Free Sweet Summer Thursdays at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Free Sweet Summer Thursdays at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is throwing a party for the season Chicagoans long for all winter – summer. The museum will mark the official start of summer with a Summer Solstice celebration and continue the party with extended hours and programming throughout June and July.

Admission is free for Illinois residents on these special nights at the urban gateway to nature and science. Suggested donation is encouraged.

The Museum’s exhibits will be open late, for guests to enjoy access to the acclaimed new exhibit, Food: The Nature of Eating, and the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. Plus, enjoy activities for the whole family, including chef demos, critter connections and crafts.

What’s a party without food? Food trucks such as Beaver Donuts + Coffee, ChiTown Tamale, Curried, and ice-cubed will be on hand to provide refreshments. As part of the event, the museum is also hosting a food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Guests who bring nonperishable food items will be entered into a drawing to win a behind-the-scenes museum tour.

Here's the schedule:     Thursdays: June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

A Celebration of Local Food 

June 20, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Kick off summer with a celebration of local food! Check out the new self-produced exhibition, Food: The Nature of Eating,to discover food’s journey from farm to plate. Then, watch a demo with local chef, Melissa Graham, meet artist and author, Jennifer Angus, whose exhibit A Meticulous Beauty is on display at the museum, and grab a bite from a local food truck.

Urban Gardens

June 27, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Did you know there are chickens living in Lincoln Park? Or that there are several edible plants you can find all around the city? Discover more about the rising trend of urban gardens during an evening at the museum. Activities include edible nature walks, gardening activities, and meet-the-expert stations throughout the museum.

Food Science

July 11, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Get ready to experiment! If you can melt it, freeze it, cook it or eat it, we’re doing it! Check out the museum’s exhibits after hours while stopping to watch food science experiments throughout the building. Activities include bug cooking, make your own butter, cereal experiments and more.

For the Love of Chocolate

July 18, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The last course in the summer solstice celebration is dessert! Dive into the world of cacao with a look at the science of chocolate and, of course, chocolate tastings are on the activity menu!


The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  is located at 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. Check out their website, click here.

You might also like this previous post on summer science activities from the Museum of Science and Industry, Summer Brain Games.

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