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Pumpkins Galore

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Touch seeds, explore gourds of all colors, shapes and sizes, then decorate your own pumpkin to take home. Parents and children will enjoy investigating gourds together in this colorful, hands-on sensory based fall program.

When: 9:30-11 a.m. Oct. 6, 14-15
Cost: $25, $18 members

Flying Squirrel Night Hike

Prairieview Education Center | Crystal Lake, Ill.

Do flying squirrels actually fly? What do they eat, and where do they live? Find the answers to these questions and more while exploring the outdoors at night in search of the elusive flying squirrels.

When: 7-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $5, free resident

After School Adventures: Rosie the Riveter

Des Plaines History Center | Des Plaines, Ill.

Honor the women who worked on the assembly lines during World War II by creating an airplane made from Popsicle sticks.

When: 3-5 p.m.
Cost: $3, $2 members

Under Pressure

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.

Using a vacuum chamber, a facilitator will demonstrate the effects of an almost pressure-less environment (like space!) on various materials.

When: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with museum admission

The ABC's and 123's of Preschool 2015: School Panel and Meet N' Greet

Bubbles Academy | Chicago, Ill.

Meet with teachers, administrators and parents from each school. Plus, take home a comprehensive packet of information about the schools in attendance. Laura Gradman of Chicago Preschool Pro will moderate the panel.

When: 6-9 p.m.
Cost: $15 and up

Parent Panel: How to Discuss God with Children

Winnetka Community House | Winnetka, Ill.


As more parents identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated, secular, interfaith, spiritual or nonorthodox, their children may be facing some challenges in seeking information on God and religion. What should a parent say when his or her child asks about God? The discussion will cover reasons behind children’s curiosity with the existence of God and some thoughtful and appropriate ways to answer their questions based on their delicate psychology. The panelists will also provide insight on topics such as creating an open dialogue about God with children at different stages of childhood, discussing various religions and convictions including atheism, and providing accessible options for religious education or exploration without biased imposition.

When: 3-4:30 p.m. Oct. 4; 9:30-11 a.m. Oct. 6
Cost: Free

Meet Award-winning Graphic Novelist Craig Thompson

The Book Stall at Chestnut Court | Winnetka, Ill.


Award-winning graphic novelist Craig Thompson will discuss and sign copies of his new book for young people, Space Dumplins. Craig Thompson is an Eisner Award-winning graphic novelist best known for his books Good-Bye, Chunky Rice, Blankets and Habibi. Register by calling the library or emailing [email protected]

When: 4-5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Nature Connects: Art with Lego bricks by Sean Kenney

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Marvel at 13 larger-than-life displays created from nearly half a million Lego bricks. Walk the Arboretum’s tree-lined grounds on the east side to find nature-themed sculptures crafted by Lego artist Sean Kenney, including a monarch butterfly boasting an eight-foot wingspan and an enormous hummingbird sipping nectar from a colorful trumpet flower.


When: 7 a.m.-sunset
Cost: Free with admission

Wings of Wonder: The Lorikeet Exhibit

Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens | Rockford, Ill.

Visitors will be “face to beak” with the small- to medium-sized parrots known for their playful personalities, vibrant coloration, and their ability to mimic words and sounds.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free with conservatory admission


Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Kids immerse themselves in a nautical experience of their own invention, complete with docks and an assortment of boats. Toddlers to tweens will be inspired to create their own lake-faring scenarios, like steering the ship, kayaking, hoisting a sail, or dropping a fishing line to catch ‘the big one.’ The exhibit includes a dock with a bait and tackle shop, a kayak, sailboat and two-level work boat with a wheelchair-accessible lower cabin (complete with bunk and a kitchen prep area) offering countless opportunities for kids to envision themselves as a cook, rescuer, biologist or whichever role they choose.

Cost: Free with museum admission

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