Special Events


38th Annual Photo Contest

Entry Deadline: Friday, January 12


Photo Reception: January 20 • 10 a.m. • Elkhart County Historical Museum
Photo Exhibition: January 2026 • 9 a.m.5 p.m. • Elkhart County Historical Museum

»Event Brochure (pdf)

See the Elkhart County Parks captured through the lens at our 38th Annual Photo Contest Exhibition. Photo entries from this year's contest will be on display at the Elkhart County Historical Museum. Categories include: A Colorful World, Nature of the Photo, and Activities in the Park.

Cost: Free
Age: All

Location: Elkhart County Historical Museum


Wine Cork Birdhouse Workshop

Saturday, December 9 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

» Facebook Event

Learn how to create a beautiful birdhouse made entirely from recycled wine corks. These unique birdhouses are fully-usable, and make for great gifts. The 2-hour workshop will provide step-by-step instruction on building a cork birdhouse with all supplies provided.

Date: Saturday, December 9
Time: 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Cost: $30/person (Limit 10) (Pre-registration required)

Age: 13–Adult
Pre-register by: Friday, December 1 by 4 pm
Call: 574-535-6458

Location: Baldwin One Room Schoolhouse, Bonneyville Mill County Park. Directions here.


Family Nature Fun Day: ANIMAL TRACKS

Saturday, December 16 10 a.m-12 p.m

» Facebook Event

Join a Park Naturalist to discover the exciting world of animal tracks. This fun family program includes a nature story and sing-a-long, making track ID books, and a short adventure hike in seeking out animal tracks. Activities are geared toward families with kids ages 6 and up. This entire program will be outdoors, so please dress for the weather.

Date: Saturday, December 16
Time: 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Cost: $10/family (Limit 12 Families) (Pre-registration required)
Age: All

Pre-register by: Wednesday, December 13 by 4 pm
Call: 574-535-6458

Location: Cobus Creek County Park


Nature Sketching Studio

Saturday, December 16 1-4 p.m

» Facebook Event

Learn the art of nature sketching. Artists of all experience levels are invited to come learn techniques using different art styles, practice sketching landscapes and found objects, and find their own creative approach in illustrating the natural world. All art supplies will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring a sketchbook to the class.

Date: Saturday, December 16
Time: 1–4 p.m.

Cost: $15/person (Limit 15) (Pre-registration required)
Age: 13–Adult

Pre-register by: Wednesday, December 13 by 4 pm
Call: 574-535-6458

Location: Baldwin One Room Schoolhouse, Bonneyville Mill County Park. Directions here.


Weekly Programs

Wednesday Bird Walks

Meets every first and third Wednesday at 8 a.m., Runs Year-round

» 2017 Dates & Locations (pdf)

Join experienced bird guides on an informative walk in the park in search of resident and migratory species found in our area. The program offers information on proper identification, tips on how to spot birds and recognize them by ear, and the chance to find rare or unusual species found within the Elkhart County Parks. Every walk offers something different, so grab your hiking boots and binoculars and come discover the fascinating lives of birds!

In addition to the Wednesday Bird Walks, be sure to check the Currents magazine and our Facebook Events for info on special weekend walks and bird workshops.

Date: Meets the first and third Wednesday of every month
Time: 8–10 a.m.*

Cost: Free

Age: All (Participants 18 & under must be accompanied by an adult)

*Please note that walks leave promptly at 8 a.m., so please plan travel time accordingly.


View upcoming dates

Mommy Stroller Meetup

Meets weekly on Monday 9-11 a.m., Runs JulySeptember (2018 Dates TBA)

Moms, lace up your tennies, brake out the stroller and join the new Mommy Stroller Meetup group at Ox Bow County Park! This casual walking group gives moms and caregivers a chance to connect, form new friendships, and enjoy some time outdoors in a stroll through the park. The walk route follows a paved bike trail, with a couple playground stops along the way to give the kids some time to play. Meetups are every Monday from July through September. The walks are free and open to all moms and caregivers with children ages 5 and under. All fitness levels are welcome!

Meetup Dates: TBA
Time: 9–11 a.m.

Age: Caregivers with children ages 5 & under

Cost: Free (pre-registration required for new attendees)

To Pre-register: If you have not yet attended a Meetup, please pre-register by the Friday before the Meetup by 4 pm. Call (574) 535-6458 to sign up.
Location: Concessions, Ox Bow County Park


Hiking Club

Meets third Thursday of every month, Runs March–October

»2017 Dates & Locations (Word Doc)

Offered on the third Thursday of every month March through October, the Hiking Club offers the opportunity to meet new people, reach health goals, and explore the diverse terrain and trails found throughout the Elkhart County Parks. All hikes are free and all ages are welcome (participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult).

Date: Meets the third Thursday of every month

Cost: Free (Pre-registration required)

Age: All (those 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult)

To Pre-register, please call: (574) 535-6458


People of Elkhart

Meets the first Saturday of every month

» Upcoming Facebook Events

We often focus on the historic events of Elkhart County, but forget about the people that influenced these moments in time. The People of Elkhart brings these notable individuals into the spotlight, sharing stories on their lives and how their actions helped to shape the county.

Date: Meets the first Saturday of every month

Cost: Free

Age: All

Location: Elkhart County Historical Museum


Volunteer Work Days

»2017 Dates & Projects (pdf)

Get involved with and help support your Elkhart County Parks by becoming a volunteer. Projects range from gardening to painting and will take place at different park locations. All skill levels and ages are welcome (participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult). Pre-registration is required.

Cost: Free (Pre-registration required)

Age: All (under 16, must be accompanied by an adult)

To Pre-register, please call: (574) 535-6458


Historical Museum: Exploring Elkhart's First 20,000 Years

Featured Exhibit

» Exhibit Page

Find out what was living in Elkhart County before humans lived here. See a 23,000 year old mammoth tusk found in Middlebury. Learn about the first people who entered this area around 12,000 years ago, and see how their cultures and civilizations evolved over time. Discover how life changed for these people, known today as Native Americans, when they encountered Europeans.


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