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Kids' Events and Calendar - April 2019

Scouting Resources
Scout leaders, the IDNR Division of Education has resources that you can use to help teach about Illinois' animals, plants and other topics. Videos, publications, resources trunks/packs for loan, activities and other information can be found through the links on the new "Scouting Resources" Web page. Visit it today!
Illinois Bats Video Podcast
View the new Illinois Bats video podcast (approximately 10 minutes in length) from the IDNR’s Division of Education to learn about the life history and some of the issues affecting the 13 species of bats that are currently recognized from Illinois. You’ll find the video podcast at and also on YouTube.
Programs at Beall Woods State Park
The following programs are being offered in April at Beall Woods State Park near Mt. Carmel. For more information, call 618-298-2442.
Woodland Wildflower Hikes
Saturdays, April 6, 13 and 27, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Discover past uses of our native flora and interesting characteristics about each wildflower species during a 1.5-mile hike along the trails of the nature preserve. Feel free to bring along your camera to capture the intricate design and delicate nature of these spring beauties. 

Test Your Nature Knowledge!
Games target ages 16 and above.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Take A Wild Guess – 1:00 p.m.
This is a picture puzzler. Can you guess the subject of a photograph by only seeing a small portion of the picture?
Nature Trivia BINGO – 2:00 p.m.
Test your knowledge about Illinois’ state parks, the flora and fauna around us, movies filmed in Illinois and much more!
Starved Rock State Park Programs
Listed below are the programs being offered at Starved Rock State Park near Utica for April and the first week of May. Questions about the programs should be directed to Starved Rock State Park staff at or 815-667-4726. 
Living with Wildlife:  A Balance Helping Nature
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what to do with a baby animal or an injured or orphaned animal? Join Nancy Johnson, of the Second-Hand Ranch and Rescue from Princeton, Illinois, as she talks about her life as a wildlife rescuer and helps us understand how to live with wildlife on and off of the trail.
Ecology of Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The onset of spring brings beautiful wildflowers to the woodlands of Illinois, and Starved Rock State Park is home to a rich variety of common and rare spring ephemeral wildflowers. These plants deploy an amazing array of strategies to deal with the challenges of living on the forest floor. This talk will cure your winter blues by discussing the myriad adaptations used by these interesting plants.
Presenter: Botanist and Southern Illinois University Instructor Chris Benda, the Illinois Botanizer
Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage
Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, 2019 
Hikes leave the Visitors’ Center at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. on both days. 
Hiking Options: Starved Rock and French Canyon (3/4-mile hike); Eagle Cliff and Lovers Leap Overlooks (1.4-mile hike) and Wildcat Canyon with overlooks (2-mile hike).
Spring is such a beautiful time of year at the Starved Rock State Park!  Waterfalls, mossy canyons, crisp and clean air on the overlooks and spring wildflowers everywhere you look. Join experienced naturalists for a one-of-a-kind trail experience to find spring ephemerals (wildflowers) and learn about their natural history.
Upcoming Programs at Dickson Mounds Museum
The following programs are being sponsored by Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. Unless otherwise noted, the programs occur at Dickson Mounds Museum, too. For more information, call 309-547-3721.
Tot Time - Trees
April 4, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month in the Museum’s Discovery Center. Spend quality time with your tot, while each of you makes new friends. A different topic and craft are featured each month. Registration is not required and admission is free. Light refreshments will be provided. The program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. with the program portion lasting approximately thirty minutes followed by crafts, snacks and time to explore the Museum.
On April 4, participants will learn about the importance of trees and their role in nature. Tots and their caretakers may enjoy helping to plant several native Illinois trees on the Museum's grounds and making a “tree” craft to take home. Participants will also receive a tree to plant in their own backyard! The 2019 Tot Time program series is sponsored by Spoon River Electric’s Operation Round-up grant, Canton Chamber of Commerce, Havana National Bank, Lewistown American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Bishop Post #1, Lewistown VFW Post 5001 Auxiliary, Rusty Melhouse of Edward Jones, and Jeff and Linda Sisson of Havana. The Tot Time program series continuously seeks sponsors. Please contact Curator of Education Christa Christensen at 309-547-3721 for more information.
Kid’s Workshop: Essential Concepts of Wilderness Survival
April 13, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and April 14, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Through hands-on experience, learn how to prepare for the wilderness and survive the forces of nature. This two-day program will highlight the most critical concepts of wilderness survival. On April 13, the program will focus on wilderness preparation, shelter building, water purification and foraging. The April 14 class will cover fire starting and natural land navigation. This workshop is for kids ages 9-16 years old.  Parent/adult guardians are welcomed. Participants are required to provide their own snacks, lunch and water and must dress appropriately for outdoor conditions and hiking. Much of the program will be held in a wooded setting. A small backpack to carry food and supplies is a must. Registration is required by April 10, and space is limited. Participants will receive detailed information on the required supplies for the workshop. Participate in one or both programs. Topics are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register or for more information.
Hickory Ridge Concert Series
April 20, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
For more than 20 years, people have gathered at Dickson Mounds Museum on the third Saturday of every month for an evening of musical entertainment. Hosted by Chris Vallillo, an accomplished musician and performer in his own right, the series features roots/folk music and other genres offered by a talented variety of performers. April's performance will be by Matthew Michael & Christina Marie.
An acoustic duo emerging from Ottawa, Illinois, with their roots firmly in the in the Illinois River Valley, Matthew Michael & Christina Marie approach music with honest songs expressed in beautiful harmonically-rich layers of voices and strings. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. adults $10, kids $5. Visit information about the artists. A variety of desserts will be available for purchase as well as wine for purchase courtesy of the local Native Trails Winery.
Nature Walk for Health Series
April 25, 2019, 5:00 p.m. -  6:30 p.m.
Join us on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m., from April through October to walk in nature and learn about our local environment. Fun wildlife stories and facts are sure to be plentiful! Locations vary and may be dependent upon weather conditions. Space is limited, and registration is required.  Please visit to register. For more information, email Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge at or call 309-535-2290. Please dress appropriately for this outdoor activity. This program is sponsored by the Emiquon Partnership. The April 25 walk will be held at the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge’s ADA-accessible Nature Trail.
Mountain Dulcimer Workshop
April 27, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (beginner) and 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (experienced)
Fee: $25
Mike Anderson will present two Mountain Dulcimer Workshops, focusing on folk songs. A session for beginners will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and for experienced players from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. For those participants who do not have a dulcimer, nationally known instrument builder Steve Endsley will have several instruments on hand for loan or purchase. If you wish to borrow an instrument, please call the Museum by April 25 to reserve one. The fee is $25 per workshop, payable by check or cash the day of the program. PayPal is also available through Mike Anderson’s Web site at To register please call Mike Anderson at 217-473-5889 or by email at
Kid’s Workshop:  Essential Concepts of Wilderness Survival 2.0
April 27, 2019, 12:00 p.m. through April 28 12:00 p.m.
This overnight workshop is a sequel to Wilderness Survival 1.0. Through hands-on experience, participants will implement the skills and knowledge gained during the 1.0 sessions. Participants will select their campsite and build their shelter for the night, find and prepare their own food and use their knowledge to properly keep themselves warm and accurately find their way through the woods. Registration is required by April 19, and space is limited. Participation in Wilderness Survival 1.0 and instructor approval is required. This workshop is for kids ages 9-16 years old. Parent/adult guardian participation is required with maximum of two kids per adult. The workshop will begin at noon on Saturday, April 27 and end on Sunday, April 28 at noon. Participants are required to dress appropriately for the outdoors and will receive a list of required gear prior to the workshop. Call the Museum at 309- 547-3721 to register or for more information.
Wild Illinois History Leads Students on a Journey to Learn About History and Wildlife Conservation
The IDNR is offering a "virtual" trip for late-elementary schoolteachers, students and their parents. With a few mouse clicks, students can journey back to the earliest days of the Illinois Territory when voyageurs and Native Americans hunted the prairies, forests and rivers. Wild Illinois History helps students in grades three through five focus on early French exploration, along with river and settlement geography. Students can learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and early settlers survive. They also can see how wildlife is a part of our lives today. A fictional French trapper in the 18th century Illinois Territory leads students on the trip. Brief story-telling slideshows are mixed with fun, interactive activities. For teachers, Wild Illinois History offers lesson plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning Standards. Try it out at