Park Programs & Activities

The staff of the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center have put together some great educational programs for all ages!  Bring the kids and learn all about the exciting history and geology of this park.

Starved Rock State Park

      Sponsored by the Starved Rock Foundation

For more information call the Starved Rock Visitor Center at (815) 667-4726

2018 Calendar of Events

February 11
Winter Drum Circle
Move to the beat with local musician Kevin Kramer, as he leads an interactive drum circle featuring African Percussion & Native American flutes.  It’s an experience for all ages and ability levels.  An energetic and fun way to create “in the moment” music with percussion instruments.
Drums provided! Program starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Starved Rock Visitor Center and lasts one hour.

February 18
Our Outdoor Heritage, Our Region’s First Outdoorsmen
Stop by the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center on Sunday, February 18thwhen park historian and researcher Mark Walczynski will present a program that examines the lives of prehistoric and later historic period Native Americans, people whose very existence was tied to the region’s natural resources.

March 11
Birds of Prey Live!
Save Our American Raptors will be on hand with live birds of prey!  See birds of prey such as falcons, owls, and hawks up-close and learn about the impressive adaptations and behaviors of these remarkable birds. Programs start at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

March 18
Tap for Maple Sap!
Join our park naturalist Lisa Sons for a presentation on the history of Maple Syrup from Native American methods to Modern Day.
Try a piece of maple sugar and head outside to find a maple tree and learn how to tap for sap1:30pm at the Visitor Center.

April 22
Earth Day Hike
Celebrate Mother Nature at Starved Rock!  Join the park naturalist for a hike to the top of Starved Rock and into French Canyon.
Learn about the history and geology of Starved Rock State Park. Meet at the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m.  Hike lasts 1.5 hours.

April 22
Wildlife Prairie Park presents “Amazing Animals”
Skunks, turtles, and owls, oh my!  Get up close and personal with these native critters, and many more!
See what makes them so absolutely amazing. Meet at the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 1:30 p.m. Live animals!

April 28 & 29
Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage
Join the Starved Rock guides as we hike to overlooks and canyons throughout the park enjoying the variety of spring wildflowers and sparkling waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park. Learn about the history and geology of the park.  Guided hikes leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 9:00 a. m. & 1:00 p.m. each day.

May – October
Falconry with Rich Escutia
Join local falconer Rich Escutia with his pair of Harris Hawks and female Red Tailed Hawk for an up close and personal educational visit with birds of prey, located by the cabin behind the Starved Rock Visitor Center.  1-3 p.m.:  5/12-13, 5/19-20, 6/2-3, 6/16-17, 7/7-8, 7/28-29,
8/4-5, 8/25-26, 9/8-9, 9/22-23, 10/6-7, and 10/20-21/2018.

May 5
Spring Migratory Bird Hike
Join the park naturalist and local bird expert, Tom Williams, as we hike to seek out resident birds and greet our spring migrators.
Bring your binoculars and your favorite bird guide. Hike lasts approximately 2 hours. Meet at the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 7:30 a.m.

May 6
Incredible Bats
In this 1 hour program you will get an overview of the world of bats, as we separate facts from fiction surrounding these nocturnal creatures. With our multi-media presentation and our live Egyptian Fruit and African bats, your view of bats will never be the same again.
1:30pm at the Visitor Center.

May 20
Wildlife Prairie presents “Reptiles & Amphibians”
Slime, scales and mudpuppy tales! Wildlife Prairie Park will be on hand with a few of their friends for a family fun program that will give you a new found respect for our cold blooded friends. Meet at the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 1:30pm. Live animals!

June 2
National Trails Day
Celebrate National Trails Day by hiking with the park naturalist! Hike to the top of Starved Rock and into the bottom of French Canyon. Learn about the history and geology of the park. Meet at the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 10am. Hike lasts approximately 1.5 hours. 

September 2
Birds of Prey Live!
Save our American Raptors will be on hand with live birds of prey! See birds of prey such as falcons, owls and hawks up-close and learn about the impressive adaptations and behaviors of these remarkable birds. Program start at 11am and 1pm. 

September 15
Autumn Migratory Bird Hike
Join the park naturalist and local bird expert, Tom Williams, as we hike to seek our resident birds and greet our fall migrators. Bring your binoculars and your favorite bird guide. Hike will leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 8am. Hike lasts 2 hours. 

September 23
Buzzing, Beautiful Bees!
The Honeybee: an amazing creature, Merlin and Susan Calhoun will give us a snack peek into these tiny creatures’ amazing lives, including habitat, behavior and the challenges they face in our world. 

October 20 & 21
Fall Colors Weekend
Join the Starved Rock guides as we hike to overlooks and canyons to view the spectacular colors of fall. Learn about the history and geology of Starved Rock. Hikes leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 10am.

 October 27
Creatures of the Night
SOAR will be on hand with several species of owls native to Illinois. See these birds up-close and personal. Learn about the impressive creatures’ adaptations and behaviors. Programs will start at 11am and 1pm and last one hour. Live birds!

October 27
Haunted Halloween Night Hikes & Storytelling
Join the park naturalist as we hike the luminary lit trail to the top of Starved Rock. Hear “haunted” tales of the park and meet “The Pink Lady.” Haunted hikes leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 5pm & 6pm. Kids crafts 5-7pm. Storytelling with Bill Myers begins at 7pm and lasts one hour. 

December 30
Holiday Storytelling with Bill Myers
Bill Myers, local Illinois Valley storytelling, will be spinning his holiday tales at the Starved Rock Visitor Center. Storytelling is great for all ages. Storytelling will begin at 1:30pm and last one hour.

Ask about our Jr. Ranger Program for kids! Win a prize packet when complete. Only available at the Visitor Center

Junior Ranger Program Kids 5-7 Years Old     |      Junior Ranger Program Kids 8 and Up