« All News

President's Letter: The Cure for Cabin Fever: Explore the Forest Preserves of Cook County This Winter

President Preckwinkle gives remarks at Sand Ridge Nature Center's annual Settlers' Day event

If the thought of a long, cold winter cooped up indoors sends chills down your spine, consider planning an outing into the Forest Preserves of Cook County! From family-friendly activities to peaceful walks in the woods, there are plenty of ways to overcome cabin fever this season.

For families with children on winter break from school, plan a visit to one of the Forest Preserves’ six nature education centers. From December 21 through January 5, each nature center is hosting winter break nature fun, with activities ranging from seeing live animals on display to snowshoeing along snow-covered trails. Families can drop in anytime during business hours for free indoor and outdoor nature activities.

There are also dozens of events and programs in Forest Preserves all throughout Cook County. Visitors can choose to stay warm inside for programs like artmaking or learning about native wildlife, or head outdoors for guided nature hikes, photography excursions and bird walks, too.

Don’t forget there are plenty of exhilarating ways to enjoy the season, as well. When the conditions are right, Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in Lemont transforms into Sagawau Nordic, a full-service cross-country ski center complete with rental equipment, lessons and groomed trails. The Forest Preserves offers numerous sledding hills, ice skating spots and locations for ice fishing, too.

For those interested in giving back to their communities while getting in a good work out, consider joining our community of dedicated volunteers for restoration activities. There are opportunities all throughout Cook County for people of all ages. No experience is necessary, and supplies are provided. Visit our Volunteer Page to learn more about volunteering in the Forest Preserves.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President

Forest Preserves of Cook County