Weekend nature hike for the whole family

A generation ago, kids played flashlight tag with their friends. They rode bikes around the neighborhood. They camped out in the backyard.

If you go

  • Hike and Seek
  • Bemis Woods South, Western Springs
  • Noon, Sept. 29
  • Cost: – in advance, slightly higher day of event
  • To register and for exact location: hikeandseek.org

Now, the vast majority of kids-75 percent-spend the bulk of their day inside.

That statistic bothers Karoline Hurd, which is why she’s so passionate about this year’s Hike and Seek event at Bemis Woods South on Sept. 29.

The event, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, brings families together for a few hours of fun in the great outdoors.

“Hike and Seek is a simple Saturday in nature where parents just show up and they don’t have to bring anything,” says Hurd, program manager for the event. “There are fun nature crafts. They learn about plants and animals. We have an insect station, an amphibian station and birds.”

Volunteer naturalists along the one-mile, stroller-friendly route will help families learn more about nature. It’s geared toward children 2-10.

“It’s pretty level terrain, so just wear comfortable shoes and appropriate rain gear, since this is rain or shine,” Hurd says. Healthy snacks are provided, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own water-and a desire to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. The rewards are worth it.

“Kids that spend time in nature are stronger, kinder and calmer,” Hurd says. “And I’ve never had a parent complain. They’re always so pleased with the program.”

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