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Pollinator Programming


We've got the buzz on bees, butterflies, and more!

Join us from October through November for fun, pollinator-themed programming for the entire family! Then, be sure to stop by our new exhibit, Amazing Pollinators, to explore moths, hummingbirds, and other pollinator pals. 

Illinois residents can enjoy free admission during Suggested Donation Thursdays.

  • Dr. May Berenbaum

    Protecting Pollinators: Entomological End-Times with Dr. May Berenbaum

    Thursday, October 3

    Join Dr. May Berenbaum for a conversation on the importance of insect pollinators, and their relationship to natural and synthetic chemicals, sustainability, and communities.

    Cost: $5/person

    Register Here

  • child and caregiver touching bats

    Beautiful Bats Animal Show

    Thursday, October 10
    11-11:30am & 11:45am-12:15pm

    Join Flying Fox Conservation Fund to get up close with one of the most important pollinators around: bats! Featuring live fruit bats, we’ll talk about bat habitats, what they eat, and the vital contribution they make to the ecosystem.

    Cost: $5/person; Free/children under 3

    Register Here

  • Child looking at a bright blue butterfly

    Drop-By Butterfly Programming

    Thursday, October 17

    Learn more about these beautiful critters! Join us for a butterfly-themed Story Time at 11am. Then take in multiple butterfly releases (at 12:30pm and 2pm) in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, and check out some cool pinned specimens from our collections. Don't forget to go on moth and butterfly-themed missions in Amazing Pollinators.

    Cost: Free with admission

  • chocolate bar close-up

    Chocolate Pop Up Shop

    Thursday, October 24

    Did you know that we need flies to have chocolate? Come celebrate this overlooked pollinator with KC Chocolatier, who will have a pop-up shop with delicious chocolate for tasting and purchase.

  • children looking at an insect

    Drop-by Beetle Programming

    Thursday, October 31

    Beetles are pollinators, too! Take in a beetle-themed story during Story Time at 11am, then meet a variety of beetles that live in our Look-In Lab at noon. Plus, check out the beetle-themed missions in Amazing Pollinators

    Cost: Free with admission

  • Nick Haddad

    Protecting Pollinators: The Last Butterflies with Nick Haddad

    Thursday, November 7

    Join Nick Haddad as he addresses butterfly conservation and the fight against time to save rare butterfly species.

    Cost: $5/person

    Register Here

  • child making crafts

    Drop-By Hummingbird Programming

    Saturday, November 9

    Ruby-throated hummingbirds are not only beautiful, they're also fantastic pollinators! Learn about these unique critters by taking part in a bird-themed Story Time, exploring birds from our collection, and making a hummingbird-themed craft! Plus, go on high-flying bird missions in Amazing Pollinators.

    Cost: Free with admission

  • child wearing beekeeper gear

    Drop-By Bee Programming

    Thursday, November 14

    Become a beekeeper for a day! Check out an observational hive, courtesy of Bike-A-Bee, starting at 10:30am and learn about bees during our bee-themed Story Time at 11am. Then, check out our drop-by table to explore the tools of the trade, discover specimens from our collection, and take part in a honey tasting courtesy of BeeLove! Plus, go on buzzworthy bee missions in Amazing Pollinators.

    Cost: Free with admission

  • honey jar

    Honey & Hives

    Thursday, November 14

    Join us as we partner with Green City Market and HoneyWorks to explore the world of bees and how we use honey to cook. In the first half of this two hour class, Colin Ley from HoneyWorks will discuss bee life cycles and how honey is made. Then, Green City Market chefs will demo creative ways to use honey in baking and fermentation, with help from the audience. Attendees will learn how to bake a honey cake and make fermented honey garlic, with the opportunity to taste both. Both demos will use raw honey from Green City Market vendor HoneyWorks.

    Cost: $40/person

    Register Here

Don't forget to check out our daily programming, too!

  • Children in Hands-on Habitat

    Story Time

    Every day 

    Head to Hands-On Habitat to listen to a story picked for our littlest visitors, and then keep the fun going with games and activities.

    Cost: Free with admission

  • Child touching snake

    Critter Connection

    Every day

    Snakes, turtles, salamanders...more than 50 animal species reside in our lab. Get up close with one of our critters and learn about our animal friends that live at the Nature Museum

    Cost: Free with admission

  • Blanding's turtle

    Live Animal Feeding

    Every day

    Join us in Mysteries of the Marsh as our animal care staff and volunteers feed some of your favorite Nature Museum critters.

    Cost: Free with admission

  • Caregeiver and child looking at butterfly

    First Flight Butterfly Release

    Every day
    2- 2:15pm

    Join us every day at 2pm in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven as we release newly emerged butterflies into the Haven for the first time! Watch as they take their first flight!

    Cost: Free with admission


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