A fest featuring fur trader themed activities, falcons, a food truck, a turtle exhibit and live reptile presentations is coming to the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Isle a la Cache Museum.
“Island Rendezvous” will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Romeoville museum and adjacent 101-acre Isle a la Cache preserve. While the fest is in its 36th year, it has been updated for today’s families.
The event connects the region’s 18th-century French fur trade era with modern-day nature offerings at the site. For instance, attendees can test their skills as fur traders and try firing a bow and arrow (with a safety arrow). They also can meet a falconer, enjoy a petting zoo, and visit the Blanding’s turtles exhibit inside the museum to learn more about efforts to save this endangered species.
Willowbrook Wildlife Center, a Glen Ellyn-based wildlife rehabilitation center, will be on hand to offer reptile presentations. Tickets are required to enter due to capacity limits. Free tickets will be available during the event on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Families enjoy this event because there is so much to do, so much to try,” said Chris Gutmann, the museum’s facility supervisor. “It’s meant to be a celebration of the broad diversity of programs that we offer the public, be it cultural or natural history.”
Rendezvous-goers also can get their first look at Isle a la Cache preserve’s pollinator garden, which was recently installed at the site’s former amphitheater area. Native species were planted that will support monarch butterflies and other pollinators for years to come.
Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in Native culture, as well, by conversing with Redhawk, a Native American speaker who represents the Potawatomi and Ojibwe nations. And if someone needs to take a break from the outdoors, they can visit the air-conditioned museum and try on 1700s-era hats from the newly enhanced hat shop exhibit.
“The layout of the event, coupled with the museum, makes it a very visitor-friendly experience,” Gutmann said.
Mario’s Cart food truck will roll into the Rendezvous to offer fuel for fest participants who work up an appetite traveling back in time and interacting with falcons, reptiles and turtles.
Registration is not required for this free, all-ages event. Isle a la Cache Museum is located at 501 E. Romeo Road (135th Street). For more information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.