Family Fun

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Family at Breaking the Surface

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is committed to serving the Southern Illinois community by offering as many free and affordable community events as we can. Check out our fall, winter and spring events below, and come see us!

The Maple Syrup Festival and Pancake Breakfast

cute girl waving

This festival takes place the last weekend in February.  SIU students from the Department of Forestry join with our Environmental Education staff to tap our sugar maple trees in January.  We then have plenty of maple syrup to top off the maple pancakes we serve at breakfast both days.  Along with that, we provice all sorts of family fun including tree identification hikes, blacksmith demonstrations, lumberjack demonstrations, our climbing wall, live music, vendors and artisans, and much more.  Visit our Maple Syrup Festival page for more details. 

Breaking the Surface

Canoeists

Every first Saturday in May and October, we invite students and community members to canoe and kayak on Little Grassy Lake for free.  Typically, May's event blends with an open house.  In October we sometimes add the IDNR's Voyageur Canoe to the mix. The event is free, open to the public and is an event the entire family will enjoy.  Canoes, kayak and paddle boats will be available for use.  Find out more at our Breaking the Surface page.  

The Haunted Hollow

zipline witch

Don't put away those Halloween just yet.  Every first Sunday in November, Touch of Nature hosts the Haunted Hollow.
The festivities will go on rain or shine so we encourage participants to dress accordingly for the day’s weather.  There will be interpretive nature walks, a haunted hayride, a portable climbing wall, family games and more.  Participants will also learn about and have the chance to hold snakes, lizards and other “creepy crawlers.” Everything is family friendly and suitable for all ages. Findout more information on our Haunted Hollow page.