Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground is designed to engage children in active and passive play in a natural setting.
*One-hour play sessions are scheduled each day in order to help enforce capacity limits. The goal is to foster a play environment that is safe and fun for all. Play sessions are scheduled at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Admission for adults and children younger than 2 is always free.
During spring/summer/fall seasons, play sessions are one hour. Reservations are not required, but can be made here.
The following updated guidelines will be in effect at all times:
Organized youth groups from schools, summer day camps and child care facilities are welcome to visit Bison’s Bluff but MUST make a reservation prior to visiting. Groups no larger than 30 with a reservation will be permitted to use the playground during any one-hour play session.
The fee for visiting youth groups is $4/child.
This unique custom-designed play area includes natural materials (logs, boulders, sand, water, etc.) as well as nature-themed play structures and manufactured features that mimic a rock bluff and cliff face, fallen logs, a flowing stream, wetland, beaver lodge, etc. A visit to the playground will inspire active, open-ended, creative forms of play, similar to that enjoyed by previous generations of children who grew up wandering fields, forests, and streams near their homes. The goal is to inspire today’s youth to remain active, develop agility, learn resilience, discover the benefits of cooperation and experimentation, solve problems and learn to navigate the world around them confidently.
In addition to Bison’s Bluff, Spring Valley includes the Vera Meineke Nature Center, Volkening Heritage Farm Visitor Center, and more than 3 miles of nature trails. The Nature Play Discovery Trail leads to small themed ‘play pockets’ that provide opportunities for nature play in more secluded settings.
Pathway stones are available for purchase at the entrance of Bison's Bluff. To purchase a pathway stone, please complete an order form.
Please be aware that the following are NOT PERMITTED within the play area and anywhere on Spring Valley’s trails:
Please help your children to observe the following common-sense safety rules within the nature playground:
Snacks and beverages are permitted within the play area HOWEVER, in consideration of others and to reduce trash and litter within play area, please use designated picnic area next to the parking lot for larger gatherings, parties, and picnic meals!
NOTE: A picnic shelter located nearby may be rented for private parties and groups. Call in advance to reserve this space.
Bison's Bluff Summer 2023 FAQs (PDF)
For more information, please call 847-985-2100 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.