Top 5 Things to Do in the Preserves This Week Feb. 17, 2017

1. Make your own taffy. Discover how to turn molasses into taffy at a Taffy Pulling Party on Saturday, Feb. 18, 20 or 25 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. The program is for ages 6 and up; under 18 with an adult. Register online or at 630-876-5900.

2. Color your world. Add some color to your day and spend the afternoon coloring while enjoying hot cocoa at Cocoa and Coloring on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 1 ‒ 3 p.m at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. Coloring pages, markers, colored pencils, crayons and cocoa are provided. The program is free and for all ages (under 18 with an adult). Register online or at 630-206-9566.

3. 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 ‒ Monday.

4. 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.

5. Take aim at a fun sport. Learn the history and basic techniques of a classic sport at Archery: Active Adults on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 10 ‒ 11:30 a.m. at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. Equipment is provided for the free program that is for ages 50 and up. Did you know that connecting to nature for one hour improves memory 20 percent? Register for this fun program online or at 630-933-7248.

LAST CHANCE!  Last chance to explore blizzards and beauty! Don’t miss the Blizzards and Beauty art exhibit featuring winter-themed works of art by talented Forest Preserve District staff and volunteers, which runs through Feb. 24 at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. The art exhibit was featured in a review in the Chicago Tribune’s Doings Oak Brook News. It’s open Monday ‒ Friday 9 a.m. ‒ 3 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. ‒ 1 p.m. Questions? Call 630-206-9566.

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. 25                          West Chicago Prairie 
March 1 Springbrook Prairie 
March 4 Springbrook Prairie 
March 11 Churchill Woods 
 Springbrook Prairie 
March 18 Churchill Woods 
 Springbrook Prairie 

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