I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~ John Muir, 1913
Featured Events


Saturday, October 22

10:00 am- 4:00 pm

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Upcoming Programs for All Ages

For those programs requiring advanced registration and payment, space is limited.  Classes could be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met by the registration deadline.  Please contact us for availability after the registration deadline has passed. 

2 Simple Ways to Register for Programs Requiring Advance Registration:
1. ONLINE by clicking on the link by program title below
2. BY MAIL using this form 

Family Nature Exploration Day

Saturdays, July 2, August 6, September 3, & October 1; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bring the family out at any time throughout the day.  Create a fun make-and-take craft, take a guided hike at 11:00 a.m., and don’t miss the feeding of the turtles, snakes, and other critters at 1:00 p.m.!
Free.  No registration required.

Twin City Amateur Astronomers Public Viewing Sessions
Saturday, July 2; 9:00-11:00 p.m.:Mars & Saturn
Saturday, August 6; 8:30-10:30 p.m.:Globular Clusters of the Milky Way
Saturday, September 3; 8:00-10:00 p.m.:The Heart of the Milky Way Galaxy
Saturday, October 1; 7:00-9:00:Fading Glories of the Summer Triangle

A 20-30 minute presentation on the featured topic will be followed by a sky tour using a laser pointer and telescope observing.  Programs will be held even in the event of an overcast sky.
The presentation will be given and tours of the Sugar Grove Observatories will be available.
Active rain, however, will cause a cancellation of the event.  When uncertain if a session has been cancelled, check for updates on Facebook (Twin City Amateur Astronomers - TCAA) or twitter (@tc_astro).  For more information, visit www.tcaa.us. 
Free.  No registration required.

Group Trail Runs
Tuesdays; 5:30 p.m.
Venture out to enjoy the trails, or roads if you prefer, on Tuesday evenings through November 1st.  The trail route is 5 miles and road routes of 4 or 7 miles are also an option.  Runners of various paces are invited and distances can be modified.  Don’t miss the post run party in the Corn Crib!
Snacks and water are provided, and you are encouraged to bring other beverages.
Free. Donations appreciated.  No registration required.

Campfire Programs: Click Class TITLE to register
Friday, July 8; 6:00-7:30 p.m.:Nature Scavenger Hunt
Friday, August 19; 6:00-7:30 p.m.:Creek Critters
Friday, September 9; 6:00-7:30 p.m.:Plants in the Prairie
Connect with other nature-loving families for a relaxed evening of discovery, play, and best of all, s’mores!  After a program on the given topic, participants will have the opportunity to create a fun craft, and then head out to the campfire for a tasty treat.  The program will run rain or shine.
Fee: Free/members; $5/person non-members.
Registration and prepayment required no later than two days before the program.

Imagination Grove Fun Day
Saturday, July 9; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. & Wednesday, August 3; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
While Imagination Grove, our nature play area, is open daily, we have designated this special day
for you to meet other like-minded families that enjoy and appreciate nature-based play.
Stop out anytime between 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., and bring a nature item from home to trade at the Nature Trading Post: shells, nuts, rocks, or anything else you would like to trade.
We will supply lemonade and snacks, you bring energy and imagination!
Free, although a donation such as birdseed, sugar (for hummingbirds), or toilet paper would be appreciated. See our website for complete wish list.  No registration required.

Acoustic Irish Music Jam Session
Saturdays, July 16, August 20, & September 17; 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Acoustic musicians of all levels are invited to join an Irish-music jam session!
Bring your instrument or just enjoy the music! For more details, email mtyner@iwu.edu.
Free.  No registration required.

Blacksmith Demonstrations
Saturdays, July 16, August 20, & September 17 10:00 a.m.-Noon
The public is invited to observe members of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith’s Association
as they work at the forge across the parking lot from the Nature Center.
Free.  No registration required.

Hummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration
Saturday, August 27, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Hummingbird Banding from 10:00 a.m.-Noon.

What is pollination and why are pollinators important? Join us to find out! All ages are encouraged to learn about hummingbirds, monarchs, bees, and other pollinators from experts during programs, guided hikes, and garden tours. Browse an assortment of products available from Wild Birds Unlimited of Normal. Learn about Monarch butterfly tagging, tour our Monarch WayStation, and visit with Wild Ones members to learn more about the incredible value of planting native plants,
especially milkweed, on your property. 
Free.  No registration required.

Pigs on the Prairie Puppet Show

Out On Our Own: The Story of The Three Little Pigs

Sunday, September 11
Show: 2:00 p.m.; Activities: 1:00-2:00 and 2:30-3:30.

This witty Appalachian-styled puppet show for families presents a compassionate new twist on the story of three enterprising siblings and one business-minded wolf that will leave you ready to
cook up your own clever disguises!  Before and after the show, join in the fun by creating
puppets, testing your building skills, showing off your acting skills, and a whole lot more!
Also, be sure to bring your camera for the Pigs on the Prairie Photo Booth!
Free.  Registration appreciated. Call 309-874-2174

Great American Backyard Campout
A partnership of Children’s Discovery Museum and Sugar Grove Nature Center
Saturday, September 17, 3:00 p.m. - Sunday, September 18, 10:00 a.m.
Grab your sleeping bag and tent and join us as we celebrate the great outdoors!  Bring your
family and enjoy nature-related activities, listen to the sounds of the woods as you take a night
hike, view the stars with the Twin City Amateur Astronomers, explore Imagination Grove,
or just relax by the campfire.  A campfire dinner and light breakfast are included.
Fee: $8/person members of SGNC or the Children’s Discovery Museum, $10/non-members. 
Children under the age of 3 are free.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration required by calling the Children’s Discovery Museum at 309.433.3444.

Hot Dog and a Hike
Wednesday, September 28, 6 - 8 p.m.
Sponsored by Wild Country Outfitters for Adventure.
Join us for a hike through the woods and prairies to learn how nature is preparing for winter. Dress for an outside adventure! The hike will begin at 6 pm and will be led by Master Naturalist, PK (Patti Koranda). Finish up the hike with hot dogs, s'mores, and hot chocolate by the campfire.
Free. Donations appreciated. Registration appreciated by emailing register@sugargrovenaturecenter.org