Free after-hours, butterflies and Monsters on Bikes at the Nature Museum August 9
Night owls, nature lovers and bargain seekers, here’s one for you. This Thursday 9, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park celebrates summer by keeping its doors open until 9pm—with free admission for all. Special programming is in the works, too: Don’t miss special nighttime nature walks, bike-themed crafts, and chats with a taxidermist working at the Beecher Lab. Meanwhile, visitors can enjoy access to all of the Nature Museum's exhibits, including its signature, permanent fixture, the beloved Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, and also its current ode to bikes, a two-pronged exhibit that won't last too much longer.
So enjoy the extra museum hours, till dusk Thursday, to catch “Bikes! The Green Revolution,” which runs through September 9. Adults will love checking out the antique and vintage rides (from turn-of-the-century Penny Farthings to 1960s Schwinns with sweet banana seats). Meanwhile, kids can climb up on a few tall bikes (anchored into the floor so they can't ride away or fall off), and they can also play bike mechanic at a station with wood bike parts.
Meanwhile, the companion art exhibit, "Monsters on Bikes" (which will smartly stick around until Halloween) boasts a fanciful array of kid-friendly artwork in two separate hallway gallery spaces. A variety of talented imaginations contributed artwork, including Monster Kat Henley, whose furry beasts appear to be Maurice Sendak-inspired. There's also a silly two-headed man on a bike in the treetops from David de la Mano, while Paul Nagel channels Tolkien's ents with Leif Oakson Touring the Valley One Late Afternoon. There's even a whimsical poem stencilled onto the wall that informs us, "Monsters have agreed, after much conversation/that bikes are, indeed, their favorite transportation!"