Jun. 10th - Sep. 3rd
Children will have fun learning about life in present-day Japan in this playful and interactive exhibit. Families will be transported to two distinct areas of Tokyo that exist side by side: one serene and exquisite, the other, too cute for words. Together, the exhibit highlights how old and new traditions coexist in Japan today, giving visitors a family-friendly window into Japanese culture. The beautiful, natural Shinto shrine park invites children to build a bridge, crawl through a forest, encounter kami spirits, and make a wish at a wishing tree. In the colorful, bustling Tokyo, kids sing karaoke, smile for the photo booth camera, serve up a seasonal Japanese meal, design adorable mascots and more! Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger.
Pokemon, anime, and Hello Kitty are just a few of the things we share with our friends in Japan! Explore how kawaii, the Japanese word for "cute", is a driving force in fashion and art. Try your pen at calligraphy, learn to draw like an anime artist and pick up some Japanese words while enjoying our temporary exhibition Hello from Japan! Then enjoy an exciting Japanese drumming performance by Tsuasa Taiko Community Ensemble at 11 am and 1 pm. Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger.
Jun. 27th - Jul. 31st
Mountain Desert Trek is an experience unlike any other. Are you ready to spend 6 weeks backpacking through desert canyons, up mountain peaks, across rivers, and into the wilderness? Do you enjoy ghost towns, Native American cultures, local artists and musicians, service learning, and organic farming? The Cottonwood Gulch Mountain Desert Trek is our longest and most intensive Trek designed for young men and women ages 16-18. This Trek will spend much of their 44 days exploring sites like a Colorado 14er, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, The Great Sand Dunes, and many other world class destinations. MDT Trekkers will develop leadership skills through personal projects, planning expeditions, demonstrating expedition mentality, and communal living. Most importantly, Trekkers will learn self-reliance, compassion for their peers, and how to overcome personal challenges.
Jun. 27th - Jul. 31st
The Turquoise Trail (a.k.a. The TT) was started in 1934, and it's been a pride of the Gulch ever since. Back then, The Gulch was a pioneer in getting young women outdoors. Today, the Turquoise Trail still inspires women to challenge express themselves as young women. This 5 week long all-female Trek will enamor trekkers and take them through wilderness backpacking trips, local service projects, rock climbing and mountaineering, and explorations of cultural and scientific sites throughout the Southwest. This Trek will spend the majority of their time out on the open road traveling the four corners. However, we settle down for 10 days at our Base Camp to work of legacy projects. In the past, these projects have included adobe kiln and horno restoration, pottery and silver smithing in our Native Arts Workshop, organic farming, forest restoration, and Base Camp beatification projects. Like our original trip, the Prairie Trek, nearly every member of this group returns for a second summer; a testament to the power of these experiences.
Jun. 27th - Aug. 25th
Summer Camp! June 27th - August 25th.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00-4:00pm.
Morning Camp from 9:15am-12:15pm will be held during the week of August 7th-11th!
If you are searching for a fun summer camp program that offers flexibility and convenience, look no further! My Gym Summer Camp is here! My Gym's high energy three hour camps accommodate children 2.5 - 7.5 years old. Each camp day is completely unique as children participate in sports, games, relays, dance, arts & crafts, snacks, spaceflight rides and more -- all inside My Gym's safe and air-conditioned gym. Our program is designed to enhance physical development, imagination and a sense of individual success.
Summer Camp session runs June 27th through August 25th. Camp is offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00-4:00pm! Also, this summer we are offering morning camp from 9:15am-12:15pm for one week only, August 7th - 11th!
As always, camps are "pick and choose" your dates for whatever meets your schedule. This year, we have multiple pricing options and great discounted packages allowing you ultimate flexibility on price and on booking your days!
Jun. 27th - Jul. 31st
The Cottonwood Gulch Prairie Trek began in 1926 when our founder, Hillis Howie, learned of plans to pave Route 66. He wanted to make sure that his students learned about the American West and Native cultures before it was too late. This 5 week, all male Trek will inspire and challenge young men through wilderness backpacking, local service projects, rock climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering, and exploration of cultural and scientific sites around the Four Corners. Prairie Trekkers spend a large part of their Trek traveling from site to site, bound only by the road and their destination. The remaining time will be spend at our Base Camp property located in the Zuni Mountains. Here Trekkers will work on their personal legacy projects that may include forest restoration projects, organic farming projects, or special carpentry additions to Base Camp. Prairie Trekkers have the highest rate of return and represent a 90 year legacy here at The Gulch.
Avast, there, me hearties! Sharpen your pirate skills and dress for wet! Design a doubloon, test the boat that floats your swag, and craft a sail to catch the wind. Put on a pirate hat, add a hook for your hand, sample hardtack, and more! Landlubbers are welcome, eye patches and peg legs optional. Yar. Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger. Sponsored in part by Dolphin Swim Club and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Discover the secret ingredients that put the oohs and ahhs in fireworks during this family fun event! Enjoy live science demos, launch a rocket, paint a fireworks display, and make a red white and blue masterpiece! Get ready for the evening celebration with a make-and-take noise-maker and a light-up hat. Dress to get wet: if the weather is nice, we'll have an old-fashioned water balloon toss! Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger. Sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Explore a world of fantastic beasts as we turn Discovery Center spaces into something out of a book! Hogwarts professors will be on hand to give you a guide to griffins, hype about hippogriffs and basilisk basics. Get sorted into your house before you decorate a dragon, take part in a potions class, eat a chocolate frog, or sit in on herbology lessons. Hogwarts attire encouraged. Muggles are welcome. Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger. Sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Decorate a cape and ignite your powers for incredible feats and amazing heroics! Dodge danger and evade evil in an obstacle course certain to test your super skills! Defy gravity like Superman, use a special mask to turn everything Green Lantern's color, meet some caped crusaders, and more! Come in costume (your super identity is safe with us). Grownups can play too. Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger. Sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
What will you be when you grow up? Talk to the real women and men who work in our town and find out what they do! Solve problems like an engineer, frost like a baker, tinker like a technician, and study like a scientist. Enjoy hands-on activities related to different fields as you deliver mail, harvest eggs, fly planes, build rockets, turn screws, and more! Included with Discovery Center admission. Admission: $8.00/person or free for members and children age one and younger. Sponsored in part by the Bengt and Mary Kuller Endowment of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, SwedishAmerican Health System and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.