Kids Day activities include making arrowheads from flint, launching spears with an “atlatl” throwing tool
COLLINSVILLE – May offers plenty of ways to explore history at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, including a day of children’s activities, a nature hike and a bus tour of archaeological sites.
May 7, Native American storyteller
Kevin Locke, a dancer, musician and storyteller, shares the Lakota myths and oral history he learned growing up on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. His free performance, part of the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, takes place at 2 p.m. in the site’s interpretive center.
May 15, Kids Day
Children get to learn about Native American culture and crafts during this free event. Activities include making arrowheads from flint, launching spears with an “atlatl” throwing tool, identifying animal pelts and tracks, and making clay pinch pots. There will also be face-painting, stories, a free photo booth, and performances at 2 and 4 p.m. by the Kahok Dancers.
The fun begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 4 p.m.
May 21, Cahokia Archaeological Society bus tour
The bus tour takes visitors to more than a dozen sites, including Emerald Mound and the Pfeffer Site in Lebanon, Falling Springs and the Boismenue log cabin in Dupo and Sugarloaf Mound in St. Louis. The trip ends with a guided tour of excavations being conducted at Cahokia Mounds by the University of Bologna.
The tour leaves from the historic site’s parking lot at 8 a.m. It wraps up at 3 p.m.
Call (618) 345-6454 to reserve a seat. The cost is $30, and payment must be received by May 18. Checks may be made out to the Cahokia Archaeological Society and mailed to 414 N. Morrison Ave., Collinsville, IL 62234. Include a phone number.
Money raised by the tour helps support Archaeology Day events at Cahokia Mounds.
May 28, Nature Hike
Guides will lead history and nature enthusiasts through the fields, marshes and woods of Cahokia Mounds. An archaeologist and a naturalist will discuss what archaeology has revealed about the site and how Native Americans used numerous plants for food, medicine, dyes and construction material.
The free hike begins at 9:30 a.m. at the site’s Interpretive Center and finishes up about 1 p.m. Participants should wear appropriate walking shoes and clothes and bring insect repellant. The hike will be cancelled if it’s raining at the start time.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is eight miles from St. Louis in Collinsville, off Interstates 55/70 (Exit 6) and Illinois 255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road.
The Interpretive Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and the grounds are open until dusk. There is no admission fee but the suggested donation is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students and $15 for families.
For more information, call (618) 346-5160 or go to cahokiamounds.org.
The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. IHPA protects the state’s historic resources, which contribute to education, culture and the economy. IHPA sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by settlers and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.