Creek Bend Nature Center

BRRRRR!!! Winter, when did you finally decide to show up? It's well below freezing by us - severely limiting our outdoor adventure time. We are lucky we have so many fun and free places in the area to explore where we can stay warm while still getting a little bit of an outdoor fix.


On a rainy, muddy day a few weeks ago, my sister and I took the kids to the Creek Bend Nature Center in St. Charles. We originally went to go to the Bartlett Nature Center but most of the animals were out on a road show at the local daycares and there wasn't much to do after they exhausted the sandbox. The kids still wanted to play so we headed to Creek Bend instead.

We've been coming here, ever since Weston could walk. It's a great learning environment for all ages and there is lots of space to just run around when that's what the kids need to do!

The Creek Bend Nature Center is located in the Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles, just off Randall Road and Dean Street.


Hours:   Monday -Thursday 10-4         Saturday and Sunday 12-4         CLOSED FRIDAYS

When we got there, the woodland oak exhibit was all decked out for the Holidays. If you stand under the tree long enough you hear different recordings of birds and other animals. I always tell the kids to 'shhhh...listen' and have them tell me what they hear. It really taps into a sense that they use all the time, but never really seem to concentrate on :) and they get really excited when they hear a new sound!

In the wood boxes in the middle-ground, there are some matching games and other sensory exhibits like bone fragments and fur that the kids (and adults!) can examine.

They even have a bison on display that dates back to the World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893!

This is a really cool exhibit called "A Clams-Eye View of the Fox River". The kids had a lot of fun finding different creatures and those boxes at the bottom open up and contain games, sensory exhibits, and fun facts!



Weston was OBSESSED with looking at things in the microscope.

They also have this nice little play area filled with stuffed animals, hand puppets, books, stamps, cards, coloring books, etc.




There are quite a few of indoor places to play and "get outside" while staying warm indoors around Chicagoland. Now that it is really cold, we'll probably be getting to more and more of them. We hope to see you there!