Thursdays are Tree-Mendous at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

Thursdays are Tree-Mendous at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

It’s that time of year – fall is just around the corner and the days are getting shorter.  Autumn weekends can be a madhouse scramble of soccer matches and running errands – too many things to do in one 48-hour time period.  Why not get a jump on the weekend and chill out a day ahead of time with “Tree-mendous Thursdays” programs at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center?

With extended hours from 4 to 7:30pm, the Discovery Center helps nature buffs maximize those outdoor hours through programs that showcase the best of the season – everything from hands-on projects to scavenger hunts, campfire fun to critter visits.

“Everyone gets so busy and over-committed with things.  We want to make it easy for people to fit some more fun into their lives,” said Laura McCoy, Nature Programs Supervisor.

“Tree-mendous Thursday” programs offer something for all age groups – families that include everyone from grandparents to toddlers, to busy 9-to

“Tree-mendous Thursday” programs offer something for all age groups – families that include everyone from grandparents to toddlers, to busy 9-to-5-ers  looking for a way to unwind at the end of a hectic day. Anyone who wants to get outside and enjoy a few more hours with Mother Nature will find it easy to do since most programs are free and drop-in based – perfect for those looking for something a little out of the ordinary – with some excitement and maybe even a bit of education thrown in, too.

With most programs starting at either 6 or 6:30, the decision about what, where and when to have an evening meal is also easily solved on “Tree-mendous Thursday” nights.  Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic supper to enjoy on the grounds before program activities start. “I know how hard it is to try to fit in a meal and go to an event that starts right around dinner time,” said McCoy.  “We want to make it simple for someone to get to do it all.”

The “Tree-mendous Thursday” programs help participants connect all five senses as they explore the facilities and grounds at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center.   Some are story times – such as “PJ Party with the Critters” and “Fall Fireside Fun” when gifted narrators from the HKDC staff and the St. Charles Public Library, respectively, encourage children to listen closely to stories about animals and nature.

Other programs, such as “A Treemendous Recharge, “Treemendous Leaves” and “Things That Make You Go Ewww” are scavenger hunt-based programs that encourage participants to get out and explore the Discovery Center using lists that might ask them to look for an animal track, smell a fragrant blossom, or touch the bark of a tree.  The challenge, said McCoy, is to go out into nature and forget about phones, TVs, homework, and deadlines for awhile.

Of course, fall in the Midwest is a glorious time of year – colors are both muted and vibrant, the air is crisper, and the temperatures in that just-right range. And just as families are transitioning from summertime freedom to back-to-school responsibilities, so, too, is Mother Nature transitioning from the lush growth explosions of summer to winter’s restful dormancy.

With most programs starting at either 6 or 6:30, the decision about what, where and when to have an evening meal is also easily solved on “Tree-mendous Thursday” nights.  Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic supper to enjoy on the grounds before program activities start. “I know how hard it is to try to fit in a meal and go to an event that starts right around dinner time,” said McCoy.  “We want to make it simple for someone to get to do it all.”

The “Tree-mendous Thursday” programs help participants connect all five senses as they explore the facilities and grounds at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. Programs, such as “A Tree-mendous Recharge, “Tree-mendous Leaves” and “Things That Make You Go Ewww” are scavenger hunt-based programs that encourage participants to get out and explore the Discovery Center using lists that might ask them to look for an animal track, smell a fragrant blossom, or touch the bark of a tree.  The challenge, said McCoy, is to go out into nature and forget about phones, TVs, homework, and deadlines for a while.

Of course, fall in the Midwest is a glorious time of year – colors are both muted and vibrant, the air is crisper, and the temperatures in that just-right range. And just as families are transitioning from summertime freedom to back-to-school responsibilities, so, too, is Mother Nature transitioning from the lush growth explosions of summer to winter’s restful dormancy.

“I think fall is the best of all seasons,” said McCoy. “The Tree-mendous Thursday programs let people enjoy it to the max.”

For more information about all the fall “Tree-mendous Thursday” programs, contact Laura McCoy at 630-513-4393 or visit www.stcnature.org.

 

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