Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Champaign County is buzzing with exciting outdoor activities, perfect for celebrating Take Your Child Outside Week. Join us as we dive into some of the fantastic opportunities offered by the Champaign County Forest Preserve District.

For a literary adventure in a scenic setting, head to Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. Here, you’ll find a new StoryWalk trail in partnership with the Mahomet Public Library. The trail features changing stories from August to October, with updates every two months. On September 9th, during the “Prairie Stories” event, join in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate this exciting addition to Lake of the Woods.

Plus, step back in time to the 19th century at the Museum of the Grand Prairie, located in Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. On September 9th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this event offers a glimpse into the past with artisan demonstrations, including blacksmithing and outdoor cooking. Join hands-on activities like candle dipping and butter churning while enjoying live American folk music and dancing. Dive into 19th-century schoolhouse lessons, explore textile work, and much more. This event is part of Welcoming Week, celebrating inclusivity and connection among diverse communities.

On September 15th, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the night sky at Middle Fork Forest Preserve. Learn the art of astrophotography, the craft of capturing celestial objects and stars in photographs. Whether you’re a novice or experienced photographer, this program will provide insights and hands-on experience. Bring your camera and tripod, if you have them. The program is $5 per person, and registration is required.

Wrap up the month on September 28th with a “Bike with a Naturalist” adventure along the Kickapoo Rail Trail. This 6.7-mile bicycle tour will take you through local natural and cultural highlights. The tour starts near the Urbana Walmart’s parking lot and ends near The Wheelhouse restaurant in St. Joseph. Bring your own bike and join the fun, perfect for ages 10 and up. Registration is required, so be sure to sign up by September 26th.

Embrace the beauty and diversity of Champaign County’s natural offerings and discover exciting experiences for all ages. For more information, visit Explore, learn, and enjoy the great outdoors!