Top 5 Things to Do in the Preserves This Week Feb. 10, 2017

1. Make your own taffy. Discover how to turn molasses into taffy at a Taffy Pulling Party on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. You’ll also tour the 1890s farmhouse and learn how kids lived more than a century ago. The one-hour programs start at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and cost $5 person. Additional programs will be held Feb. 18, 20 and 25. The program is for ages 6 and up; under 18 with an adult. Register online or at 630-876-5900.

2. Become a bluebird monitor. Find out what it takes to be a bluebird monitor at a Bluebird Monitoring Workshop on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. ‒ 1 p.m. at the Grounds and Resources Complex, 29W220 Mack Road in West Chicago. From 10 a.m. until noon, District ecologists will explain the volunteer bluebird monitoring program and share data from previous seasons. A pizza lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. For more information or to register, call Cindy Hedges at 630-876-5929 or email

3. Take your sweetheart on a romantic night hike. Enjoy an evening under the stars with your sweetheart on a Romantic Night Hike on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 7 ‒ 9 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. Take a self-guided hike on lantern-lit paths that meander through an oak forest, pausing on several scenic bridges to listen to the soothing sound of the rolling waters of Salt Creek. Hot chocolate and a cozy fire for roasting marshmallows will warm couples at the end of the trail. The program costs $7.50 per person and is for ages 18 and up. Register online or at 630-850-8110. 

4. Fullersburg Frosty Friday. Explore the woods Friday evenings in February at Fullersburg Frosty Friday on Friday, Feb. 17 from 5 ‒ 7 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. Stroll through the winter wonderland and then warm up in the nature center during special extended hours. Registration is not required for the free all-ages program. Questions? Call 630-850-8110.

5. Join the Great Backyard Bird Count. Take part in a global birding event without leaving DuPage County at the Great Backyard Bird Count on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. ‒ 11:30 a.m. at Waterfall Glen in Darien. Look for different species and then record your sightings online at this free all-ages program. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

Ongoing: See newborn lambs and explore an 1890s living history farm. Visit the newborn lambs that have joined the flock of Southdown sheep at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. See the lambs and talk with staff and volunteers about their care during the farm’s normal hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. While you’re there, stop by the wagon shed to see the blacksmith demonstrate the tools and techniques of the trade at Blacksmithing Demonstrations from 1:30 ‒ 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Or tour the farmhouse and get a glimpse of 1890s life at the Life on the Farm House Tours, which run every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. ‒ 4 p.m. Thursday ‒ Mondays.

Nurture nature by helping at one of these upcoming Volunteer Restoration Workdays. Help remove nonnative plants or spread seeds. For ages 8 and up; under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Register at (630) 206-9630 at least five business days prior (10 days for groups of five or more). Read this blog by volunteer Jason Halm about how volunteering helps cure the winter blues. 

Feb. 19                 Springbrook Prairie 
Feb. 25 West Chicago Prairie 
March 1 Springbrook Prairie 
March 4 Springbrook Prairie 
March 11  Churchill Woods 
 Springbrook Prairie 

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