Self-Guided Adventures in the Preserves

Exploration Activity Guides

Ready to have fun exploring in nature? Check out these exploration activity guides by season. These activities can be done at the forest preserves or your own backyard. Activities are appropriate for ages 7-12 but younger and older may enjoy these activities too. 

Spring Activity Guide

Print guide on 8.5"x11" (small) or 11"x17" (large).

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Summer Activity Guides

Print guide on 8.5"x11" (small) or 11"x17" (large).

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Fall Activity Guide

Print guide on 8.5"x11" (small) or 11"x17" (large).

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Winter Activity Guide

Print guide on 8.5"x11" (small) or 11"x17" (large).

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Geocaching and Letterboxing

Geocaching and Letterboxing are adventurous outdoor activities for all age groups. If you like hunting for treasure, have good orienteering skills, and love the great outdoors, these activities are for you and your family. Best of all, you can play right here in East Central Illinois on Champaign County Forest Preserve District land and elsewhere.

Learn more

Clio Tours

Check local historic and cultural points of interest near you on the app and Clio website. Explore exhibits at the Museum of the Grand Prairie (MGP), a heritage trail of sites at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, as well as other sites across the Champaign County Forest Preserve District to be added in the future.

Take a Tour

Scavenger Hunts

The Snowflake Search is on!

Get out and explore your winter wonderland in search of snowflakes! We’ve hidden creative snowflakes painted on tree slices throughout five (Lake of the Woods, Homer Lake, Middle Fork River, River Bend, and Sangamon River) of the Champaign County Forest Preserves.  Bundle up and find as many as you can! Take a picture and share them with us on our Facebook and Instagram pages with the #champaignforests. Download a checklist to help with the search on

Preserve Maps

Vanishing Acts Scavenger Hunt

Use this scavenger hunt to explore “Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat” on outdoor exhibit near the Homer Lake Interpretive Center at Homer Lake Forest Preserve. This interactive exhibit features extinct and endangered tree species and what can be done to lessen the threats against them.

Participate Today

Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden Scavenger Hunt

Explore Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden with Garden Program Specialist, Marina Montez-Ellis, and use a printable scavenger hunt to guide you along!

Museum Activities

Votes for Women Board Game

Check out this awesome board game created by our Museum of the Grand Prairie staff! This simple board game was created in relation to our special exhibit for 2020-2021 “How Long Must Women Wait? Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights in Champaign County” and to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification. If players don’t know answers to the game’s trivia questions, simple online searches, reading info on some of the game pieces or viewing our virtual tour of the new exhibit on our YouTube page could help!

Museum Crossword Puzzle

Put your thinking cap on and try out this Museum of the Grand Prairie Crossword Puzzle! Feel free to search through the Museum of the Grand Prairie museum website, previous museum social media posts, or simple online searches to complete tricky clues!

Museum Story Time

Cozy up and get ready to listen to some great books! Join Museum Educator, Katie Snyder, for read alouds of popular children’s books on our YouTube channel!

YouTube Playlist

Virtual Tours

Check out some virtual tours of exhibits at the Museum of the Grand Prairie and beyond on this playlist!

Virtual Tours

Visit Our YouTube Channels

Seeking out more content? Visit the Musuem of the Grand Prairie or the Champaign County Forest Preserve District's YouTube Channels.