One of the best-kept secrets of summer can be found directly outside of the Kohl Children's Museum. Habitat Park is a two-acre outdoor park where nature discoveries abound.
Included with admission to the museum is access to the great outdoor adventure where kids are encouraged to explore everything from a sensory garden to an interactive sculpture trail to prairie grass mazes.
"Literally think outside the box of the museum and get outdoors," says Dave Judy, director of marketing at the museum.
There are 10 interactive sculptures throughout Habitat Park, made of bronze, wood, limestone, steel and marble. Many of them tell stories about the history of Illinois.
Every detail of Habitat Park encourages kids to explore and learn about the wonders of nature.
All the climbing structures are built to mimic how animals move through trees and their local environments, Judy says. The imagination hut allows kids to use natural materials to create a place of their own. The slate water wall changes colors as painted and the stonescapes heat up differently according to the temperature.
The park allows visitors to use all of their senses, from observing the wind turbine and solar panels to finding your way through the prairie grass maze to rolling up and down the gentle berms.
"While many people view the museum as a great rainy day activity, in reality, there is so much to offer on beautiful days," says Judy. "Less traffic, no waits and the ability to combine inside and outside adventures make it the ideal time of year to visit."
Habitat Park is a permanent exhibit, but weather-dependent. For safety reasons, all or part of the exhibit closes when the heat index is above 90 degrees, when the wind chill is below 20 degrees, or when ground conditions are too wet.
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