Mellody Farm Nature Preserve  
Through Saturday, May 1, 2021
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. - noon

Guided programs can be adjusted to your schedule.

Self-guided program participants pick up an Explorer Kit at Mellody Farm Nature Preserve.

Interested in a topic you don’t see? Please contact us to discuss developing a custom guided program.

Are you looking for a way to get outdoors with your children and experience the wonders of nature in winter? Lake Forest Open Lands offers two programs that help connect children with our winter wonderland. Both programs are offered either guided by a field educator or self-guided.   

Nature Explorers engages children ages 7-10 in discovery of winter habitat through hands-on activities adapted for older children.

The following topics are offered in both guided and self-guided programs and are offered at your convenience, Monday through Saturday as follows:

  • Meet a Tree (March 1-6): Get up close and personal with trees as we discover the many ways that trees are important to animals and humans, and learn to identify common tree species.
  • Nature Detectives (March 8-13): Learn how to read nature’s clues as we investigate animal evidence and learn how to navigate using a compass, map and other natural signs.
  • Birds and their Nests (March 15-20): Fly along with us as we go birdwatching, investigate different bird nests and participate in a nest-building challenge.
  • Signs of Spring (March 22-27): Welcome the new season as we search for signs of spring and discover the ways that animals and birds change their behaviors to prepare for the new season.
  • Roots and Shoots (March 29- April 3): Discover how plants grow with up-close investigations of plant parts and their unique adaptations and learn to identify spring flowers.
  • Underworld Investigation (April 5-10): Use a magnifying glass to get a closer look at the world found under logs and leaves and dig into the soil to discover the unique adaptations of worms, pill bugs and other underground creatures.
  • Animal Babies (April 12-17): Explore the many ways that different animals care for their babies as we take on the role of animal parents and young to discover how animal behavior helps animals to survive and grow.
  • Earth Day (April 19-24): Celebrate Earth Day with a habitat investigation and discover the impacts of invasive species on our native habitats. Help preserve natural spaces and participate in invasive species removal.
  • Amazing Amphibians (April 26- May 1): Hop and splash into the world of frogs, tadpoles and salamanders as we search for tadpoles in the pond, look for salamanders under logs and discover the many unique adaptions of amphibians.

Guided programs

  • Maximum 6 people.
  • $25 per child for a 1.5-hour program.
  • You are welcome to drop your children with us or stay for the program. Covid guidelines apply, please wear masks!
  • Please register and fill out all checkout questions. We will get back to you to schedule your specific time.

Self-guided programs

  • Pick up your Explorer’s Kit at Mellody Farm Preserve. Your kit (completely sanitized) will be ready with your name on them for you to pick up on the screened porch (west side of the north pink building) at our Mellody Farm Preserve, 350 N. Waukegan Road. You can keep them for up to a week. You may return the materials there when you have completed your exploration. 
  • Set off down the trail with your Explorer Kit to find the natural connections to the story.
  • Complete self-guided programs at any time and return the Explorer Kit when finished.
  • When registering, please indicate the week that you would like. The topics are listed by week available.
  • $15 for one child and accompanying adult, $5 for each additional child


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