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Conservation World

Located in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds

Open from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Visit Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair to find out why everyone belongs in nature and what you can do at home to live more sustainably. Be sure to pick up a special Conservation World passport at the Everyone Belongs in Nature Tent on the main fairgrounds before heading to Conservation World. With 30 acres of hands-on outdoor activities, shows, demonstrations, learning opportunities, sensory hours, games, music, food, and shade, fairgoers will find themselves returning to Conservation World again and again.


Everyone Belongs in Nature Passport

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Pick up an Everyone Belongs in Nature Passport on the main fairgrounds and head to Conservation World to participate in activities at 10 must-visit spots. Earn passport stamps for each activity. Complete all activities to win a special prize.


Be a Climate Action Hero!

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit with IDNR’s climate action team members to learn about the department’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and model initiatives to make agency operations more sustainable, save money, and improve visitor experiences at state parks. Visitors can learn what they can do to live more sustainably at home. Tour an IDNR electric vehicle and enjoy a display of solar panels and LED light bulbs. Create “slime” from compostable packing peanuts and explore a compostable foodware display to identify ways to reduce plastics waste. Enjoy displays of rain barrels and native plants and root sizes. Share what you’re doing to address climate change.


Sensory Hours

Aug. 13 and Aug. 17: 9-10 a.m.

Visitors are invited to enjoy Conservation World during sensory-friendly hours the mornings of Tuesday, Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 17. Programming and exhibit adjustments will create a quieter, more calming environment for children and adults with sensory processing sensitivities.


Cicada Art Show

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

IDNR is hosting a cicada art show, and it’s going to be a scream! Look for displays of original cicada-themed art by Illinois youth and adults in Conservation World and be sure to vote for your favorite pieces.


Happy Birthday, Smokey Bear!

Aug. 9: 11:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Did you know Smokey Bear turns 80 years old on Friday, Aug. 9? Children are invited to join Smokey and IDNR staff in the Conservation World amphitheater for a birthday celebration and photo opportunity at 11:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Smokey Bear also makes daily appearances in Conservation World.


Eagle Nest Photo Opportunity

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Youngsters can get their photo taken in a replica eagle nest at the Birds, Bugs and Bee-yond Tent. 


Fishing Pond – Fishing Clinics

Daily: 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Children can learn about different species of fish and try to catch some in the pond. 


Dunk an Officer and Touch a Truck

How good is your aim? Try your hand at dunking an Illinois conservation police officer in a water tank. Conservation police will also invite children to make washable handprints on a police trucks once a day on weekends.


Archery Range

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Youth can explore the fun of using a bow and arrow at IDNR’s popular archery tent. Three archery lanes with a mix of Olympic and three-dimensional targets.


Youth BB Gun Range

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Youth can test their shooting skills at the supervised BB gun range inside the conservation police tent. 


Voyageur Canoe

Aug. 9-11 and Aug. 16-18, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Take a ride in a traditional wood canoe on the Conservation World pond. 


Fly Fishing Clinics

Aug. 9-11 and Aug. 16-18: noon, 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Participants will gain hands-on experience fly casting, learn the essentials of fly casting for a variety of species, and find out about appropriate tackle to use. 


IDNR Outdoor Amphitheater

Enjoy music, educational programming, and other events in Conservation World’s outdoor amphitheater.

–         Aug. 9, 11:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.: Smokey Bear birthday party

–         Aug. 10, noon to 1 p.m.: Wildlife seminar

–         Aug. 10, 1:30-3 p.m.: Music by Michael Burnett

–         Aug. 10, 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Music by Micah Walk

–         Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to noon: Wildlife seminar

–         Aug. 11, 2-4 p.m.: Music by the Mason Dixies

–         Aug. 17, 11 a.m.: IDNR Volunteer of the Year Award presentations

–         Aug. 17, 1-2 p.m.: Wildlife seminar

–         Aug. 17, 1:30-3 p.m.: Music by Michael Burnett

–         Aug. 17, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Wildlife seminar

–         Aug. 17, 4-5:30 p.m.: Music by Gracia Harrison

–         Aug. 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Wildlife seminar



Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show

Monday through Thursday: noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Friday through Sunday: noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m.

Bring the family to watch lumberjacks race to see who can chop, saw, and cut the fastest. Laughter, thrills and chills guaranteed. Multiple shows daily. Northwest corner of Conservation World behind the IDNR building.


Chris Camp, “The Whip Guy”

Aug. 9-11 and Aug 16-18. 12:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

Be sure to check out Chris Camp, “The Whip Guy” and his show featuring daring, high-energy stunts, history, physics, light-hearted humor, and fun. Perfect for all ages.


Henson Robinson, Scoville and Glenview zoos

Aug. 17: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Rock Climbing Wall

Daily: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Kids can challenge themselves to climb the great rock wall. 

Exhibits and Attractlons

American Chemical Society/Illinois Chapter

Open daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Demonstrations at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Learn and discover science through hands-on activities and demonstrations for all ages. Teachers can earn professional development hours and pick up classroom materials. Educational handouts for adults and activity booklets for kids. Earn a prize by taking a science quiz or playing games. 


Birds, Bugs and Bee-yond!

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Learn to identify various types of birds’ nests, from hummingbirds to bald eagles. Children can get their picture taken in a replica eagle’s nest. Find out what a turkey nest looks like. Explore a display of native and invasive plants. Learn about the monarch butterfly life cycle and their relationship with milkweed. Visit with staff from IDNR’s divisions of Private Lands, Natural Heritage, and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. 


Conservation Police

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit with Illinois conservation police officers. Buy hunting and fishing licenses. Youth can test their shooting skills at the supervised BB gun range inside the tent. Check out a snowmobile and an ATV, and view a display of deer mounts. 


Crane’s Post

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Crane’s Post is known for its eclectic inventory: maps, leather goods, mini figures, wood toys, cutlery, and other items will be for sale. Stop by to see what you can’t live without! 


Dogs That Help
Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit with professional trainers, veterans, volunteers, and other dog lovers who know the immense improvement in quality of life a trained canine can provide.



Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

View Illinois sportfish, such as catfish, muskie and alligator gar, in IDNR’s 2,800-gallon see-through fish aquarium. Learn the history of Illinois commercial fishing and talk with staff from the Illinois Department of Public Health about benefits and risks of eating locally caught fish. Fly-tying demonstrations and learn-to-fly-fish classes throughout the day Aug. 11-13 and Aug. 18-20. Fly-fishing classes just behind the fisheries tent at noon, 1:30, and 3:30. Space is limited; early registration recommended. Kids 10 and younger can try their luck at the fishing pond from 11 a.m. to noon, 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. Sign up at the Fisheries Tent. 



Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Don’t know what kind of tree you have? Bring a leaf to be identified or ask a forester how to manage a forest, plant and trim trees, control forest pests and be a good land steward. Smokey Bear will greet fairgoers at 11:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. daily. Kids’ activities and display of historic chainsaws. 


Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hands-on educational activities and recycling games. 


Illinois State Archaeological Society and Illinois Association for the Advancement of Archaeology

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Illinois State Parks

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stop by the Illinois state parks tent to visit with staff from a variety of parks. Learn about outdoor recreation opportunities available at state parks, such as hiking, caving, rock climbing, horseback riding, camping, canoeing and kayaking, and winter activities. Games and interactive activities. Learn what to take on a hike and how to identify different types of birds. 


Information Tent/National Archery in the Schools Program

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Pick up a guide to Illinois state parks and enter to win a $500 Scheels gift card with the purchase of a deer, turkey, morel, fish, pheasant, or duck collectible lapel pin to help support the National Archery in Schools Program, safety education, and the Illinois Conservation Foundation.



Mines, Minerals, Oil, and Gas

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kid-friendly exhibits provide examples of conventional oil and gas practices. Learn how horizontal wells are drilled and how and where high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing is likely in Illinois. Check out sediment tubes showing how sediment stratifies in formations that hold oil and gas deep below the earth’s surface. Enjoy the rock box and kids’ mineral dig. Learn if your property is undermined by exploring map displays and underground mine models, along with educational displays of past and present mining practices. Learn how minerals are used in and around the home. 


Water Resources

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

IDNR’s Office of Water Resources will have a water table display, information about the Coastal Management Program, interactive activities, posters, and FEMA literature for visitors. Visitors can also explore a variety of engaging and interactive activities related to sustainability and climate action.


Sportsmen Tent and Outdoor News Magazine

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit with representatives from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Friends of NRA, Quail Unlimited, and the Illinois State Rifle Association. Pick up free sample copies of Outdoor News Magazine. 



Threatened and Endangered Species

Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit with staff from IDNR’s Division of Education to learn about Illinois threatened and endangered species. Explore a few highlighted species that are on the list and how they got there. How does a plant or animal get listed? How do they recover? What’s the difference between extinct, endangered, and threatened? Why does it matter? Visitors will find the answers to these questions and more. Activities and information available for people of all ages. 



Daily: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Explore wildlife taxidermy, including full-body mountain lion and gray wolf mounts. View a wildlife culvert trap used to capture large carnivores and exhibits about deer antler growth, deer dental aging, and interactive furbearer identification. Learn about wildlife research and conservation, hunting and trapping harvests, large carnivore sighting information, and more. Children can play the “Guess Where I Live” wildlife habitat match game and the “Wild Illinois History” touchscreen game. IDNR wildlife biologists and other partner organizations – including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Wildlife Services, the Illinois Learn to Hunt Program, and the University of Illinois Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory – will be available to discuss habitat management, hunting and its role in wildlife conservation, and other topics. 

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