There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Smith Nature Symposium
May 14, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Cocktail reception, dinner, keynote address by Dr. J. Drew Lanham. Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, 21850 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods. Info & registration: (847) 968-3308, brushwoodcenter.org.
20th Annual Elmhurst Museum Day
May 15, 1-5 p.m. Jump on board the trolley as it rolls through Elmhurst for a big celebration of the annual Museum Day at Elmhurst’s three museums and Wilder Park. Elmhurst Historical Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst, (630) 833-1457, elmhursthistory.org.
History Speaks: Hops and History
May 15, 4-6:30 p.m. Denese Neu, author of “Chicago by the Pint,” highlights the area’s development and social history as it intersects with the brewing industry. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Living History Open House
May 15, noon-4 p.m. Visit this restored 1854 Greek Revival house and learn more about the resident families who called this area home. This month, learn about Samuel Walker and his family. Powers Walker House, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
The River as a Time Machine
May 19, 7-8 p.m. Riverlorian Brian “Fox” Ellis explores rivers: how humans have shaped them, how they change through time and their importance in history. Lake County Discovery Museum, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, (847) 968-3400, lakecountydiscoverymuseum.org.
May 20, 8 p.m. Dr. David Weintraub, astronomy professor at Vanderbilt University, describes what we have learned about Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft and how this has impacted our understanding of space. Fermilab, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.
Stories for a Spring Evening
May 20, 7-9 p.m. Bring your family and friends for an evening of tales and legends in a scenic setting. Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Small Things in the Solar System
May 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Astronomer Michelle Nichols, from Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, highlights little things with big interest, such as comets, asteroids and dwarf planet Pluto. Gail Borden Public Library (GBPL), 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Wine Study Simplified
May 25, 7-8:30 p.m. Learn the fundamentals of wine, from how to look for color, smell and taste to pairing it with food, in a fun and non-intimidating environment. Crystal Lake Park District, Park Place, 406 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
Spring Bulb Sale
May 26, 7-10 a.m. Take home a bit of Cantigny and plant these bulbs in your yard for next year’s bloom. Learn planting tips from the horticulture staff. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Date with History: Combat and Other Shenanigans
June 1, 7:30 p.m. Wry, action-packed and poignant, this is the story of the antics the world’s finest soldiers get up to when no one high-ranking is watching, as told by Lieutenant Piers Platt. Cantigny, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
June 2, 1-3 p.m. Dress in the uniform and equipment of a soldier. Interact with artifacts, crafts and games from the time period. Cantigny, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
The Science of “The Martian”
June 2, 7-8:30 p.m. Michelle Nichols, from Adler Planetarium, brings you to the Red Planet and highlights technological advancements that you may see in real missions. GBPL, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Grow It Forward
June 5, 9-11 a.m. Liz Omura, Idea Garden curator, speaks about success in growing great tomato and pepper plants. She encourages guests to commit to sharing two tomatoes and two pepper plants with a neighbor in need. Cantigny, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Ice Cream Social of 1858
June 5, noon-4 p.m. Enjoy fresh-scooped ice cream, play old-time games and chat with various historical characters from our region. Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park, Ringwood, (815) 678-4532, mccdistrict.org.
What’s Happening in Space
June 6, 7-8:30 p.m. Learn about the various space programs around the world with Larry Boyle, vice president of the Chicago Society for Space Studies. Registration required. GBPL, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Cooking with the Sun
June 11, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Discover how to harness the sun’s energy to cook food; make your own pizza box solar cooker. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Ill. Route 31 & Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Genealogy: Skills for the Family Historian
June 12, 1 p.m. Join museum assistant Samira Bamberger to learn about the skills and resources needed to perserve family history and genealogy. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Native Plant Container Garden Workshop
June 12, 1:30-3 p.m. Learn about a variety of native plants that benefit local wildlife, discover species commonly found in gardens and review the care instructions for a successful mini-garden. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
The Greener Side Exhibit Opening
June 14, 3-7 p.m. Become a botanist for a day and find out about botany, how we study it and how it affects our lives and the planet. Midwest Museum of Natural History, 425 W. State St., Sycamore, (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
Einstein, Dark Holes and a Cosmic Chirp
June 15, 8 p.m. Dr. Barry Barish, physics professor at Caltech and researcher at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, discusses the physics of gravitational waves, the detection technique and its implications. Fermilab, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.