Your browser is not optimized for viewing this website.

More information »

Allerton Park & Retreat Center

Filter by Subcategory

The Farms: An Allerton Folk School

Discovering Earth Magic 4/21


with Candy Reeder

Calendar Apr 21, 2024 at 2 pm

Discovering Earth Magic

Led by: Candy Reeder

Sundays: March 24; April 7, 14, 21



Registration Deadline: March 22, 2024 and each subsequent Friday

Skill level: Beginner

Registration fee: $80/series OR $25/class


Course Description:

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and burned out by the hustle and bustle of life, but once you tune in, you’ll realize that Earth magic is surrounding us and ready to rejuvenate and restore feelings of peace. In this class we’ll cover a different topic each time, from the physical and emotional healing properties of herbs and using them with intention, to making cordage and fabric dye from backyard plants, to easy secrets to nourish Earth through your garden, to the power of meditating with the trees, the moon, the wind, or even the soil! Let’s heal our hearts by connecting and collaborating with Earth.

Class 4: Green Living 
This week we’ll talk about how you can help the environment with some very simple actions that can be incorporated into every day living. Collaborating with Momma Earth is more than just eating vegan and driving an electric vehicle, and can be fulfilling, exciting, and even stylish! Participants will craft their own accessory using repurposed invasive honeysuckle “beads”.


About the Instructor:

In 2018 Candy moved from a busy city to Champaign, where she truly met Nature. She began gardening and wild schooling with her 6 kids, learning about native plants and wildlife, how to both give to and receive from Earth, creating natural remedies from “weeds”, and the power of connecting with Nature to balance stress and sadness. Candy’s business is called Joyfully Blooming because she loves helping people find joy in discovering their authentic, natural self, hidden under the facade of social demands.

Cookie Decorating: May 4


with Jennifer Holhubner

Calendar May 4, 2024 at 12 pm

Cookie Decorating

Led by: Jennifer Holhubner

Saturday, May 4, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm

Mansion Carriage House

Registration Deadline: April 27, 2024

Skill level: All Levels

Age Group: All ages (Children MUST register with a parent)

Registration fee: $65


Course Description:

In this class, students will learn to decorate provided cookies with royal icing. Instructor will demonstrate and explain wet-on-wet technique, outlining, and flooding. Participants will get to take home cookies that they decorate.

This class is being offered as part of Allerton's Bluebell Festival! Enjoy live music and stop by our plant sale and Farms instructor vendor market!


About the Instructor:

Champaign-Urbana native Jennifer Holhubner taught herself how to decorate cakes when she was 16 years old, and took up cookie decorating in 2019.

“Although they intimidated me, I forged on and got better with each order. I still have room to grow as we all do in whatever task we take on,” she said. “But I love to share the aspects of baking and decorating. I can actually now say, I am cookier!”

Full Course

Wet Felted Peony


with Stephanie Block

Calendar May 5, 2024 at 1 pm

Experience Level: Beginner

Combine felting and appreciation for the celebrated Peony Garden at Wet Felted Peony from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5 in the Greenhouse Auditorium. With the help of instructor Stephanie Block, participants will use locally grown alpaca fiber to create a peony that will resemble those growing at the Park. Each peony can be finished as a single stem or as a peony broach. If time permits, students may craft additional peonies to create a lovely bouquet!

$45/person. Register by April 21. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email Olivia Bunting at

About The Instructor

Stephanie Block is the co-owner of Sundrop Alpacas near Bement, where she focuses on creating unique handmade items from alpaca fiber. Through the alpaca farm she collaborates with other local farms to share knowledge, resources and how to enjoy rural life.

Will run

Public Mansion Tour 5/5


with Tour Guide

Calendar May 5, 2024 at 2 pm

Have you ever wandered around Allerton Park and wondered what the inside of the historic mansion looks like?  Would you like to hear more about the unique history of Robert Allerton and the creation of his estate?  Register for one of our Public Mansion Tours held each month!

Mansion tours start at 2pm and begin in the Gallery of the Mansion.  Tours typically last between 45 and 60 minutes.

$10/person, ages 5 and under are free

Space is limited and tours typically sell out.

(NOTE: If tickets are sold out and you need additional children’s tickets, email Sarah Putman at

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email Sarah Putman at

Full Course

Flower Arranging Workshop


with Maggie Taylor

Calendar May 7, 2024 at 6 pm

Flower Arranging Worshop

Led by: Maggie Taylor, Delight Flower Farm LLC

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

6:00 - 7:30 pm

Mansion Dining Room

Registration Deadline: April 30, 2024

Skill level: Beginner

Registration fee: $70/person


Course Description

Delight Flower Farm welcomes you to Allerton to learn how to arrange flowers like a pro. Gather with friends & friendly folks to learn about a variety of spring flowers and the bouquet-making elements, including tulips, ranunculus, snap dragons and more. Participants will get to play with fresh cut flowers grown on Delight Flower Farm. Vases are included so participants can design their own bouquet to take home or gift to someone.

About the Instructor

Maggie Taylor, DFF farm owner has been farming flowers and leading workshops since 2011. Trained as an artist, she loves turning natural materials into objects of joy, and empowering others to do it too. Depending on the time of year she may be teaching about fresh flowers or winter evergreen wreaths. Maggie's teaching style is accessible, informative, encouraging and often humorous! Other capable farm crew members assist in teaching large groups.

Weaving Lace


with Sharon Bowles

Calendar May 11, 2024 at 9 am

Experience Level: Must have completed Weaving I and II

Join other experienced weavers at Weaving Lace from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 in the Greenhouse Auditorium. This one-day session is designed for students who completed Beginning Weaving I and II who have their own looms*. Participants should come with their looms threaded from the pattern sent by the instructor for Huck Lace, Atwater Bronson Lace or Swedish Lace with a variety of fibers they have on hand.

At this class, instructor Sharon Bowles will help participants make a sampler of a variety of treadlings that will be woven into various patterns.

$120/person. Register by May 4. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email Olivia Bunting at

*Special arrangements may be made with the instructor to rent or use a loom and purchase fiber so the loom can be ready to weave on.

About the instructor

Sharon Bowles has been weaving for 33 years and has taught beginning weaving for almost 32 years. She was taught to weave in a one-on-one class and wove two table runners in 12 (approximately) 2-hour lessons, and she teaches the same method when she teaches. Sharon has experience in weaving with silk, lace weaving, 8-shaft pattern weaving, parallel weaving, block weaves, and Shaker reproduction towels.

Payment plan available: $75 deposit plus 1 payment of $45.00, paid monthly.

The Magic of Light and Cyanotype Photography


with Crystal Hartman

Calendar May 18, 2024 at 10 am

Experience Level: Beginner

Learn about cyanotype, one of the oldest known photo processes, at The Magic of Light and Cyanotype Photography from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 18 in the Greenhouse Auditorium. Originally used to document botanical specimens, cyanotypes are made by treating a surface – paper or cloth – with iron salts which then react to ultraviolet light.

Prior to the workshop, paper will be pre-coated with the cyanotype chemistry so it will be dry and ready to go. Participants will them be guided through a fun, straightforward process of creating beautiful prints while receiving a bit of history from instructor Crystal Hartman on the process and the magic of light. You will practice observing nature and create compositions inspired by what is seen.

Those taking part will create several prints and experiment with various timings and placements as they experience camera-less photography and the joy of recording the beauty of nature.

$40/person. Register by May 11. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email

About the instructor

Crystal Hartman is an artist and jewelry designer whose work explores interconnectivity through lines and layers. Utilizing traditional and experimental practices in metalsmithing, drawing and artists books, she explores possibilities of harmonious living to advocate for the natural world.

Hartman shows her work in galleries and public art spaces across the United States and abroad. As an artist-in-residence at Delight Flower Farm in Champaign, she developed a series of cyanotypes celebrating the native plants and flowers of Eastern Illinois. She works on ecological principles through local land-based sources and through community.

Foraging Walk


with Michael Baker

Calendar May 18, 2024 at 3 pm

Former Allerton In-Residence naturalist Michael Baker will return to the Park to conduct a Foraging Walk from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18. The meeting place will be announced later.

Baker, a professional forager, will give demonstrations of the current uses of edible plants and mushrooms during the walk. Participants will be introduced to a variety of wild edible plants and mushrooms and be instructed on which plants to avoid.

$25/person (all ages). Register here by May 15. All sales are final.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate, please email Olivia Bunting at

About the instructor

Michael Baker is a professional foraging educator and podcaster in the Chicago suburbs. His show, the Wild Edible World podcast, seeks to educate anyone who will listen on edible plants and fungi, what they taste like, and where you can find them. He is also a co-founder of Remnant Roots non-profit which seeks to adopt vacant lots and turn them into native plant sanctuaries.

About The Farms

The Farms: An Allerton Folk School, offers classes, workshops, and gatherings focusing on art, wellness, outdoor education, storytelling, and science. All experiences value hands-on, experiential teaching and learning, and are facilitated by and for the members of the community.

Forgot password?
Staff Log In