Celebrate the Annual Polar Adventure Days and explore the outdoors at Northerly Island during the winter.
When: Saturday, February 25, 2017 Time: 12:00 PM – 04:00 PM
Where: Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Dr. (312) 745-2910 (Fieldhouse)
(312)540-2668 (FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island Box Office)
Activities are subject to change. Visit their Facebook page.
Admission: FREE; Parking is $3 per car for the event day.
Take part in the following activities at Polar Adventure Days:
- If there is enough snow, snowshoeing will be available (first come, first served) $5.
- Come face-to-face with birds of prey, huskies, and wolves
- Learn the science behind snow formations
- Discover native Illinois animals
- Create winter themed art
- Enjoy music from a local band.
- Free hot chocolate will be available for the first 500 guests.
- A local food truck will be available for purchasing snacks or a meal.
Northerly Island Trail Partial Closing – The eastern portion of the Northerly Island trail will be closed for the winter as high wave events have eroded the trail. The western portion of the trail will remain open.
Northerly Island is a 91- acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the heart of the Museum Campus. It is located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field. The majority of this space is dedicated to nature. The nature area at Northerly Island features beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. It is also home to some of the best fishing in Chicago.
The southern 40-acres of Northerly Island have been closed for the last couple years due to a U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers improvement project. Now they’re reopened.
Improvements include more camping areas, expanded wetlands and additional trails and boardwalks. Per Blair Kamin, “The park’s cost was covered by $6.3 million in federal funds and $3.4 million from the Chicago Park District. The Park District’s share was paid for by revenue from a concert pavilion on the northern half of the island, officials said.”
- Modified landscape and grading plan to accommodate more camping areas
- The sight lines will correlate with the celestial calendar, aligning the visitor experience with constellations overhead.
- The increase in elevation of the hills will prevent bird strikes at McCormick Place. Birds need prominent topography as a visual cue to compel them to land and avoid crashing into structures such as large buildings.
- A deeper wetland (pond) that will reduce broad mud flats and help develop habitat.
- This will establish a habitat for the endangered mud-puppy salamander.
- Part of the installation will include educational and awareness video display of underwater habitat with a live feed to the Shedd Aquarium.
- The pond will also serve as an estuary non game species of fish. The deeper wetland will result in a habitat that is more likely to be wet during dry periods through its hydraulic connection to Lake Michigan. This creates a more consistently wet habitat for birds travelling along the migratory flyway that need to rest at Northerly Island.
- Additional trails, boardwalks, and a bridge at the south end.
- Public access will be increased to the wetland area, hills, camping grounds, and other locations of the park site.
- The formalized access paths will allow the public to interact with landscape and wildlife without disturbing the mesic prairie and wetland plantings.
- The paths and boardwalks will also enhance ADA accessibility. The installation of a bridge at the south end of the park that will complete the path system.