Spring brings fresh new flowers and reawakened trees, and it’s also a great reminder of the beauty and fragility of nature and the Earth. Make Earth Day a family holiday to combat all the damage that people do to our planet, and remember the immortal words of The Lorax (and Dr. Seuss): “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Chicago area families can show they care a whole awful lot by attending these Earth Day events.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The Garfield Park Conservatory suffered major hail damage in 2011, and they have been doing repairs and renovations to different areas of the Conservatory while keeping their doors open to visitors. The work is complete and the Conservatory is celebrating with a Grand Re-Opening Ceremony for Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22. Desert animals, the Westinghouse HS choir and concert band, and Golden Feather Productions are all scheduled to appear, along with Chicago Park District dignitaries. Families are also invited to the Family Day Celebration on Sunday, April 26. Enjoy a relaxing start to the day with free yoga and classical music, and then get energized in the afternoon with performances by the Jesse White Tumblers, Joffrey Ballet Step Up Program, and Glideators Rollerskating Crew. Activity stations and light refreshments will be available.
Every day at the Sod Room is eco-friendly, from the recycled cork floor, to the wooden toys, to the toys and gifts sold in their boutique, but visit on Wednesday, April 22 for a special Earth Day Playdate. The Easel Art Studio will be at the Sod Room offering an eco-friendly craft.
Cost: Included with drop-in play admission. Daily pass for a child is $12, and $8 for siblings. Children 0-6 are free with a sibling, or $6 without a sibling.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Enjoy a guided walk to see the wildflowers in McDonald Woods. The walk will last 45 minutes to an hour.
Cost: Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden and the walk are free; parking is $25.
Take a step back in history to learn about ancient Mesopotamians, what they thought about the Earth, and the names they had for animal and nature gods. Participants will create Mesopotamian temples from recycled materials. This is recommended for children ages 5 to 12. Please bring cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls for the project.
Cost: Free. Registration is recommended.
The Golf Mill Shopping Center will be celebrating Earth Day from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm with a free event that will include a children’s storytime, giveaways, a butterfly garden speaker, children’s activities, and more.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Bring the family to the Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie for a day of games, activities, music, food, and a native plant sale to celebrate Earth Day.
Cost: Call for ticket information: 847-674-1500, ext. 2500
Arbor Day isn’t the same as Earth Day, but they both celebrate trees and conservation. The Morton Arboretum will be hosting a 10K run on April 19 and a weekend of festivities Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26. City dwellers can visit the pop-up Plant Clinic in Millennium Park on April 24, or head to Lisle for the full Morton Arboretum experience. Dress as a tree and get free admission on Friday, and kids can join the Tree-riffic Kids’ Costume Contest, then stick around for storytime with Curious George. The celebration will last all weekend, with a plant sale, tree tags suggesting ways you can help trees, and special activities in the Children’s Garden.
Cost: General admission fees apply, but admission is free on Friday, April 24 for anyone dressed as a tree.
Wrap up the week of Earth Day festivities with the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Party for the Planet. On Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, enjoy sensory stations, recycling games, and a chance to observe animal enrichment. While you’re there, be sure to take a pledge to do your part to make a positive impact on the Earth. The Gateway Pavillion will have scavenger hunt handouts so to you can go on a journey to learn about how the zoo scientists are trying to save endangered, vulnerable, or threatened species, and what you can do to help.
A version of this article was originally published on MommyNearest.com.