Heller is a Special Place for Your Special Day

March 2, 2023

One of the most beautiful places to hold your next special event is close to home, yet a world away. The Prairie Room, at Heller Nature Center, looks out over a 97-acre landscape of a beautiful oak-hickory forest and local wildlife. It offers a peaceful, serene space that’s perfect for birthday parties, reunions, bar mitzvahs, and weddings. Off-site corporate roundtables, monthly club gatherings, workshops, seminars, and presentations are popular here in this secluded atmosphere, where taking a break from the action includes a refreshing walk in the woods on three miles of trails—something a hotel conference room just can’t match.

The Prairie Room is one of the larger venues available in the area, able to accommodate up to 100 people. Tables and chairs can be set up in a wide variety of configurations, audiovisual equipment is available at no extra charge, and use of the kitchen is included. Rental applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The unique setting of the Nature Center has made it the go-to place for residents and businesses in and around Highland Park for many years. “You won’t find a place like Heller in most of our neighboring towns,” said Debbie Pierce, District Wide Rental Manager, “and that makes it especially attractive to people who want to host a one-of-a-kind event.”

In addition to the Prairie Room, Heller Nature Center has another enticing feature for groups of up to 25 people: The Fire Ring. It’s outdoors (of course) and is perfect for campfire fun in spring, summer, and fall. Wood and a lighter are provided, along with a water tank. Cooking over the fire is not allowed, but roasting marshmallows is encouraged! Scout troops love it. Girls’ Night Out is unlike any other. Family reunions around a fire get even warmer and more memorable. The Fire Ring is available as a separate rental, or as an extra-special add-on to any Prairie Room rental.

Guests can also enjoy our self-guided StoryTrail and WanderWoods free play natural area designed to nurture a child’s sense of wonder and discovery. Nestled in the trees and solitude, children can climb a tree house, create in a mud kitchen, experiment with ramps and much more. Let the creativity and messiness begin. 

Want to add a little adventure to your private event? Our one-of-a-kind Teams Course is made up of a series of thought-provoking ground-level puzzles, challenges and obstacles, each one having a specific set of tasks and an end goal that can only be accomplished by all members working as a cohesive group. Throughout the program our experienced facilitators lead group discussions on the insights and skills learned to help the team progress further along the course and integrate new ideas into their daily lives all in a safe and private environment.

Our friendly staff is ready, willing, able, and happy to assist with coordinating your event, any day of the week. To reserve a date for your next very special celebration or meeting, contact Debbie Pierce at 847.579.4047 or email [email protected].  For more information about our teams course, contact Mark Bryant at [email protected], 847.579.4184.

Go Green

Heller Nature Center and the Park District of Highland Park support green initiatives and encourage our renters to consider ways in which to make their events more sustainable! If you are looking for ideas, download our list of Sustainable Events Suggestions.