Get in touch with nature in our two-acre, outdoor exhibit. Explore the unique interactive and sensory-focused activities that utilize the setting to enhance the experience.
Please note: Outer Habitat Park will close when heat index reaches 90 degrees, during wet weather, or when electrical storms threaten. Weather permitting, the outer Habitat Park exhibit is open April through mid-October and will close 30 minutes before the indoor exhibits.
Underwritten by the Diana M. and Bruce V. Rauner Family. Sculpture Trail given by the Shaw Family in memory of Charles H. Shaw. Additional support provided by the Public Museum Capital Grants Program, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois State Museum; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the Souder Family Foundation; Anonymous; Tom and Louise Flickinger & the Edward E. and Marie L. Matthews Foundation; and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Inner courtyard activities, accessible whenever weather permits
- Construct using natural materials in the imagination hut
- Watch for birds and small animals
- Go on a bug hunt to find ants, worms, or insects
Outer park activities, typically accessible April through mid-October
- NEW June 27 through late August: Wander through our butterfly tent with live insects mornings only
- Wander through winding paths to explore a 10-piece interactive sculpture collection
- Run up and roll down the gentle berms
- Go underground through a giant tunnel
- Ride trikes through our Tiny Town buildings
- Find your way through the prairie grass maze
- Peer through binoculars to see how they change your view of the park
- Use your senses or sight, touch, hearing, and smell to examine characteristics of plants
- Climb and spin on unique structures
- Plant and tend to vegetables and other plants in our garden boxes with Master Gardeners during the Garden Buddies program
- Paint designs with water on slate walls and watch them evaporate
Good to Know
The outer portion of Habitat Park is open April through mid-October unless otherwise noted. This exhibit closes 30 minutes before the Museum close time.
The inner courtyard is accessible year-round, weather permitting.
Please note this exhibit may close due to wet ground conditions or heat index over 90 degrees.
Focused Field Trips Aligned with this Exhibit
This exhibit is aligned with Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards.