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Museums + Nature Centers

Aurora Regional Fire Museum

LOCATION:   53 N. Broadway, Aurora
(630) 256-4140


FEE:  ADMISSION: $5 per person ages 3+ 

HOURS: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm

  • Variety of hands-on interactive exhibits

  • Permanent exhibit includes an antique fire apparatus from the Aurora Fire DepartmentGroup tours available


Blackberry Farm

LOCATION:  100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora
(630) 892-1550

FEE:  Ages 1 and under are free, $7/FVPD residents, $10/non-residents

HOURS vary; check the site for specifics

  • Regular Season: May 1 - October 29

  • Pioneer life structures and artifacts

  •  Train, wagon, and pony rides

  • Large play park structure

  • Pack a lunch!


Phillips Park Zoo

LOCATION:  1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora
(630) 256-3860


FEE:  FREE admission (donations are welcome)

HOURS:   Sunday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Summer Hours:
June 1st - Sept. 30th
Open Thursday- Tuesday, 9am - 5pm

Closed on Wednesdays


Regular Hours:

October 1st - May 31st

Open Thursday- Tuesday, 9am - 4pm

Closed on Wednesdays

  • A Reptile House featuring nearly 20 varieties of reptiles

  • Several birds and mammals

  • Pack a lunch!

The zoo is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

For more information please call  630-256-3740


Aurora Historical Society

LOCATION:  20 E. Downer Place, Aurora

(630) 906-0650


FEE:   FREE admission (donations are welcome)

HOURS:  Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 4pm

  • Exhibition galleries for historical artifacts AND community art

  • Aurora Gift Shop on premises!


Kline Creek farm

LOCATION:  1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago
(630) 876-5900


FEE:  FREE, but $5 suggested donations are appreciated

HOURS:  Thursday - Monday: 9am - 5pm

  • Working 1890s farm on 200 acres

  • Tour the farmhouse, visit farm animals, and participate in the kids’ activities in the summer (common farm chores like milking a cow)

West Chicago

Cosley Zoo

LOCATION:  1356 N. Gary Avenue, Wheaton
(630) 665-5534


FEE:  FREE for children 17 and under + FREE for Wheaton Park District residents, $10 for non-resident adults


January 1: CLOSED
January 2-March 31: 9am - 4pm daily (last admission 3:30)
April 1-October 31: 9am - 5pm daily (last admission 4:30)
November 1-day before Thanksgiving: 9am - 4pm daily (last admission 3:30)
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Day after Thanksgiving-December 23: 9am - 4pm daily
December 24: 9am - 12pm
December 25: CLOSED
December 26-30: 9am - 9pm daily
December 31: 9am - 12pm

  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facility

  • Native Illinois wildlife and domestic farm animals

  • Concessions and picnic area available

  • Pack a lunch!


Cantigny Park

LOCATION:  1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
(630) 668-5161


  • $5 weekdays through October 31

  • $5 weekends through April 30

  • $15 weekends May through October ($20 for concert Sundays)

  • Free Wednesdays March through October (advance registration required)

  • Free parking on Veterans Day (November 11)

  • Parking fees for November and December will be announced later in 2024

HOURS:   November - April: 9am - 5pm & May - October: 7am - 7pm

  • Once was a DuPage County working farm, now boasts beautiful gardens, family activities, and outdoor concerts

  • Pack a lunch!


First Division Museum

LOCATION:  1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
(630) 668-5161


  • $5 weekdays through October 31

  • $5 weekends through April 30

  • $15 weekends May through October ($20 for concert Sundays)

  • Free Wednesdays March through October (advance registration required)

  • Free parking on Veterans Day (November 11)

  • Parking fees for November and December will be announced later in 2024



February 1 – February 29:  Friday – Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm

March 1 – April 30:  Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm

May 1 – May 26:  Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm

Memorial Day – Labor Day:  Wednesday – Monday from 10 am – 5 pm

September 4 – October 31:  Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm

November:  Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm

December 1 – 30:  Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am – 3 pm

December 31 – January 31: Closed for the season

  • The division’s nickname, the Big Red One, or BRO, comes from its shoulder patch insignia. Adopted in 1918, the Big Red One is now recognized throughout the world wherever the division has served.


DuPage Children's Museum

LOCATION:  301 N. Washington Street, Naperville
(630) 637-8000

FEE: $19 per adult and chilren one year & older, Kids under 1 are FREE & $18 per senior

HOURS: Monday - Thursday: 9am - 4pm,  Friday: 9am - 8pm

Saturday & Sunday: 9am - 5pm

  • Exhibits are limited to science, math, art, and any combination of the three!

  • Third Thursdays occur each month for kiddos with special needs (especially sensory issues). Check the website for more details!

  • Allergy-friendly, clean-eating new cafe called ‘BeanSprouts’ open during museum hours.


Knoch Knolls Nature Center

LOCATION:  320 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville
(630) 864-3964

HOURS: Monday - Friday 9am - 1pm & 1:30pm - 4:30pm,  Saturday 9am - 3pm and Sundays Closed

This center sits on the edge of the DuPage River and has a large deck that extends out over the water for fabulous views.  Outside, there’s a neat mud-free playground; inside, there are exhibits about the river, an aquarium, a living wall of plants, and more.. Hours vary by season, so check the website ahead of time. 


Primrose Farm

LOCATION:  5N726 Crane Rd., St. Charles
(630) 513-4370


FEE:  Varies with each program (free to roam the grounds)


Monday - Saturday: 8am - 3pm Office Hours

Sunday: Closed

Grounds: Daily, dawn - dusk

  • 100+ acres of farmland that includes restored farm buildings, farm animals, fruit orchards

  • Drop-in programs include hand milking a jersey cow, collecting eggs from the chicken coop, groom a horse, feed the animals. ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

  • Custom events and birthday parties available

St. Charles

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

LOCATION:  3795 Campton Hills Drive, St. Charles 
(630) 513-4399


FEE:  FREE, but donations appreciated


Grounds Open Daily
Dawn to Dusk
Weather & Conditions Permitting

Building Hours:
Monday-Saturday • 10am to 4pm

  • Animals on exhibit include several varieties of turtles, snakes, and frogs.

  • Indoor turtle pond

  • 130 acres of woodland with paths and trails YEAR ROUND!

St. Charles

1850 Beith House

LOCATION:  8 Indiana Street, St. Charles 
(630) 377-6424

FEE:  $1 suggested per patron

HOURS:  By appointment​ only

  • Handsome limestone restored Greek Revival home

  • Operates as a Preservation Study House, illustrating both interior and exterior restoration techniques

  • Patrons can go on a scavenger hunt, collecting clues to uncover mysteries at the house 

St. Charles

1843 Durant-Peterson House Museum

LOCATION:  37W700 Dean Street, St. Charles

(630) 377-6424

FEE:  $3 suggested for adults and $2 suggested for kids

HOURS: On select Sundays from 1-4pm

  • Original farmhouse - restored and furnished

  • Kane County’s own “little house on the prairie” 

  • Costumed docents teach about family life, food preparation, games, and activities from the era 

  • Special events each month during the summer 

  • Hands-on experiences for old and young

St. Charles

Sholes School Museum

LOCATION:  37W700 Dean Street St. Charles
(630) 377-6424

FEE:  Donations appreciated

HOURS:  On select Sundays from 1-4pm

  • Group tours available year-round

  • One-room schoolhouse with a teacher sharing lessons and games from 1872

St. Charles

Creek Bend Nature Center

LOCATION:  37W700 Dean Street, St. Charles
(630) 444-3190


HOURS:  Monday - Wednesdays 3 - 7pm


  • Located in LeRoy Oaks Forest Preserve

  • Interactive exhibits with hands-on learning opportunities

St. Charles

St. Charles History Museum

LOCATION:  215 E. Main Street, St. Charles
(630) 584-6967

FEE:  $5 suggested donation

HOURS:  Thursday - Saturday: 11am - 4pm ***Closed in January

  • Three rotating exhibits, but the main exhibit delves into St. Charles’s rich history

  • Curious Fox Gift Shop

St. Charles

Fabyan Windmill

LOCATION:  Crissey Avenue (Illinois Route 25), Geneva



HOURS:  Sundays in June thru September 1 - 4pm

  • One of a few windmills in the world to have been restored to use natural wind energy


Fabyan Japanese Garden

LOCATION:   1925 S. Batavia Avenue/Route 31, Geneva


FEE:  Donations are welcomed

HOURS:  Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays in May thru September 12 - 3pm.  Except the following Saturdays, when it is closed for private events: 5/11, 6/01, 6/08, 6/29, 8/10, and 8/31.

  • Renovated Japanese Tea Garden

  • Originally designed in 1910

  • Group tours available year-round


Fabyan Villa Museum

LOCATION:  1925 S. Batavia Avenue/Route 31, Geneva


FEE:  Donations are welcomed

HOURS:  Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays in May thru September 12 - 3pm.  Except the following Saturdays, when it is closed for private events: 5/11, 6/01, 6/08, 6/29, 8/10, and 8/31.

  • What do Frank Lloyd Wright, WWI Codebreakers, and a fake mummy have in common? Learn about these and more at the Fabyan Villa.

  • 45-minute guided tours available


Peck Farm & Butterfly House 

LOCATION:  4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva
(630) 262-8244

FEE: $3 per person or $9 per famiy

HOURS: May - October on Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sunday 12pm - 5pm

*November - March same hours EXCEPT closed on Sundays *

  • Butterfly House opens the third week of May and closes the third Saturday of September.  Loads of trails.

  • Observation silo that you can climb up to get a SPECTACULAR view east!

  • Home to Hawk’s Hollow, an outdoor play park with water features!


Geneva History Museum

LOCATION:  113 S. Third Street, Geneva
(630) 232-4951

FEE:  Admission includes two galleries.  $5/adult; $2/ages 3-5, students & seniors 65+

FREE Tuesdays!

FREE for Museum Members

Closed on holiday weekends

​HOURS: Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 4pm

  • Three exhibit halls, but the main gallery is the award-winning ‘Geneva’s Story’

  • Geneva gift shop

  • Kids can complete a Scavenger Hunt during the visit for further engagement!


Lederman Science Education Center at Fermilab

LOCATION:  Pine Street and Kirk Road, Batavia
(630) 840-8258



HOURS:  The Center is open to the public Monday–Friday 9am - 5pm and on Saturdays from 9am - 3pm. On holidays, call to check if the center is open.

  • Lots of hands-on science exhibits

  • Designed for middle school students (ages 10+)

  • Groups of five or fewer can walk-in, but any larger need to schedule ahead


Red Oak Nature Center

LOCATION:   930 North River Road, North Aurora
(630) 897-1808

FEE:  Admission is free for individuals and related families of 9 or fewer (suggested $1 donation per person). Entry for organized groups of 10 or more is $2 per person (required).

HOURS:  Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 4pm & Saturday: 10am - 2pm

Fox Valley Park District offers you many ways to have fun, learn more and be active and creative, as well as enjoy new experiences. At Red Oak, we also connect you with the joys, lessons, and wonders of nature.

Nestled on the east bank of the Fox River in North Aurora, Red Oak Nature Center is the region’s premier facility for nature and conservation education. Surrounded by more than 40 acres of lush forest and wildlife habitat, the nature center is the ideal destination for anyone with a desire to discover more about the great outdoors.

Just a few highlights include:

  • hands-on indoor activities

  • adventurous camps

  • animal exhibits

  • Nature Play Preschool

  • Fox River views

  • school, scout and group outings

  • special events (Frosty Fest, Maple Fest, Rusty Rodeo)

  • birthday parties and room rentals

North  Aurora

Batavia Depot Museum

LOCATION:  1555 Houston Street, Batavia


FEE: $1 suggested per patron


March through the Sunday before Thanksgiving Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


June through August

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2pm - 4pm

Saturday & Sunday from 12 - 4pm

  • 1854 Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Depot that houses several exhibits


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