All Nature Programs
For Adults and Kids of all Ages
Nature Center Camps
Nature Camps are offered during the summer months at the Knoch Knolls Nature Center. Camps are available for ages 5-10.
Nature Discovery Days
These FREE, indoor self-guided activities are designed for families with children and are offered during the winter and summer months. No registration required. Check our current winter or summer program guide (Special Events section) for themes, dates and hours.
Take a Nature Hike
We offer FREE nature hikes for adults and families. Registration required.
Adult Nature Programs
From classes on gardening and landscaping to wildflower walks, Hikes with a Naturalist and Forest Therapy Walks, adult nature programs offer more in depth information about a wide range of nature themes, topics of concern and sustainable practices. Many of these programs are offered for free. Collaborative programs with research facilities and environmentally-based organizations, like The Conservation Foundation, provide expert information and advice. Check each quarterly program guide for class listings (Nature/Adults section).
To schedule a free group tour, that will highlight the sustainable features of the center, contact the Nature Center Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Nature Programs
Our summer Family Campouts allow families to try out camping and experience Knoch Knolls Park at night. Free family hikes are offered each season. Free Nature Discovery Days drop-in programs are offered during the winter/early spring and for two weeks each summer. Take-home Nature Discovery Kits are available for purchase. Check each quarterly guide for program listings (Nature/Youth section). See additional information for the Nature Discovery Days and Nature Discovery Kits below.
Local libraries can invite a naturalist to visit their library for an interactive Nature Storytime. Programs are designed for ages 2-10 plus their caregivers. Presentations may include our own storybook plus songs, roleplaying, demonstrations and interactive activities along with puppets, feathers, fur pelts, toy animals, replica skulls, animal shells or skins. One program option includes a live animal.
Nature Birthday Parties
Themed birthday parties offer a fun way for your nature-loving child and their friends to celebrate their birthday. Limited to 12 participants, including the birthday child, these educational programs include fun games and hands-on activities lead by a naturalist for 90 minutes with 30 minutes set aside for food and presents. With six nature themes to choose from you are bound to find a party program that's perfect for your child! Offered for ages 6-12 on Saturdays, year-round. Submit a party request online.
Nature Camps are a great way for your child to take part in a hands-on outdoor adventure during summer break. Camps emphasize outdoor exploration, investigation and discovery. Activities include hands-on games, art, science experiments, hikes, stories and more. Camps are held Monday through Thursday and are offered for specific age groups which include 5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds and 9-10 year olds. Check out the Spring or Summer Program Guide for a list of camps.
The Park District now offers five mobile tours - three at Knoch Knolls Park and two at Sindt Woods, part of Riverwalk Park. These tours are free and available anytime our parks are open (sunrise to one hour after sunset). Using your smartphone you can take a leisurely walk along the trails and learn more about nature. Each location offers a Scavenger Hunt for families.
Nature Discovery Days
These free, indoor self-guided activities for families with children include hands-on exploration, games, crafts and more. No registration required. Drop in anytime during our open hours. At least one adult must attend per family. For current themes, dates and hours check out the winter or summer program guides (Special Events section).
Nature Discovery Kits
Our take-home themed Nature Discovery Kits became available in 2021. Designed for families, homeschool groups, and scouts, these activity kits feature a new theme each season and can be conducted at home or at school. Kits will include an information sheet, coloring sheets and/or scavenger hunts, crafts, a game and more for families with up to four children. Check each season's program guide (Nature/Youth section) for themes and available dates.
School Classroom Visits
Introduce your preschool students to one of our live animals! Designed for ages 3-5 and up to 15 students, our Preschool Nature Programs comes to your classroom and includes a unique storybook, songs, roleplaying, puppets and other realistic toys plus a live animal (turtle, salamander or snake). Available November through March.
School Field Trips (PreK-5)
Visit us in the spring or fall with your students! Offered for preschool through 5th grade, a field trip to Knoch Knolls Park and the nature center includes naturalist led hikes, hands-on activities, playtime for younger students and more. Preschool programs are 1 hour in length, for up to 20 children/adults and are priced per group. Kindergarten through 5th grade programs run 1.5 to 2 hours in length, are based on NGSS and are priced per student. Teachers and chaperones are free.
Self-guided groups are welcome. Please let us know when you are planning to visit by calling 630-864-3965 and please keep the number of students inside the indoor exhibit area to 25 students or less at one time.
Scout Badge Programs
Designed for cub and girl scout groups to earn their badges, our nature-based programs cover topics for Tiger Cubs through Webelos and Daisies through Juniors. For each scout badge program brochure, and a program request form, click Learn More below.
The nature center hosts free special events throughout the year. April features various Earth Week related activities, in July the nature center partners with the DuPage Children's Museum, the Naperville Public Library and the Naper Settlement to host an onsite Naperville Plays day, in the winter/early spring and the month of August we offer Nature Discovery Days programs and in October we host our annual Creepy Critters Month. Check our current program guide (Special Events section) for specific event dates and times.
Youth Nature Programs
Our popular Nature Playtimes are designed for children ages 18 months through 3 years old to explore nature along with a parent or guardian each spring and fall. These themed multi-session programs are facilitated by a naturalist. Also, every summer "How to Fish" programs are offered for children ages 5-11 with an adult. All fishing supplies are provided along with instructions and a chance to catch and release fish from our pond. Check our spring, summer or fall Program Guide (Nature/Youth section) for details.