Home School

Looking for an educational outing for your home school group? Spring Valley is the perfect place for hands-on exploration and science-based programs.

For more information about programs and pricing, or to schedule a program, call 847-985-2100.

Seasonal Programs at the Nature Center

Winter (December-March)

  • Animal Tracking - Discover who is wandering through the snow. Take a walk through the winter woods, explore animal tracks left by Spring Valley residents and solve winter mysteries.
  • Snow and Ice - A little brain freeze never stopped the scientists at Spring Valley! Join in on the fun through snow and ice-related experiments and crafts. 
  • Snowshoe Adventure - Take full advantage of the winter weather by strapping on some snowshoes and exploring Spring Valley from a different perspective—off the trail. Please note: This activity requires at least 4 inches of snow.
  • Sugar Bush - When nighttime temperatures are below freezing and daytime temperatures are above, the sap begins to flow, and maple trees are ready to be tapped! Celebrate the arrival of spring with a tapping demonstration, boildown and a taste test. Please note: This activity runs late-February through mid-March.
  • Winter Bird Hike - Flock together with friends on a bird-watching adventure! We'll hit the trails using binoculars and field guides to identify and watch common birds, while studying their behavior.  
  • Winter Tree ID - Learn all about local trees and their unique features while following the clues to solve a puzzle. The day's adventure will end with sampling a sweet surprise that comes from trees.

Year-Round Programs at the Nature Center

  • Animal Furs, Skulls and Scats - Get an up-close experience of Spring Valley’s animals by studying their real furs and skulls, and replicas of their scat.
  • Conservation in Action - Help with our conservation efforts! Some time is devoted to an explanation of the importance of the particular activity and the rest on the activity itself. Projects might include collecting seeds, planting wildflowers or trees, clearing brush, or wood chipping. 
  • Hooray for Herpetology - Acquaint yourself with Spring Valley’s resident animals. Meet our turtles, both aquatic and terrestrial, as well as our adult Bullfrog and tadpoles. Then hit the trails in search of wild reptiles and amphibians that call Spring Valley their home. Please note: A portion of this activity takes place indoors.
  • Nighttime Nature - Experience nature without the benefit of sight and use the rest of your senses on a walk at night. Please note: This activity takes place after sundown.
  • Stars and Constellations - Calling all space cadets! Don't miss this opportunity to come spend an evening at Spring Valley exploring exciting and fascinating aspects of space. It really is a topic as broad as the universe. Please note: This activity takes place after sundown.
  • Trailblazing (Orienteering) - Never be lost again! Improve your orienteering skills by learning the basics of using a compass. Then hit Spring Valley's trails to put your newly learned skill to the test on a scavenger hunt. Please note: This activity is best for groups with students 8y+

To customize your homeschool program visit to Spring Valley's Heritage Farm, call 847-985-2102.