Adler Galaxy Ride at Cache River Wetlands Center and WSRC: Join Chicago's Adler Planetarium on their journey across southern Illinois to get everyone ready for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. The Adler's Galaxy Ride team will be on hand on Thurs., Aug 17 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Cache River Wetlands Center in Cypress, IL, and on Fri., Aug. 18 from 7-10 p.m. at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL. Observe the sun and stars through a telescope, touch a real piece of the moon, talk to an astronomer, learn how eclipses work, discover the size and scale of the sun, Earth, and moon, find out how fast the speed of light is, and much more. Enjoy these free family events.
Eclipse Campsites: Looking for a place to stay for the 2017 Solar Eclipse in southern Illinois on Aug. 21? You can still reserve campsites at the IDNR World Shooting and Recreational Complex online now through www.reserveamerica.com.
Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
Firearm Deer Permits: Permit applications will be accepted until Aug. 18 for the third lottery drawing for 2017 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits. For details, check the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DeerHunting.aspx
Resident Archery Deer Permits: Resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor link here: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.aspx
Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits: Illinois Non-Resident Archery Deer combination permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Illinois Archery Deer Season is Oct. 1, 2017 through Jan. 14, 2018.
Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Season: Hunters may apply through Aug. 21 for the second lottery for 2017 Illinois Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Season permits. Season dates are Oct. 21-29, 2017. For more information: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/TurkeyHunting.aspx
Grand American: The Amateur Trapshooting Association Grand American World Trapshooting Championships are scheduled for Aug. 2-12 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL. Check the ATA website for details at www.shootata.com
Tot Time: At Dickson Mounds Museum on Thurs., Aug. 3 at 9:30 a.m., the Tot Time program will be ‘Butterflies.’ Tots and their adults may enjoy learning about native butterflies and moths while viewing specimens of different species. This month’s program will be presented by Max Johnson, local 4-H member, entomology enthusiast, and Lewistown resident. At the end of the program, a limited number of butterflies will be released on the Museum’s grounds. Admission is free and registration is not required. The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
Award-Winning Documentary at ISM Aug. 3: In conjunction with the current exhibition Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago, the Illinois State Museum will hold a special screening of the award-winning film Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists on Thurs., Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. The film screening is free and open to the public in the Museum’s Thorne Deuel Auditorium. The Museum is located at 502 South Spring Street in Springfield.
Conservation World: Make plans to attend the 2017 Illinois State Fair in Springfield – and to spend some time at Conservation World on Aug. 11-20. Conservation World is a 30-acre park on the state fairgrounds filled with family activities including fishing instruction, archery ranges, and expert information on habitat enhancement, state parks, wildlife, fish, and forestry. Conservation World is open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Aug. 11-20.
See Mary Lincoln Portrayal Aug. 5: At the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site on Sat., Aug. 5 at 2 p.m., Jessica Michna will present a first-person portrayal of Mary Lincoln as she recalls her early years and education in Lexington, Kentucky. Ms. Michna's performance will take place in the site’s visitor center auditorium, and is free and open to the public. Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, a gateway site for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, was the 1840s home of Abraham Lincoln’s father and stepmother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln. It is located eight miles south of Charleston and 14 miles southwest of Mattoon. For more information about this or other events at the site, call 217-345-1845 or visit www.lincolnlogcabin.org.
Archaeology Day at Cahokia Mounds on Aug. 5: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois will host its annual Archaeology Day on Sat., Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features ancient craft demonstrations, archaeological techniques and artifact processing, tours of excavations, and several hands-on activities. The popular event is free and open to the public. Archaeology Day is sponsored by the Cahokia Archaeological Society and the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society with cooperation from the Cahokia Mounds staff and volunteers, and the Powell Archaeological Research Center. For more information, call 618-346-5160 or visit www.cahokiamounds.org. Cahokia Mounds is in Collinsville off Interstates 55/70 (Exit 6) and Interstate 255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road.
Down on the Farm at the ISM: Where does our food come from? The “Down on the Farm Super Saturday” event on Aug. 5 at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield celebrates farms with games, activities, and crafts. Children can harvest “corn,” learn where hamburgers come from, and make agriculture-inspired art. Hot Air Creations will also be making balloon farm animals for visitors to take home. The activities are recommended for children ages 5 and up. For additional information, contact email@example.com or 217-558-6696. Super Saturday events are sponsored by Bank of Springfield.
Online Dove Permits: Online applications are being accepted for Illinois Free Dove Hunting Permits. Hunters may apply on a first-come, first-served basis through Aug. 25 for any permits that remain. For more information on dove hunting permit areas and free dove permits, check the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/dove/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx
Upland Game Permits: Hunters may apply through Aug. 31 for the Illinois 2017 Free Upland Game Hunt Permit program. Applications must be made online, and successful applicants will receive a confirmation by mail. Application information is available at this link: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/Free%20Upland%20Game%20Hunt%20Instructions.pdf
Becoming an Outdoors Woman: A few spots are still available for the “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” (BOW) workshop at the Touch of Nature Environmental Center/Giant City State Park on Sept. 16-18. The workshop fee is $230, which includes meals, lodging, class instruction, use of class equipment/supplies, transportation during the workshop, and lots of fun. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. Log onto the IDNR website at this link for more information and registration materials: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation/BOW/Pages/default.aspx
Native Wildflower Seeds at Conservation World: Stop by the IDNR Division of Education tent at Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair (Aug. 11-20) for activities for children and adults related to “Illinois Pollinators.” The first 5,000 families can get a free packet of native wildflowers and grasses seeds to develop an at-home pollinator garden. There will also be resources for educators.
Wingshooting Clinics: Wingshooting clinics are planned throughout the summer and fall in Illinois at IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs and hunting preserves. Most clinics are conducted on weekends. Wingshooting clinics for youth (age 10-15) and women provide instruction on safely firing a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability. Hunter wingshooting clinics are hands-on, and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on sporting clays courses specifically designed for teaching typical hunting situations. For the wingshooting clinic schedule and more information, check the IDNR website: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation/wingshooting/Pages/default.aspx
Camping Reservations: Make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website atwww.reserveamerica.com using a credit card.
Illinois State Parks Guide: The 2017-18 Illinois State Parks guide is available in print and online. The booklet is a useful guide to an eventful day in a state park picnic area, a weekend at a state park lodge or campground, a hike in a state forest, a ride on a state trail, or hunting and fishing trips to a state fish and wildlife area. The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at this link: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/ILPARKS2017.pdf
Copies of the state parks guide can be ordered through the IDNR online publications page: