School Programs

We work closely with Next Generation Science Standards and your curriculum to provide a fun educational experience for your students. Read our brochure here.

Starting in September 2019, our fee is $5/student/program for our Science & Nature Outings.  We are thankful to the foundations, companies and individual donors that support our programs and help keep the cost of the programs to less than half of what it costs to deliver them.

If you select just one program (usually 1.5 hours), it is $5/student.  If you desire a longer field experience, you can sign up for two programs, for a total of $10/student.  (See Field Trip Examples in our brochure.)  There is no fee for teachers, and one chaperone for every eight students is free. 

Our Travelling Naturalist programs are $100 for the first classroom (max. 30 students), and an extra $40 fee for each additional classroom presentation, with a maximum of four presentations in a day ($220).  For schools that are more than 30 miles from Severson Dells, we charge $0.54/mile.

Area school teachers and students frequently use the our facilities and equipment for field trips to supplement classroom studies.  There is no fee for self-guided trips.

Please call (815-335-2915), email (, or fill out the form below to request a school program.


Teacher Name *
Teacher Name
School Phone *
School Phone
Cell Phone (optional)
Cell Phone (optional)
Address *
Please provide school name and address.
First Choice Date *
First Choice Date
Please let us know your first, second and third choices for program dates.
Second Choice Date *
Second Choice Date
Third Choice Date *
Third Choice Date
Please let us know how many classes you want to bring and the number of students (eg: three classes, 75 students total; or three classes: two with 24 students, and one with five).
In case the weather is not in our favor, please select up to two Rainy Day Option programs to substitute for your outdoor programs. Room for Salamanders K-2nd grade 60-90 minutes Anne Mazer’s now-classic children’s book Salamander Room introduces students to the concept of habitat: that plants animals have specific needs and live where those need are best met. Fun, engaging storytelling helps students predict what is best for our amphibian friends. Supplementing this we provide time at the Touch Table and to explore our exhibits with our Indoor Scavenger Hunt. Skins & Skulls - The Wildlife of Illinois All grades 60-90 minutes We have a fine collection of animal artifacts that are ideal for hands-on learning about our native wildlife. Students interact with the materials at different levels depending on their grade level. Can include measuring, sketching and other observational activities. Birds of a Feather Grades 1-5 90 minutes Using mounts, feathers, a hands-on beak activity, and binoculars, students get an up-close look at what makes a bird a bird, and learn how to identify the birds that are most common at bird feeders. Outdoor Skills That Can be Learned Inside Grades 3-10 90 minutes There are lots of activities that are valuable outdoor skills, and many of these can be taught (and practiced) indoors so one is fully prepared to use them when the need arises. From knots and cordage to outdoor safety and fire starting, we select the best skills to teach each grade level based on their age and manual dexterity.
Please let us know any additional information we should be aware of for booking your school group. If you have any questions/concerns, please write them here as well.

Please read our brochure for more information about our programs and how to schedule your class trip. 

Home School, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Day Care, Church Groups

We would be happy to work with your group to tailor make a program to fit your needs.  Read about our offerings in the program brochure (pages 7-8).