing the nature center. The program is for those 13 and older.
For more information, call (708) 747-6320, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the new website at tcwoods.org.