Mellody Farm Nature Preserve  
Through Saturday, February 27, 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:

  • Predator-Prey (January 18 – 23): Discover the relationship between predators and prey animals. We’ll explore the unique adaptations that help predators find their prey and protect prey animals from being eaten.
  • Sensing the Season (January 25 – 30): Experience the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the season with this sensory-based winter adventure. A winter scavenger hunt helps us discover how animals use their senses to survive.
  • Owl Prowl (February 1 – 6): Explore the sophisticated adaptations of owls on an owl prowl. We build an owl nest, look closely at owl pellets and feathers and look and listen for owls in the woodland.
  • Patterns in Nature (February 8 – 13): Investigate shapes, symmetry and patterns on the winter prairie and savanna. We observe patterns using magnifying glasses to examine objects and build our own patterns with natural materials.
  • Small Mammals (February 15 – 20): Uncover the world of rabbits, voles, mice and other small mammals following animal trails. We’ll search for vole tunnels, look for signs of rabbits, and build brush pile shelters.  
  • Winter Weather (February 22 – 27): Discover the world found under the ice and snow. We investigate ice, learn how to read signs of weather, and search for signs of spring.

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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