A couple of weeks ago, we visited Peck Farm in Geneva, Illinois for the first time in a way too long time. Like way too long because a whole brand new nature exploration park has been added to the preserve since our last visit. Hawks Hollow Nature Playground engages all of the senses and embraces play to encourage children to explore the natural world and learn about nature. Hawks Hollow has play features throughout and accompanying learning stations.
Kids will love playing in a rustic beaver home, climbing to a perch to use scopes to look for birds in the prairie, using pulley systems to transport nature items to and from the perch, splashing in a fountain, learning about birds while playing large-scale nature-based instruments, completing a sheep herding maze and more.
Of course the water features just beckon, so don't come being afraid for the kids to get a little wet!
Information about bird calls and experimentation with instruments will encourage the little one to use their sense of sound and hone in on their investigative skills when going on hikes.
Really, just a fun area to explore! We loved how practical, nature-based education is threaded through an area that encourages unstructured play.
Wandering Around Peck Farm;
Peck Farm is certainly a joy to wander around. There is a serene lake that always home to a variety of water fowl. On this visit, we were also able to see fish nibbling on insects right near the pier. Depending on how far you want to walk, you can either just walk to the lake and enjoy views from the pier or walk on paths around the lake. I definitely recommend walking around the lake, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom. The prairie area paints a brilliant landscape and honestly has provided the perfect backdrop for wonderful pictures. Plus, the plethora of flowers and relative calm at the farm provides the perfect place to see butterflies. We certainly saw no shortage during our visit and saw monarchs, viceroys, red admirals and more during our hike. Most of the trails are mowed but there is one area that is covered in wood chips. Perfect for a tranquil day!
- Picnic: Peck Farm is a lovely place to picnic. There are tables readily available so bring along a basket!
- Historic home: The grand home was built in 1869 and now houses historic and natural exhibits. Be sure to take a peek if it is open!
- Climb the silo--I dare you! You will get a great view from the top of the silo. The silo also as a mural inside that will take you through time starting with prehistoric times as you climb.
- Butterfly House: The butterfly house is open is summer months. You can see butterfly development in various stages and enjoy the graceful creatures flying about! An identification key is also available.
- Free! Admission to Peck Farm is free! There is a suggested donation for the Butterfly House and there may be fees during events.
- Restrooms: Restrooms are easily found in the activity barn. Always a relief when traveling with kids!
- Location: Peck Farm is located at 4038 Kaneville Road in Geneva, Illinois.