Fox Valley Park District | Where Fun Begins

Red Oak Nature Center

2343 S. River St., Batavia, Illinois ● 630-897-1808 ● Directions

Nestled on the east bank of the Fox River, the Red Oak Nature Center is surrounded by 40 acres of lush forest and wildlife habitat – an ideal setting for visitors to learn about the great outdoors through direct interaction with nature.

Groups of 10 or more must register even if visiting on their own, call 630-897-1808 or email us at

FREE admission – $1 per person suggested donation for groups of 10 or more. (Groups must call or email to register prior to their visit to Red Oak Nature Center)

  • Sense the Seasons: This amazing tour of nature opens worlds of discovery, providing an educational panorama of wondrous facts, figures and illustrations of how the natural world cycles from one season to the next. More than just learning about the cold-to-warm transitions of winter, spring, summer and fall, Sense the Seasons takes you on an interactive journey with real-life sights, sounds and smells. It’s a magical experience!
  • Wildlife Room: The wildlife room is home to many animals that live and thrive in the Fox River area. The newly remodeled room features a 500 gallon turtle and fish habitat, along with new habitats for frogs, salamanders, snakes and more.
  • Acorn Classroom: Providing a great educational venue, the Acorn Classroom is home to various programs – including Scouting, Junior Naturalists and Red Oak Nature Center’s Nature Preschool.
  • Maple Classroom: Upon entering Red Oak, you’re encouraged to visit the Maple Classroom, where you can relax for a cinema-like experience and view our entertaining and informative video about all the cool stuff around Red Oak Nature Center. Narrated by Parker – our fox mascot – you’ll learn about the history of Red Oak and surrounding areas. Parker takes us on a year-round tour and describes many of the fish, birds, wildlife and flora that inhabit the Fox River and forest around Red Oak.
  • The Cave: Follow the Fox River Trail down to The Cave at the river’s edge, where you can explore the only known cave in the Aurora area.
  • Observation Deck: Step out, take a deep breath and enjoy truly spectacular views. Located directly behind the Nature Center, the Observation Deck sits over the Fox River and is an ideal vantage point for viewing river wildlife, migratory birds and the wooded shorelines and islands.
  • Picnic Shelter: The spacious picnic shelter features a limestone fireplace and plenty of tables – the ideal setting for an outdoor lunch. (Sorry, not reservable.)
  • Trails: Six wood-chipped hiking trails and the nationally renowned Fox River Trail wind throughout the woods that border the Fox River. Dogs and bikes are allowed on paved trails only.
  • View map of Red Oak Nature Center
  • Red Oak Nature Center News and Updates

FREE admission – $1 per person suggested donation for groups of 10 or more. (Groups must call to register prior to their visit to Red Oak Nature Center)

Open year-round

Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trails open until sunset.

2016 Holiday Hours

Open 361 days a year; Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter

Summer Camps

Summer Camp information coming soon!

Red Oak Nature Nature offers a number of nature-themed extended day camps, unique one-day programs and more. Our environment lets children thrive on outside adventures and activities such as canoeing, swimming, hiking, team games and much more.

Camp staff are experienced teachers and/or naturalists who are CPR/First Aid certified.

Red Oak Camp Forms:

Parents – Forms are due BEFORE the start of your child’s camp. They can be mailed or dropped off.

Red Oak Emergency Info Card

Red Oak Camp Handbook 2016



INTERNS WANTED: Red Oak Nature Center is actively seeking interns for the 2016 season. Interested? Contact (630) 897-1808 for more information.

Special Events

2016 -Save the Date!

Maple Fest: March 19, 2016
Hourly “tree-tapping” presentations at 9, 10, 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Bug Fest: August 20, 2016


Red Oak Nature Center offers programs for all ages. Learn more about nature programs.

Nature Play Preschool

2015-16 Nature Play Preschool Programs (PDF)

Nature Play Preschool at Red Oak Nature Center provides 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds an experience that nourishes a preschooler’s developmental needs while inspiring a love of nature.

Children enrolled in Nature Play Preschool learn to make connections through discovery and play, and form the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. For more information contact us at

Learn more

School Programs

!! NOTE: School programs are fully booked through the end of the 2015-16 school year! Our in-district school partners can begin checking availability in August 2016, and all other groups can contact us in September. Thanks for making us a valuable part of your educational curriculum. We look forward to hearing from you.

Education Opportunities for School Groups

Outdoor Education at Red Oak Nature Center and Lippold Park

Naturalists at Red Oak Nature Center offer outdoor school programs for Pre-K to 8th grade classrooms in the fall, winter and spring. Our outdoor programs encourage students to explore and investigate through hands-on experiences to learn about ecology, animals, habitats, biology, orienteering and more. All programs outlined in this booklet align with CORE and Next Generation Science Standards and can be customized to fit specific curriculum needs.

Naturalist in Your Classroom

Schedule a Red Oak Naturalist to visit your classroom from December through mid-February. Programs are $20 per class and $10 each additional class for all schools. Find out more about our ‘Animals in Winter,’ ‘Things that make you go EWWW!,’ ‘Mysteries Solved!’ and many more! All programs are currently aligned with CORE and Next Generation Science Standards and can be customized to fit specific curriculum needs.

Click here for the School Programs Booklet

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Red Oak Nature Center for your school field trip

Call 630-897-1808 or email to schedule.

Scout Opportunities

Girl, Cub and Boy Scouts can earn badges throughout the year at Red Oak Nature Center. Scouts Flier

Call 630-897-1808 or email to schedule your next scout group outing.


IDNR Trunk and Hike Bags

Provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, these bags contain resources about a variety of nature topics – complete with books, photos, samples and more. Bags are rented to groups free of charge. For more information regarding bag topics, call Red Oak or visit

Nature Exploration Bags

Nature Exploration Bags can be borrowed during Red Oak Nature Center hours to help explore the woods. Bags are available for the signs of the season, birds, insects and senses. Free of charge, but a refundable deposit is required. Adult supervision is required.


Birthday Parties

Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

8 to 15 guests:
Residents: $12 per guest / Non-residents: $15 per guest
$5 per each additional child (up to 20 total)
Enjoy the great outdoors of Red Oak Nature Center and interact up close with nature! All Red Oak Nature Center birthday parties include one hour of naturalist-led activities, a special gift for the birthday child, goodie bags for each guest and one hour at the picnic shelter or Discovery Room.

View more information about Red Oak Nature Center party themes and accommodations.

For more information or to make a reservation, call 630-897-1808 or e-mail

Download printable Red Oak Nature Center party invitations.

Programs At-A-Glance
  • Outdoor Facilities
  • Ages 0-2
  • Ages 3-5
  • Ages 6-8
  • Ages 9-12
  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Active Adults
  • Leagues
For more information