A Little Time and a Keyboard: Family Nature Exploration at The Regenstein Learning Campus at Chicago Botanic Garden

Family Nature Exploration at The Regenstein Learning Campus at Chicago Botanic Garden

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Exploring the Regenstein Learning Campus at Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden has recently opened a new educational facility, the Regenstein Learning Campus, complete with exploratory children's gardens and elements of just plain fun with nature earlier this month. A sunny Sunday invited us to explore these new features.

Hills to run up and down on at Chicago Botanic Garden
Don't you just want to run up and down these hills?
We immediately wanted to play upon seeing the campus' whimsical rolling hills. When my daughter was younger, she would run up and down--and quite often tumble down--hills like this. Plenty of kids and their parents enjoyed this welcome addition to the botanic gardens.

A water play area at the foot of the hills encourages children to splash around, slip off their shoes and walk through the stream and just investigate with water. There are so many water features in the botanic gardens that are for display, it is nice that kids are permitted to play with one in the learning campus.

Learning about the sustainable architecture of the Regenstein Learning Campus
Learn how sustainability is incorporated into the campus.
The Learning Center serves as an innovative learning facility for all ages. Classrooms include two dedicated early childhood development rooms. A nature laboratory allows children to actively explore plants. Inside the facility, guests learn about how sustainability was incorporated into the new facility. Inside the facility, the public will benefit from classes, lectures and programs that will not only help them protect and understand the natural world but also promote healthy living.

Inside look at a bee hive at Chicago Botanic Garden.
See how a beehive works.
Inside the facility, families also observe a beehive showing them a piece of nature not always seen. With the beehive safely behind glass, families get a new perspective on bee behavior.

Skipping through the garden in Grunsfeld Family Garden.
Skipping through the garden.
The Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden lets kids skip through a garden, water plants and explore elements found in nature. Raised beds allow kids to get a real peek at growing plants. There is plenty of room to move around and room to accommodate strollers and wheelchairs.

Raised flower beds give kids a good look at plants in the learning garden at Chicago Botanic Garden.
Raised flower beds give kids a good look at plants.
The garden includes various sensory activities. During our visit, children could touch and feel various elements from nature, search for plants matching color cards, paint and more. Truly a multisensory experience!

Encouraging exploration of natural elements by allowing children to touch pieces of nature.
Encouraging exploration of natural elements.
Behind the center, we found an outdoor play area including sand tables.

Sand tables allow another way to enjoy nature at Chicago Botanic Garden.
Adventures with sand
The Kleinman Family Cove provides families with a different perspective on aquatic environments. Boardwalks allow you to walk a little further into the water to check for wildlife.

Take a closer view of aquatic wildlife at Chicago Botanic Garden.
Step on the boardwalk for a closer view.
A center inspiring the active engagement of families with the environment around them is a perfect addition to the Chicago Botanic Garden. With the new center, Chicago Botanic Garden has the ability to bring their important research and investigation front and center with families. Some amazing learning opportunities await all of us!

To know:

  • The center has a Nature Preschool.
  • Programs will appeal to all ages.
  • Butterflies and Blooms will be moving to the campus to delight families with butterflies year round.
  • There are restrooms inside of the Learning Center.
  • The campus is located a short walk from the Visitor's Center. We visited the Learning Campus before heading to the Visitor's Center and the main part of the Chicago Botanic Garden

1 comment

  1. I love botanical gardens, but I've not been able to explore the Chicago Botanical Garden. I'll add it to my list next time I'm in the city.