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This week's Culture Vultures recommend . . .

The Stars of Fame, Emily Oaks Nature Center, and "Yesterday's Losers"

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Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins, programming director for the Chicago Humanities Festival had a relaxing time at:

Emily Oaks Nature Center

Emily Oaks Nature Center
  • Emily Oaks Nature Center

Searching for an outing one Sunday morning for myself, my husband, and our three-year-old son, I stumbled across a line in an events calendar about the "secret places of Emily Oaks." Intrigued, I soon discovered that Emily Oaks is a nature center in Skokie, not too far from the Rogers Park neighborhood where I live. Needing a break from the usual kids' outings (museums, etc) we headed on over and were delighted by what we found. Tucked away beyond Howard Street and several car dealerships was an oasis. For $2 we rented a backpack and got goodies for the "secret places" search. Some of the items in the backpack included a journal, colored pencils, and my son's favorite, binoculars. The secret places we found had names like Blooming Palace, Fall Skeleton, Chipmunk Crossing, and Reflection Beach. At Reflection Beach we watched a bird swoop down and grab a fish out of the water.

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