Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center April-May Programs

Tue March 23, 2021

We are excited to welcome back visitors to the Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center.  The Nature Center, located at 330 N. Main St, Crystal Lake provides a unique opportunity for anyone to experience nature through progressive programs, hands on activities, seasonal exhibits and volunteer opportunities. Located in Veteran Acres Park, the Nature Center is the ideal starting point for a hike through the Veteran Acres Woods and Wingate Prairie.


Saturday Stop-Ins

10 am-2 pm, all ages welcome, no registration required, just stop in

April 10-April Showers

Enjoy displays, experiments and crafts dedicated to the weather in April

May 15-May Showers

Enjoy a guided hike and flower related craft


Monthly Activities

Stop by the Nature Center during regular hours of operation. Each month we will have a different craft or activity. Groups of 5 or more: please call us at 815-455-1763 so we know to have enough materials on hand

April-Seed and Flower Card (craft), suggested donation $6

May-Bubble Art (craft), suggested donation $5


Nature Tots (ages 2-5)

Advance registration requested at

Animal Puppets-Wed, Apr 14, 10-11 am, $8 res/$12 non-res

Blowing in the Wind-Wed, May 12, 10-11 am, $8 res/$12 non-res


Fairies (ages 6-12)

Advance registration requested at

Pixie Pinwheel-Sat, Apr 17, 10-11:30 am, $10 res/$13 non-res

Fairy Flower Fun-Sat, Apr 24, 10-11:30 am, $10 res/$13 non-res

Explorers (ages 6-12)

Advance registration requested at

Incredible Insects-Sat, May 22, 10-11:30 am, $10 res/$13 non-res


Workshops (ages 11-17)

Advance registration requested at

Nature Workshop-Sat, Apr 3, 9 am-Noon, $15 res/$20 non-res

Astronomy Workshop-Sat, May 29, 9 am-Noon, $15 res/$20 non-res


Nature Buffs (ages 16 & up)

Advance registration requested at

Beyond Honey with Bees-Sat, May 8, 10-11:30 am $15 res/$20 non-res

Nature’s Concrete Construct-Sat, May 21, 6-7:30 pm $15 res/$20 non-res


General Info about The Nature Center



330 N. Main St, Crystal Lake


Hours of Operation

Tu-Sat, 10 am-4 pm



Equipment Rental

Fishing Rods: we have a limited number of fishing poles and fly rods that can be borrowed, free of charge for a fun filled day of fishing. We also can supply bobbers and hoos but you will need to bring your own bait and valid Illinois fishing license.

Binoculars: We have a limited number of binoculars that can be borrowed for a day to enhance your hike around our park.

GPS Units: A few GPS units are available to borrow for a day if you are interested in geocaching. Please call ahead at 815-455-1763 to make sure that they are not in use.


Woodcarving: For both the novice and experienced carver, this informal group is for anyone interested in woodcarving. There is no fee involved, but you need to bring your own tools. This group meets at the Nature Center twice a month. For more information, contact Bill Markison at 815-459-5204.


Orienteering at Veteran Acres: Orienteering is a competitive sport in which participants find their way to various checkpoints with the aid of a map and compass. The winner completes the course in the lowest elapsed time. We have FIVE different courses to keep you and your team busy. A limited number of compasses and maps that may be borrowed to explore our course.


Birthday Parties: Our birthday party packages are 2.5 hours and consist of 15 minutes for set-up, a one hour instructor led program, one hour of “free time” for gifts and cake (not provided) and 15 minutes for clean-up. Themes include: Animal Kingdom, Campfire Capers, Explorer, Fossil Find, Nature Tots, Woodland Fairies. For more information email