You may love to visit Homer Lake for everything it offers outdoors, but your family will enjoy venturing into the Interpretive Center on your next visit
The Homer Lake Forest Preserve is such a beautiful escape that you’ve likely already visited it with your family. The lake is one of the largest in Central Illinois and the playscape is such a unique experience that many area families make it a regular habit to splash in the stream during the warmer months. But as you drive into Homer Lake, it is very possible that you have never stopped at the Interpretive Center on your way into the woods.
Parent’s Guide to Homer Lake | Homer Lake Natural Playscape | Finding Spring Wildflowers at Homer Lake | 6 Places to Experience Nature with Kids Near Champaign-Urbana | Top Five Things to Do in Homer | Fishing Fun Around Champaign-Urbana
The Homer Lake Interpretive Center reopened on a limited basis on 7/8/2020. The District encourages people to bring their own hand sanitizer and follow all current Champaign County Public Health District mask-wearing, social distancing, and capacity recommendations. The seasonal stream feature of the Playscape is back on as of 7/14/2020. Updates and more details can be found at www.ccfpd.org or on Facebook.
The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is committed to providing opportunities for area families to learn about and experience nature in a variety of settings. To complement everything else available at Homer Lake, the Interpretive Center is the hub for the educational programs run year-round for the community. You can stop in any time during open hours to ask questions or just have some quiet playtime at the center with your children. It’s totally FREE to stop in and visit, too!
Our kids always make a beeline to see what reptiles/amphibians are around in the tanks at the Interpretive Center. Snakes, turtles, frogs and more have been spotted over the years. The staff at the center is always great about making sure all your questions are answered during your visit.
There are some areas set up that your kids will be drawn to, like the bird “nest” they can play in and around. There’s a wildlife viewing area you will want to check out, too. You may see a special exhibit or two on display. Exhibits in the past have featured photographs throughout history, a deep dive into the world of monarch butterflies and more.
The creatures (like the snakes that reside at Homer Lake) aren’t normally out to touch but if you’re attending an educational program, there’s a good chance your kids will get the opportunity to touch and feel them. Otherwise, encourage your kids to quietly observe the animals and see what they do. They may even get a nose-to-nose encounter (through glass) while they’re watching.
Have more questions? Check out the Homer Lake Interpretive Center for info on hours, location, upcoming events and more.