12/15/10

Places to Go - Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center (Willow Springs, IL)

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Oh the joys of returning home. As a child I loved family trips Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, my parents wouldn't buy me any pets until I was older, so as a little girl I could spend hours observing all the animals. I especially enjoyed an exhibit where you would put your hand in a "mystery" hole and try to guess what unknown object resided inside (usually pinecones or animal furs). After a visit to the nature center, we would walk on one of the property's several trails and try to find the animals and plants we had learned about inside.

Over Thanksgiving vacation, I could not wait to reenact the experience with my own children. So I was somewhat dismayed to discover that, despite retaining the same name, a new fancy nature center had replaced the quaint little schoolhouse. Then we walked inside and I quickly got over myself. Yes, the new nature center is quite big and new, but this means that it also has plenty of room for children to play (lots of games and toys), so my kids had a blast. Further, the new building's design is environmentally friendly, always a plus. They still have the mystery holes, but none of my kids showed any interest (sadness). F was too busy flirting with the son of my best friend from high school to pay attention to many of the details (yes, F has already planned their wedding, yes, I find this absurd, though if she has to pick someone, he is quite the catch). Whereas the turtle tanks mesmerized P and T slept in his stroller. Despite the freezing cold weather (coupled with wind chill, of course, as is typical of Chicago), we managed to take a quick stroll around the property, where we saw the beautiful lake and a few birds. All in all a beautiful afternoon. If you're ever in the area, I highly suggest a visit.

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Regarding the last few pics - whenever we ask F what she's grateful or thankful for, she says Valentine's Day because it's all about love. Cute, I know, but not really seasonal. And see the backpack image in black and white? P brought that backpack EVERYWHERE with us on vacation. Even to the movie theatre. And she slept with it next to her bed. Unfortunately, we never actually witnessed what she carried inside the backpack as P refused to open it, for fear of losing anything. So goes family life.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, loved the Little Red School House as a child. So glad to hear that it is still there and thriving!

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