Calendar of Events

For Outdoor Fun, check out these workshops, nature programs, family activities and more!
For information or to register for events, phone 574-654-3155 or email
All programs have a minimum and maximum registration number; register early!
  1. Thu Oct. 19

    Nature Munchkins - Bats Fee: $5/pair per session. $3 for second child or $16 for whole series. Nature Munchkins is designed for parents, grandparents to discover nature with their 3 to 4 year old. Classes are hands-on and consist of nature walks, stories and crafts. Siblings outside of the age bracket are not allowed to attend this program. Registration and payment are required by Oct. 12.
  2. Thu Oct. 19

    HallowLantern Hayride Halloween is just around the corner, and the time is ripe for carving pumpkins! Join us for a hayride into the woods where families can carve a Jack-O'-Lantern. Learn the spooky origins of this Halloween craft as you carve and enjoy a campfire treat. One pumpkin per family. Registration and payment are required by October 16. (Min 5 families; max 10)
  3. Sat Oct. 21

    Portraits in the Park The colors are changing and it is the perfect season to capture photos of your family! Professional photographer Dale Strombeck will offer "Portraits in the Park." Receive a 20-minute photo shoot, one 8 X 10 portrait and access to the portrait to share. Additional photos can be purchased. Rain date scheduled for October 22. Registration and payment required by Oct. 17.
  4. Sun Oct. 22

    Nature Journaling Learn the basics of starting your own nature journal. Nature journaling can be a fun family activity or a calming time alone in nature. No prior experience or drawing talent necessary. Put down the electronics and join us to see what's happening outdoors. Participants will make and decorate a journal to take home. (Min. 4; Max 15)
  5. Sun Oct. 22

    5th Annual ND-LEEF Science Sunday Come learn about the current research at the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF). From aquatic studies, stream flow and eDNA, to groundwater protection, you can chat with scientist who are exploring questions related to these topics. Hand-on exhibits for kids, too! Complimentary light refreshments will be provided.
  6. Wed Oct. 25

    Fall Home School Program: The Case of the Broken Shell Welcome, home school families! Feel the clues inside our mystery boxes to determine what animal group the shell-breaker belongs to! Use binoculars and compare animal silhouettes to gather more information about the suspects. Registration is required by October 23.
  1. Fri Oct. 27

    50 Years of Nature Preserves The IDNR Division of Nature Preserves is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Come learn what makes the Nature Preserves at Bendix Woods County Park and Spicer Lake Nature Preserve so unique. Program will begin at Bendix Woods with a hike through the preserve. Participants will then be shuttled by van to Spicer Lake, where a light lunch will be served. Program will end with a hike through the preserve at Spicer Lake and then participants will be returned to their cars at Bendix Woods. Reg...
  2. Fri Nov. 3

    Family Passport to Play: S'more Fun Enjoy this colorful time of year with a tractor-drawn hayride. A campfire, s'mores and hot cocoa await you after the brisk ride. For more information on this partnered event visit the Family Passport to Play page on Facebook. Meet at the VanParis Shelter.
  3. Sun Nov. 5

    Tail Waggin' Hayride Bring your dog for a tractor-drawn hayride through the crisp autumn air. Light refreshments for dogs and owners are available for purchase. Pet related donations aid Pets Connect! Pets must be on a 6-foot leash. Pet costumes welcome. Meet at the Runnels.
  4. Sat Nov. 11

    PHOTOGRAPHING NATURE: Principles and Practices to Improve Your Skills Instructor: Cliff Zenor Discover the best techniques for making better photographs in the outdoors. Explore the principles for photographing landscapes, wildlife and closeups in natural light with DSLR cameras. And examine the special equipment and techniques for making successful images in far-off locations or close to home. This day-long seminar includes slide shows, demonstrations, class notes and plenty of time for questions and answers. Bring your equipment, if you'd like to experiment wi...
  5. Sat Nov. 11

    Geocache Chili Dump Bring some chili for the lunch pot and learn how to use your smart phone on a high-tech "treasure hunt" to find caches at Ferrettie-Baugo Creek County Park! Bowls, spoons, fixin's and drinks provided. Registration and payment required by Nov. 8. (Min. 6; Max 12)
  6. Tue Nov. 14

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