We recently went to the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University in Lisle and were amazed at all there was to see at this nature center! There are over 3,500 mammals, birds, sea creatures, reptiles, amphibians, insects, skeletons, and more to examine and learn about throughout the museum.
When we arrived, the museum worker offered us a scavenger hunt sheet, clipboard, and crayon. It was a great way to engage my son to start a game to search for certain animals, which lead them around the museum and encouraged exploration. Since it was during a school day, I only brought my four-year old son, who loved finding animals as we moved around the museum. I’d love to go back and bring my older children, as I know they’d like reading about the animals even more.
Guests are welcome to roam the exhibit hall on their own, or receive a guided tour from museum staff. Since my four-year old has a shorter attention span, we chose to wander on our own. While we were there, a homeschool group received a guided tour. I was blown away listening to all the information she was sharing with them.
They ask that you don’t touch the taxidermy, but there are a few areas where kids can touch and play. The learning center in the center has benches with pelts to feel, which is also used during field trips and group outings. In the past, they have also had nature play tables, but these are currently off-display. Most of the specimens are from the World’s Fair in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, passed on by the Field Museum. There are specimens all throughout the exhibit hall, as well as in the hallways of Birck Hall.
Bringing Your Group to Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum
Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum does field trips and guided tours for schools, daycares, homeschoolers, scouts, families, and more! Birch Hall and the museum are fully accessible and free to all. Donations are accepted and greatly appreciated.
Discovery Box Loan Program
Ever need an activity that your kids can do at home? The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum offers discovery boxes that you can check out, similar to the library. The boxes contain specimens, background information, visual aids, curricular guides, and suggested activities. Families as well as teachers and schools are welcome to check them out. There is an extensive list of Discovery Boxes available including Animal Skulls, Insects and Pollinators, Snakes and Turtles, and more.
Directions to the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum
The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is located on the second floor of the Birck Hall of Science at Benedictine University in Lisle. When you drive into the campus, stay to the left and you’ll see a large parking lot. Birck Hall of Science is the building directly behind the map along the parking lot. You can enter through any door and head upstairs where you’ll see signs for the nature museum.
Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
Hours and Admission
Please note that you need to request a reservation online for all guests in advance. Admission is free and donations are kindly accepted.
Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum will be hosting their Wild Wonders: Winter Open House on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 10:00am – 12:00pm. Reserve your spots soon, as they’re filling up! Additional events, such as Nature Tales: Storytime at the Museum, are announced on their Facebook page.
Interested in exploring other nature centers? Check out our Nature Centers article and bring the outdoors inside!