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Kids Can Explore 6 Great Lakes Habitats In New Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Play Area

The Nature's PlaySpace opened Saturday and allows kids to explore Illinois' dunes, lakes, savannahs, rivers, wetlands and prairies in an indoor setting.

Kids can explore six of Illinois' habitats in the new Nature's PlaySpace.
Provided/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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LINCOLN PARK — The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has a new indoor play area where kids can explore and learn about Illinois habitats.

Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, opened Nature’s PlaySpace on Saturday.

The 3,000-square-foot room allows kids 1-7 years old to learn about the Great Lakes region through child-led play, according to the museum. It has 25 hands-on components broken into six Illinois habitats.

Children can explore lakes, dunes, savannahs, rivers, wetlands and parries through a state-of-the-art water feature, large bird nest, treehouse with a spiral slide and plush toys for younger kids, according to the museum.

“It is so rewarding to see kids crawling, climbing and splashing in the lively exhibit,” said Erin Amico, president and CEO of the Nature Museum. “It is important that kids learn from a young age the importance of exploring nature.”

Credit: Provided/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The new play area features a state-of-the-art water feature simulating Illinois’ lakes.
Credit: Provided/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Kids will learn about Illinois’ wildlife while playing in the new area.

The $4 million project was funded by donations and an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant, according to the museum. It’s the largest investment in new or renovated space at the museum in 20 years.

“This is such a great addition for our youngest visitors,” Amico said.

The Nature Museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits for all ages 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

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