North Park Village Nature Center

5801 N. Pulaski Road

happyly approved

46 Acre Nature Preserve & Educational Center

An environmental sanctuary on the Northwest Side of Chicago, The North Park Village Nature Center is a Chicago Park District run area with winding trails through wetland, woodland, prairie and savanna.  With a mission focused on providing environmental education and experiences to those who live an urban lifestyle, The North Park Village Nature Center is a little gem of a spot that offers public programs for tots, preschoolers, schools, families and adults.  They’re open year-round (dress accordingly!) and offer countless festivals, events and resources aligned with the season.

The North Park Village Nature Center’s Walking Stick Woods is a 12-acre section of the preserve with trails and space dedicated to nature play for young children.  You will undoubtedly meet other like-minded and friendly families whenever you show up to explore this spot. 

Perhaps one of the best gatherings of the year is their annual Maple Syrup Festival.  Yes… the Midwest has maple trees and these trees are tapped and the sap is turned into syrup right in the heart of the city.  Families can use a hand saw to cut giant logs, make wooden toys and bird feeders.  There's always hot chocolate, cider, coffee and treats for sale too.  It's an easy way to get outside as tbe city thaws for a little family fun!  Check their Facebook page, @NorthParkVillageNatureCenter, for dates and information on this 2 day festivals and more! 

Reenie O'Brien King
My Location
A Chicago native, Reenie grew up in the city's Old Town area. After 6 years on the east coast (Boston and Philly) with her husband, Cabell, they returned to Chicago in 2018 and have settled in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood area of the city. Reenie is the proud, dedicated and playful mom to two kids, Tiernan (4) and Adeline (2) and one on the way (due in May 2021). She holds a Master's in Education from DePaul University and has taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Middle School Drama and 8th Grade Art. Despite taking time off from full- time classroom work, Reenie remains passionate and active in the educational field serving on the boards of ISCJ School in Chicago and Ingles Sin Limites in El Salvador. She is a founding member and former chairman of the Junior Board at Chicago's Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Reenie has also done work at Scattergood Ethics at The University of Pennsylvania and consulted with Free Forest School Illinois and Hike it Baby Philadelphia. Currently home "daily adventuring" with her kids, Reenie also serves as the Director of Online and Print Content at her family's Mental Health company, MADO Healthcare. A passionate traveler, horseback rider, yogi, mental health advocate and aspiring Children's Book Author, Reenie is glad to share some views of the city she loves with Happy.ly!
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