Nature Cat | Events
Plan your Nature Adventure!
From the “Readers are Leaders” and “Great Food Fan Van” tours to much more, explore events and activities sponsored by WTTW Kids.
Kohl Children's Museum
Kohl Children’s Museum helps meet the growing needs of families and communities by offering plenty of interactive exhibits and hands-on programs that are aligned to the Illinois State Learning Standards. A visit to the Children’s Museum provides all of the essentials for a successful field trip that nurtures a love of learning in young children.
Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo inspires guests through extraordinary connections with animals, nature and each other. The zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals and is also an accredited arboretum.
National Park Service
The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the country and the world for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of current and future generations. Find a park near you.
American Hiking Society
The American Hiking Society is the only national organization that promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience. The society recognizes that foot trails and hiking are essential to connect people with nature, conserve open space, provide biological corridors for diverse plants and wildlife, and for the health of Americans and the natural environment.
Openlands is one of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation and has helped protect more than 55,000 acres of land for public parks and forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, urban farms, and community gardens.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo connects people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience in the heart of Chicago and by advancing the highest quality of animal care, education, science, and conservation.
Forest Preserves of Cook County
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, with more than 69,000-acres, is the largest forest preserve district in the United States. It receives an estimated 40 million visits each year, providing an escape into a world teeming with wildlife and rich with outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities.
Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District invites children and families into its parks and provides quality programs for everyone to come out and play.
Chicago Botanic Garden
A visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s 385-acre, living museum campus—in all four seasons—should inspire awe, joy, and well-being, and feel welcoming and safe to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
Illinois State Parks
From investing in new facilities at campgrounds, including fire pits, picnic shelters, and bathrooms, to hiring more staff, the Illinois State Parks, Great Parks Initiative is a renewed commitment to invest more dollars into the Illinois State Parks System, ensuring that Illinois State Parks continue to be enjoyed by over 44 million visitors each year.
Peggy Notebaert Museum
Originally founded in 1857 as the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum creates a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions, and public forums to grow the region’s urban connection to the world of nature and science.
Chicago Children's Museum
Hide in a tree house, construct a skyscraper, fish in a river, make take-home art – the Chicago Children’s Museum encourages children to create, explore, and discover together through play. Featuring three vibrant floors, the museum’s exhibits and activities provide sensory experiences and engaging educational content with a focus on literacy, science, math, visual and performing arts, and health.
Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance leading strategy to preserve, improve, and expand nature and quality of life in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. From oak plantings to corporate conservation, there’s always new and exciting work happening in Chicago Wilderness.
National Parks Conservancy Association
Protecting and enhancing America's National Park System for present and future generations, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the independent, nonpartisan voice working to strengthen and protect our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage. Visit NPCA online to find events, resources, a park near you, and more.
Created in 2000 by the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Educare grew from one school in Chicago to a powerful network serving thousands of children in schools across the country. Educare’s research-based program helps children develop the literacy, language, early math and social-emotional skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.
Lake County Forest Preserves
Each year, hundreds of people volunteer thousands of hours in forest preserves throughout Lake County. There are opportunities available for individuals and groups in a variety of settings—both indoors and out. No prior experience is required, just a willingness to help. Training is provided for all positions.
US Forest Service
U.S. Forest Service is a multi-faceted agency that manages and protects 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states and Puerto Rico. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile program engages students in introductory outdoor experiences, enhances learning opportunities, cultivates a stewardship ethic, and creates pathways to pursue careers in the outdoors. This is done on the “book mobile” model, bringing boats and outdoor educators near where students live and go to school. Canoemobile incorporates place-based educational components and has been used for academic credit by school districts. It's an incredible platform to get kids learning outdoors.
Navigators USA is a co-ed, secular scouting movement whose mission is to get kids and their parents out into nature on a regular basis for their own health and the health of their community.
Dunes Learning Center
Working in partnership with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Dunes Learning Center programs use nature as a classroom to provide field-based, school-year and summer camp experiences that inspire curiosity, scientific literacy and environmental stewardship.
Green Hearts was a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to restoring and strengthening the bonds between children and nature. The organization provides the free downloadable resource A Parent’s Guide to Nature Play.
Discover the Forest
Unplug from the daily routine and reconnect your family with nature. Get ideas for where to go and what to do, then grab the kids and start discovering forests or parks near you!