Popular Bug Fest returns to Red Oak Nature Center
It's about to get very buggy at Red Oak Nature Center -- but no repellent is needed.
The Fox Valley Park District is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Bug Fest -- a popular, late-summer event -- from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Red Oak, 2343 S. River St. Route 25, Batavia, where insects and the world of bugs will take center stage.
The family-friendly event will feature educational attractions with a swarm of bug-related activities, demonstrations and crafts. Admission to the event is free, though there are opportunities for guests to purchase a commemorative 10th Anniversary Bug Fest package.
"We offer three different habitats to engage in different bug hunts, and each area has different 'buggy' residents," said Renee Oakley, facility manager at Red Oak.
"There is net-dipping for aquatic bugs in our Lippold pond; crawling and hopping bugs in our prairie; hunting for butterflies; and scouting for the invasive jumping worms in the woodland log roll area."
New features this year include the free caterpillar-themed inflatable and the trackless "Pollinator Express" train that will give guests rides around the "Pollinator Prairie" for $2 per trip.
The 10th Anniversary package is also available for $10 and includes a wristband for unlimited train rides, a commemorative 10th Anniversary Bug Fest bag, and a coupon for a free bag of popcorn at the nature center.
"Bug Fest is one of those rare, family-friendly, free events where all ages in our community can come together and have fun," Oakley said. "Looking closer at nature and learning about bugs can help us all better understand bugs' big impact on our world and the importance our buggy friends have in keeping it healthy.
"Scientists estimate that there are over 5 million species of bugs left to be discovered. Maybe you'll find one at Bug Fest!"
Partner agencies, including the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, Kendall County Forest Preserve District, St. Charles Park District, Patterson Bee Farms, the Illinois Natural History Museum and the Sierra Club, will be on-site to share bug specimens, facts and games.
Parking is limited, so take advantage of the free event shuttle at nearby Schneider Elementary School, 304 Banbury Road, North Aurora. Lippold Park, adjacent to Red Oak, has very limited parking, and Red Oak's lot is designated for handicapped parking only.
For information, visit www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.