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Lincoln Park Zoo will host the nature play series at nine Chicago parks across the city.
Lincoln Park Zoo will host the nature play series at nine Chicago parks across the city.
Photo: Chicago Park District

Nine admission-free play dates at Chicago parks across the city starting April 11
The Chicago Park District and Lincoln Park Zoo announce the creation of Family Nature Days, an interactive, nature-based program for the entire family. Lincoln Park Zoo will host the nature play series at nine Chicago parks across the city, through November 3. Park locations include Bosley Park, Cornell Park, River Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Smith Park, Washington Park, West Pullman Park, Shabbona Park and Calumet Park.  All of the pop-up nature play dates are admission free.
“We’re dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing free, family-oriented wildlife experiences in the heart of Chicago,” said Lincoln Park Zoo Manager of Child and Family Learning Becky Lyons. “Family Nature Days bring this mission to life, allowing all families in Chicago to connect with the nature all around them, thanks to the reach of Chicago Park District.” 

“We are privileged to have expert partners such as Lincoln Park Zoo that allow us the opportunity to be creative and develop nature programming for the community that otherwise may not be available,” said Chicago Park District CEO & Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. “The Family Nature Days series is an innovative initiative that connects Chicagoans with nature in our neighborhood parks.”
During Family Nature Days, children and adults are invited to engage in free play like fort building with natural items, including stumps and seeds, brush up on bird-watching or nature hiking skills, and/or venture out on family scavenger hunts. Our city’s parks will offer a new, fun educational model for connecting people with nature in their neighborhoods, and generate new environmental stewardship opportunities for everyone to enjoy. 
For more information on the Family Nature Days program, contact Lincoln Park Zoo at 312-742-2056, or visit
The schedule for the program is as follows:
Wednesday, April 11 | 5-7 p.m.
Bosley Park, 3044 S. Bonfield St. 
Saturday, May 19 | 4-6 p.m.
Cornell Park, 5473 S. Cornell Ave.
Thursday, June 14 | 4-8 p.m.
River Park, 5100 N. Francisco Ave.
Friday, June 29 | 9-11 a.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo, Wild Sapling Play Forest at Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo
Friday, July 20 | 5-7 p.m.
Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand Ave.
Wednesday, August 22 | 5-7 p.m.
Washington Park, 5531 S. King Dr.
Saturday, September 8 | 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
West Pullman Park, 401 W. 123rd St. 
Saturday, October 13 | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Shabbona Park, 6935 W. Addison St. 
Saturday, November 3 | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G
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Lincoln Park Zoo inspires communities to create environments where wildlife will thrive in our urbanizing world. The zoo is a leader in local and global conservation, animal care and welfare, learning, and science. A historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, the not-for-profit Lincoln Park Zoo is a privately managed, member-supported organization and is free and open 365 days a year. Visit us at   

The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.