Looking for a great and free way to spend the day? Then step back in time and learn about our beautiful area by visiting The Grove in Glenview. A national landmark, this unique outdoor history and nature museum is the perfect way to introduce your kiddos to the wonder that is the Midwest.
Open daily, The Grove is 143 acres of preserved land filled with many different interactive displays to learn about the Native American tribes who lived on the land, as well as the settlers who followed them.
The Grove has much to do and much to see. The highlights include:
Workshops and Hands on Programs for all ages
Historic Redfield Estate
Community Events and Festivals
I have wonderful memories of The Grove from when I was a girl, specifically when my school would take field trips “back in time.” We would dress up like pioneers and perform activities in the restored Kennicott House, the log cabin, and the one room school house and had a blast. I remember learning how to churn butter and wondering how in the world a one room school house could be appropriate for students of all ages (an indication of my future career in teaching, eh?).
When I come back to visit with my boys, however, we spend the majority of our time in the Interpretive Center. There is so much to do and see, from the aquatic displays to the “Natural Science Classroom.” This classroom reminds me of some of the other nature centers in the area, including the River Trails and Wildwood Nature Centers, but neither of these other locations give as many informational “show and tells” as the Grove.
My boys and I spend hours playing with nature themed puzzles, reading books about our favorite animals, watching the animals swim and scurry inside their homes…the sky is the limit. It is our favorite place to escape the harsh Chicago winter and find fun ways to learn and play.
Be sure to check out the nature videos, science equipment, environmental displays, self guided activities, and trail walks before you head out to visit the other Grove facilities.
We enjoy walking the trails along the wetlands and watching the turtles sun themselves, especially when the weather allows us to just simply sit in the peace and quiet and listen to the nature sounds around us.
Another favorite place is the greenhouse, where we can enjoy the many different kinds of plants and aquatic animals thriving. The Blacksmith Shop is another popular exhibit, especially when someone is showing how to make a nail using pioneer techniques. My boys are terrified of fire so we typically don’t stay long, but it is a really interesting area to check out.
Hope I have inspired you to learn more about the history of Chicagoland and visit the Grove soon. You can even visit without the kids for one of their popular beer fest, too!
Looking for other ways to interact with nature? Search “nature centers” or “outdoor play.”