There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Pioneer Life on the Prairie
Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-noon. Alice Maupin, director of the Durant-Peterson House Museum, describes 19th century pioneer life for the Durant family. Creek Bend Nature Center, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles, kaneforest.com.
Winter on the Frontier
Feb. 6, 7-9 p.m. Hear stories and winter survival techniques of earlier times. Separate but simultaneous program for ages 6-13. Register children separately. Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Winter Tree Identification
Feb. 7, 1-3 p.m. Basics of tree identification with no leaves. First hour inside; second hour outdoor hike. Dress for the weather. Handouts/reference material provided. $10. Registration: (630) 444-3190. LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles, kaneforest.com.
Women of Elgin’s Past
Feb. 11, 7 p.m. Elgin historian Jerry Turnquist on the vital role of women in the city’s past. Gail Borden Public Library (GBPL), 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
1842 Barn Restoration Seminar
Feb. 14, 2 p.m. Afternoon hosted in conjunction with Trillium Dell Timberworks. $15. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Read To Rover
Feb. 14, March 14, April 11, 10-11:30 a.m. 15-minute sessions. School-aged kids may practice reading aloud to a fully trained and certified therapy dog. GBPL, Elgin, gailbordeninfo.org.
A Well-Planned Garden
Feb. 19, 7-8:30 p.m. Discussion of natural fertilizers, companion planting, organic pest control, other methods to create a sustainable garden. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779.
Creative Living Series: Thinking in Pictures
Feb. 19, 10 a.m. Dr. Temple Grandin, who at age 2 had no speech and all of the signs of severe autism, shares how her ability to “think in pictures” helps her to solve problems that neuro-typical brains might miss. Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockfinearts.org.
Hands-On History: Candle-Making
Feb. 20, 7-8:30 p.m. Learn about candlelight in America; make your own tapered candles. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
Mysteries in the Snow
Feb. 22, 1-2:15 p.m. Look for tracks in the snow to see what creatures are active and look for other clues in the woods; learn to identify tracks and scat. Registration req. Nippersink Forest Preserve, 900 W. Belvidere Road, Round Lake, lcfpd.org.
Frog Monitoring Workshop
Feb. 26, 7-9 p.m. The techniques and protocol for monitoring frogs and toads by their calls. Then, volunteers monitor MCCD areas or their own private wetlands. Registration req. For information contact Sara Denham, (815) 728-8307, or visit habitatproject.org/frogsurvey. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake, mccdistrict.org.
Preparing Your Garden for Spring
Feb. 28, 1-2 p.m. Planting seeds indoors and out, planting cool-season flowers, seasonal lawn care, watering, fertilizing, dividing and pruning. Registration req. GBPL Rakow Branch, 2751 W. Bowes Road, Elgin, (847) 531-7271, gailborden.info.
Feb. 28, 1-4 p.m. Bring items in or just come to watch. 10-minute appraisals must be scheduled in advance: (815) 923-2267. $5 per item; maximum three items. Viewer admission $5/$3 students & seniors. McHenry County Historical Society, 6422 Main St., Union, (815) 923-2267, mchsonline.org.
Winter Woods Walk
Feb. 28, 2:30-4 p.m. Hike in the snow to check out the winter woods. Dress for the weather. Meet at Shelter 2. Pleasant Valley, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Read To Rover
Feb. 28, March 28, April 25, 10-11:30 a.m. 15-minute sessions. School-aged kids may practice reading aloud to a fully trained and certified therapy dog. GBPL Rakow Branch, Elgin, (847) 531-7271.
Night at the Museum
March 6-7, 7 p.m.-9 a.m. Overnight family camp-in at Hickory Knolls. Explore, meet the animals, morning breakfast. $35/household of four. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
Why Don’t We Get More Cancer?
March 13, 8 p.m. By Dr. Mina Bissell, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. $7. Fermilab, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.
Historic Perspectives on Organic Gardening
March 22, 10 a.m. lecture; 2 p.m. workshop. Led by garden expert Vicki Nowicki. $6 lecture, $15 workshop. Garfield Farm Museum, LaFox, garfieldfarm.org.
Birds of Prey
March 25, 1 p.m. Learn all about owls and other raptors, and see these amazing birds in person. Presented by Stillman Nature Center. GBPL Rakow Branch, Elgin, (847) 531-7271.
Springtime on the Farm
March 28-29, noon-3:30 p.m. Learn about early farm life. Try planting potatoes, broadcast spreading oats or whitewashing the barn. Free; registration req. Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, st-charlesparks.org.
The Berlin Airlift
April 12, 2 p.m. Speaker Annette Isaacs on this post-World War II humanitarian effort that marked the start of the Cold War. Elgin Area Historical Society & Museum, 360 Park St., Elgin, (847) 742-4248, elginhistory.org.
The Golden Age of Radio
April 19, 2-3:30 p.m. Episodes of “The Lone Ranger,” “Fibber McGee and Molly,” “The Fred Allen Show” and more, with sound effects and original music. Presented by Those Were the Days Radio Players West. GBPL, Elgin, gailbordeninfo.org.
Can Money Buy Happiness?
April 24, 8 p.m. Dr. Michael Norton, Harvard Business School, discusses the positive impact of “prosocial incentives” on organizational health and performance. Fermilab, Batavia, fnal.gov/culture.
Elgin History Fair
April 26, noon-3 p.m. Lots of activities for kids and grown-ups. Learn all about making butter, what it takes to grind corn, build a cobblestone house and more. Elgin Historical Society & Museum, Elgin, elginhistory.org.