Those longing for the excitement of a summer campout should look no further than Hickory Knolls Discovery Center's Night at the Museum program! This unique event brings the adventure and fun of the outdoors to the warmth and comfort of the indoors. Participants will be treated to a night of nature-related discovery, exploration and good old-fashioned fun.

Campers may set up their own tents and sleeping bags in and around the exhibit area surrounded by Hickory Knolls’ resident reptiles. Everyone will enjoy nature-related activities, a movie with popcorn, and visits with Peter Rabbit, Kevin the cornsnake, Billy the bullsnake, the Tarantula Twins, the Madagascar hissing cockroaches and many more. The “camp in” allows participants to learn about animals, both common and rare, that live here in St. Charles. Knolls staff will educate participants on the importance of keeping wild animals wild, and maintaining pet animals as pets.

“Many families are familiar with the Movie Night at the Museum program, where exhibits come to life,” said Pam Otto, manager of nature programs and interpretive services. “We take that idea one step further and make our live-animal exhibits the main attraction, letting each person interact with them one on one. We’ve also planned a lights-out, indoor flashlight hike and a survival-strategy game where families can compete for the chance to sleep that night in the Hickory Knolls wigwam.” Evening snacks and a rise-and-shine continental breakfast are included in the fun.

Night at the Museum takes place on the evening of March 1 to the morning of March 2 and is open to all ages. Advance registration is required and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The fee per household is $35 for residents and $52.50 for non-residents. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center is located at 3795 Campton Hills Road in the James O. Breen Community Park. For more information, visit or call 630-513-4399.