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.

Story Time Adventure, for children ages 3 – 6, shares a nature-themed story and explores the outdoors through activities that bring the story to life.

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 explore bark, branches and buds to discover why trees are important to animals and humans.
  • Nature Detectives (March 8-13): Learn how to read nature’s clues as we follow animal trails, look for signs of water and learn how to find our way using a compass.
  • Birds and their Nests (March 15-20): Fly along with us as we go birdwatching, investigate different bird nests and gather natural materials to build our own nests.
  • Signs of Spring (March 22-27): Welcome the spring season as we use our senses to search for new buds, returning birds and other signs of spring.
  • Roots and Shoots (March 29- April 3): Discover how plants grow with a hands-on investigation of roots, flowers and seeds and a spring walk to search for new plants.
  • 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 worms, pill bugs and other little creatures.
  • Animal Babies (April 12-17): Explore the adaptations of baby animals as we discover how deer, birds, rabbits and coyotes care for their young through role-playing activities and investigation.
  • Earth Day (April 19-24): Celebrate Earth Day with a Discovery Trek to uncover the wonders of the natural world and help preserve natural spaces by planting native seeds and plants.
  • 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 Story Book and Adventure Kit at Mellody Farm Preserve at your convenience. The materials (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 as we know that children like to reread stories many times! You may return the materials there when you have completed your adventure.
  • Read the story to your child and set off down the trail with the help of your adventure kit to find the natural connections to the story.
  • Complete self-guided programs at any time and return Story Book and Adventure 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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