Home Nature Museum Events for 2023

The folks behind the Nature Collector’s Garden and Make Your Own Home Nature Museum will be helping out at several collecting-focused events this spring. Here’s what’s on the schedule:

Chicagoland Gems & Minerals Association (CGMA) Show at Kane County Fairgrounds on May 27-28, 2023: Eric and Gail will be running the Kids Korner booth at this annual show put on by five geologically oriented clubs in the Chicago area. Children (18 and under) can take home free specimens of tumbled stones, crystals, fossil shark and ray teeth, and Paleozoic sea life for their collections. We will also have a hands-on tribute to dolostone, the new Illinois State Rock; activities with magnetic rocks and geodes; a plastic pool full of plastic prehistoric animals; and a GeoTrax quarry layout to play with. Children with a little cash to spare can win more minerals, fossils, and seashells at the CGMA spinners, two spins for a dollar.

Here are some links for families who we met at the CGMA show:

Go here for more information about the Dolostone: Illinois State Rock! exhibit: https://natureswapshop.org/dolostone/

Resources for families interested in collecting rocks and fossils: https://natureswapshop.org/resources/

Identification resources for seashells: https://natureswapshop.org/seashells/

Identification resources for tumbled stones: https://natureswapshop.org/tumbled/

Ideas for making your own home nature museum: https://natureswapshop.org/home-nature-museum/

Closer to our home in Oak Park, the Nature Collector’s Garden is open every day in our front yard at 1003 South Elmwood. (Scroll down to see photos of Nature Collector’s Garden.)

We also contribute to events in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. We will be at the Lawndale Pop-up Spot for several Sundays this summer and fall. Our first Sunday event will be Make Your Own Nature Museum activities plus Giant Bubbles from 1 to 4 p.m. on June 25.

We hope to see you at one or more of these events!

Past 2023 events:

STEMCON was at College of DuPage on April 29, 2023: STEMCON is an annual event for kids interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (the STEM in STEMCON). Eric and Gail developed and ran the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois (ESCONI) Juniors booth. FREE collection-building activities included both trading free points for rocks, minerals, fossils, or shells and hunting for fossils of Paleozoic sea life in a fossil-rich gravel.

Earth Day at Douglass Park. We set up both Make Your Own Nature Museum activities and Giant Bubbles at Douglass Park for the Earth Day cleanup on April 22, 2023.

Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois (ESCONI) show on March 18 and 19, 2023. Eric and Gail helped run the ESCONI Juniors booth at the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois annual show. We hope to be back at that show in March of 2024.

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