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Calendar of Events
For program information or reservations call 574/654-3155.
Use recycled materials to make old-fashioned party favor games like “ball-in-the-hole.” Re-live memories from your childhood, or make new memories with your kids! Young children will need adult help to complete these projects. Registration and payment are required by December 2. (Min. 4; max. 15)
Welcome, home school families! Explore the ways in which mammals are adapted for survival. Discover what makes a mammal a mammal, hunt for mammal signs along the trail, and take part in the Mammal Olympics. Registration is required by December 3.
Calling young birders! Join park staff for a program in conjunction with the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Kids, 3rd-8th grade, are invited to this FREE morning of birding. A count of birds at the feeders will be followed by birding on the trails. Snack and hot cocoa will be provided. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair from the park. Dress for the weather. Space is limited; registration is required by December 18.
Examine mammal pelts and skulls, play a rousing game of “Coyote
and Mouse” and explore the importance of camouflage.
Registration is required by January 7.
Join St. Joseph County Park Staff to learn the basic techniques of cross-country skiing. If snow conditions are poor, the program will be offered on January 25. Registration and payment are required by January 6. (Min. 5; max. 15)
Join local veteran nature photographer Cliff Zenor to explore techniques, tools and tips for improving your nature photographs. Discover how to make successful images of plants, animals and landscapes at parks and preserves within a day’s drive of home. Learn that it’s not about what photo equipment you own, but how well you use it. Discover the importance of light, perspective and patience when taking outdoor photos. Registration and payment are required by January 13. (Min. 10; max. 25) Click here for a printable brochure.
Explore the folklore behind the names given to the moons of winter; then go on a guided moonlit snowshoe walk along the park’s trails. Top off the evening with popcorn and hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire in the Manion Cabin. Registration and payment are required by January 15. (Min. 10; max. 20)
Take advantage of the winter weather and enjoy some time outside! Learn the basics of cross-country skiing and go on a leisurely ski to the Manion Cabin where a warm lunch of chili, cornbread and dessert will be waiting. (If there are poor snow conditions, the cross-country skiing portion of the program will be replaced by a winter birding program and winter bird ID hike.) Registration and payment are required by January 13. (Min. 6; max. 12)
Are you looking for a way to stay active in the winter months? Join park staff and other local seniors to snowshoe the trails of Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park. Enjoy the winter sights and sounds while exercising! Warm up following the walk with coffee and a light snack. Instructions, snowshoes and poles will be provided. In the event of no snow, enjoy a winter walk in the woods. Registration and payment are required by January 15. (Min. 5; max. 12)
Come visit us at Science Alive! Be amazed by the different strategies that wild creatures use to survive the winter. Snow as a blanket? You might be surprised!
Become a deer searching for food, water and shelter; explore hooves, hollow hairs and antlers; and discover how deer populations grow and change. Registration is required by February 4.
St. Joseph County Parks and the Family Passport to Play program want to give your family the chance to enjoy the beauty of our local parks and exercise in a fun way. Join us and the Reducing Obesity Coalition of St. Joseph County for a FREE family fun winter evening of tubing. No snow, no problem. In the event of no snow we will walk the trails on a winter wonderland scavenger hunt followed by a fun “edutainment” activity for families. For more information visit the Healthworks! Happenings calendar and the Family Passport to Play Facebook page.
Grab your braces and bits—it’s time to tap! Volunteers are needed to help tap trees and get the Bendix Woods Sugar Bush ready for making maple syrup! Please bring a hammer and a brace with a 5/16” bit (if available). This activity is outdoors, so dress for the weather. Volunteers should arrive no later than 10am.
Come to the Bendix Woods Sugar Bush to earn your Forester Badge. You will complete all requirements necessary to earn Forester, and visit the famous Bendix Woods Sugar Bush! Tap a tree and visit our Sugar House to see how we make pure, sweet maple syrup right here in our lovely park. Registration is required by February 17. (Min. 5; max. 24)
A sweet blast from the past for all to enjoy! First, learn about the old-fashioned art of making warm, sweet maple syrup. Tap a tree and tour our Sugar House to see how we turn maple sap into maple syrup which is, quite literally, “made in the shade.” Return indoors to enjoy homemade maple syrup milkshakes while you fashion and decorate your own, unique hula-hoop out of maple sap tubing. You will flip for the fun! Registration is required by February 20. Please let us know the height of each person attending so we can prepare your hoop materials! (Min. 7; max. 20)
Celebrate upcoming St. Patrick’s Day by hunting for “gold” coins. Search around the park for some of the Leprechaun’s gold coins, which can be traded in for fun prizes. The hunt will begin at 1 pm with a craft and snack to follow. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required by March 5. (Min. 5; max. 12)
These days we have more stress and spend more time indoors than ever. Just a few minutes outdoors can boost your mood and lower your blood pressure! As part of the BrainWorks Sage-ing Council Emerging Trends Series, Parks Director Evie Kirkwood will share insights on the healthy benefits of spending time with nature. Advance registration is appreciated. To register call 574/647-6628.
Join us in celebration as the end of winter nears! Watch sap cook into syrup, enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast (a New Carlisle Lion’s Club fundraiser), tour the Sugar Bush, purchase homemade baked goods made with pure maple syrup, enjoy family music, and much more! Stay the day!
Give an old shirt a new life, with just a pair of scissors. “Up-cycle” old t-shirts into aprons, tote bags, scarves, and accessories. No sewing necessary! Bring sharp scissors that will cut fabric if you can. Shirts will be provided or bring your own. Registration and payment are required by March 17. (Min. 4; max. 10)
Other Park Programs
Nature Munchkins is designed for parents or grandparents to discover nature with their 3- to 4- year old. The sessions are the third Thursday of every month from 9:30 to 11am at St. Patrick’s County Park. The fee is $5 per adult-child pair and $3 for a second child. Participants may register for four sessions for $16. Advance registration and payment are required. Siblings outside of the age bracket are not allowed to attend. (Min. 5; max. 10)