In the mood for spring greening? Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day and prime time to show your love for the parks that make this a bright, happy place. Celebrate — and help spruce things up a bit — at family events happening everywhere from Humboldt Park to Skokie. It’s all a great way for kids to get hands-on with cleanup and conservation efforts!
photo: courtesy of Maria Chambers
Earth Day Celebration at Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie
Join the Glenview community in family activities, nature walks, environmental exhibits and more. You’ll learn about the Bike Glenview Campaign (it encourages biking as the preferred mode of transportation around town) and the history of the Air Station Prairie’s 32-acre tall grass prairie that once stretched for millions of square miles. Bring a gently used or new pair of shoes for Share Your Soles, a non-profit dedicated to providing shoes to some of the most impoverished areas of the world.
Held Sat., Apr. 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
2400 Compass Rd.
photo: Emily Oaks Nature Center
Emily Oaks Nature Center Earth Day Celebration
Skokie’s peaceful oasis is beckoning you to its annual bash. It includes games, activities, music, food and a native plant sale. But the real fun is exploring its grounds. Although just a compact 13 acres, it’s filled with adventure areas and a wealth of wildlife. There are two main trails: a ¼-mile paved trail that loops through the woodland (perfect for strollers) and a ¼-mile wood chip trail around the pond.
Held Sun., Apr. 23, noon-4 p.m.
650 Brummel St.
847-674-1500, ext. 2500
photo: Adler Planetarium
Earthfest at Adler Planetarium
Sometimes you don’t need to look beyond your backyard to realize space is freaking awesome. Join Adler Planetarium for Earthfest: A Conversation Among Earthlings, where Earthlings of all ages can join in on a day-long party celebrating the planet we call home. Let them dazzle you with the brilliance of Earth, the innovative minds that inhabit it and demonstrate ways you can protect it for generations to come.
Held Apr. 22; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $12/adults; $8/ages 3-11
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
photo: Humboldt Park / Chicago Park District
Humboldt Park Earth Day Celebration
This one is a biggie. The park spans 219 acres and every corner turns up a new discovery, including a boathouse, fishing area, garden, outdoor swimming pool and beach. The park will provide T-shirts and gloves for the cleanup while supplies last. Plus, lunch will be given out to volunteers, and there is live entertainment, a tree planting and dedication, educational activities with Mad Science and more.
Held Sat., Apr. 22; Cleanup, 9 a.m.-noon; celebration, noon-2 p.m.
1440 N. Humboldt Dr.
Ping Tom Park Earth Day Clean-Up
Join Friends of the Parks’ Earth Day Park & Preserves Clean Up and Celebration at Ping Tom Park. Earth Day do-gooders will be rewarded with a free canoe ride on the Chicago River.
Held Sat., Apr. 29; 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Ping Tom Park
300 W. 19th St.
photo: Cosley Zoo
Party for the Planet at Cosley Zoo
This zoo is small (just five acres!) but mighty — especially for Earth Day. Stop by its annual party to learn from businesses and conservation organizations about a wide variety of conservation efforts related to nature and wildlife. A local gem, this zoo focuses on domestic farm animals and Illinois native wildlife, so you’ll get up-close to a curious red fox, playful raccoons, adorable goats and more. There are also plenty of “creepy crawlies” such as snakes, insects, frogs and turtles.
Held Sat., Apr. 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Admission: Included in regular zoo entry fee of $7/adults. Wheaton residents and kids up to age 17 are free.
1356 N. Gary Ave.
Stargazing at La Villita
Combine doing good for the earth with a bit of dreamy stargazing. Look deep into the night sky and learn about the phases of the moon, our closest planet neighbors, star clusters, nebulae and more. The 6:30 p.m. clean-up activities will be rewarded with a bonfire from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Held Sat., Apr. 22, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 a.m. (Sat., Apr. 29 raindate)
2800 S. Sacramento
photo: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society
Party for the Planet at Brookfield Zoo
Every day is Earth Day at this wild, wonderful spot. But one day a year, they throw a bash in honor of this big green world we live in. The day is filled with educational and fun activities for the entire family including tree planting, flower planting in front of the Hamill Family Play Zoo, zoo chats, a showcasing of over 40 earth-friendly vendors at Eco Expo and more. Bring along items for their recycling event in the North parking lot. See their website for a complete list of accepted items.
Held Sun., Apr. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Recycling event in North Parking Lot, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Eco Expo, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free with general admission, $14.50/children 3-11; $19.85/adults (discounts available online)
8400 31st St.
How are you going to celebrate Earth Day? Let us know in the Comments!
— Maria Chambers