Make Valentine’s Day extra special this year by adding some winter nature fun to the celebration.
Cindy Cain, spokesperson for the Forest Preserve District of Will County, said the district is offering a variety of Valentine’s Day-themed programs this year to appeal to a wide variety of interests.
“We have everything from a program on flowers to a singles program if you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day,” Cain said. “We’ve got campfires, s’mores, snowshoes – pretty much everything to entice people to get outside this holiday instead of just thinking about restaurants or staying at home.”
Cain said people will find a variety of programs at a variety of locations, everything from campfires and hikes outside to an educational floriography presentation inside a nature center.
“Say It With Flowers” explores “different flower combinations meant something back in the Victorian era,” Cain said.
“Different colors meant one message, different flowers meant another,” Cain said.
But don’t limit the fun to the organized programs. For instance, Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve has trails that are perfect for hiking and a 40-foot snow hill that’s perfect for sledding.
“Two 75-year-olds rented tubes and went down the hill on Saturday,” Cain said. “These programs show you can have fun outside all year long, even in in the winter, even for Valentine’s Day.”
The following four programs still have openings. Registration is required for all four. To register, visit the events page at ReconnectWithNature.org.
Say It With Flowers: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Learn the languages of flowers, also called floriography, and the origins of those meanings. Explore how to put together different flower combinations to express a whole ranges of feelings. Free, ages 18 or older. Register by Feb. 8.
Galentine’s Day Campfire: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 10, Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access, Shorewood. Ladies, enjoy an evening under the stars cozying up to a campfire while sipping your favorite beverage. Hot cocoa and s’mores will be provided. Feel free to bring your favorite seasonal wine or beer to keep you warm. Play group games, make a keepsake craft or just relax around the fire. This program will be held at the Hammel Woods campground, Campsite No. 1. Ages 21 or older, $5 per person. Register by Feb. 8.
Single and Ready to Mingle Night Hike: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 10, Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, Homer Glen. A naturalist will lead a singles Valentine’s night hike along a lantern-lit trail. Bring your own adult beverage (beer and wine only). After the hike, make s’mores over a fire. Free, ages 21 or older. Register by Feb. 9.
Sweetheart Night Hike: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 11, Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, Homer Glen. Walk under the stars along a lantern-lit trail with your valentine. You may bring your own adult beverage (beer or wine only). After the hike, make s’mores over a fire. Free, ages 21 or older. Register by Feb. 8.