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Events

Family fun days, festivals, nature walks and so much more!

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January 1

Wednesday Bird Walk: First Day Hike

January 1 at 8:00 AM

More info Cost: Free Ages: 8+
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Wednesday Bird Walk: First Day Hike

January 1 at 8:00 AM

Get outdoors for your New Year’s Resolution and experience something new! Join us on a Wednesday Bird Walk as we kick off the new year with a “First Day Hike.” From tiny hummingbird-sized Golden-crowned Kinglets to swooping Barred Owls, see some of our county’s spectacular birds. After the hike, we’ll warm up around the hearth with hot drinks, snacks, and shared stories of our adventure. Plan to bring hiking shoes and dress for the weather. The group will head out at 8 a.m., so please plan travel time accordingly.

January 1

First Day Family Hike

January 1 at 12:00 PM

More info Cost: Free Ages: All
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First Day Family Hike

January 1 at 12:00 PM

Start the new year with your family and friends on a stroll through Boot Lake Nature Preserve. Hikers will learn about the preserve’s history, what improvements have been made recently and many of the ways to enjoy this beautiful property in every season. A few natural highlights will be the unique lake feature found on the property, what animals are active there in winter and a bit about their winter survival strategies. The entire program will be outdoors – please dress for the weather.

January 4

Christmas Bird Count

Register By January 3
Location Throughout Elkhart County
More info Cost: Free Ages: All
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Christmas Bird Count

Ever wanted to be a scientist for a day? Interested in birdwatching? Perfect! Join the Elkhart County Christmas Bird Count, part of a nationwide Audubon event centered on the beauty and conservation of birds. During the count, volunteer teams tally all the birds seen and heard in their assigned area to help provide a one-day snapshot of bird populations across the county. Counters can join a team in the field or count from the comfort of home. Participants can choose to gather data all day or as little as one hour. Come be a part of this annual event!

How to Participate: Call 574-535-6458, or email rdecaire@elkhartcounty.com

January 7

Nature Nuts: Animal Tracks

January 7 at 9:30 AM

Register By January 4
Location Ox Bow  >  Ox Bow Haus Shelter
More info Cost: $4/child (Limit 12) Ages: 3–5
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Nature Nuts: Animal Tracks

January 7 at 9:30 AM

Preschoolers are invited to investigate clues left behind by an animal, such as tracks and scat. We will learn through stories, games, and a hike into the woods. All participants will make a track ID book to take home.

January 11

Breakfast with the Birds

January 11 at 9:00 AM

Location Ox Bow  >  Ox Bow Haus Shelter
More info Cost: Free Ages: All
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Breakfast with the Birds

January 11 at 9:00 AM

Have a breakfast treat in the comfort of the Ox Bow warming house while watching overwintering birds at our well-stocked feeders. An interpretive naturalist will identify birds as they visit the feeders and share facts about our feathered friends. We’ll have coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts to enjoy.

January 16

Stories of Elkhart: Myths and Legends

January 16 at 7:00 PM

More info Cost: Free Ages: All
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Stories of Elkhart: Myths and Legends

January 16 at 7:00 PM

Is it true? Is it false? The study of history is full of stories that have been accepted as fact but may be more complicated than we believe. This program will explore some of the biggest myths and legends in the history of our communities, and we’ll reveal if these stories are real, fake, or somewhere in-between.

January 17

Winter Astronomy

January 17 at 9:00 PM

Register By January 16
Location Ox Bow  >  Ox Bow Haus Shelter
More info Cost: $4/person (Limit 20) Ages: All
Learn more Register now

Winter Astronomy

January 17 at 9:00 PM

Have fun learning about the exciting world of astronomy including the Greek and Roman mythological origins of the constellations. Weather permitting, there will also be viewing of the night sky through a Dobsonian reflector telescope. All participants will make and take a star chart, which can be used any time of year. Refreshments will also be provided.

January 18

Winter Tree ID

January 18 at 2:00 PM

Register By January 15
More info Cost: Free (Limit 20) Ages: 12+
Learn more Register now

Winter Tree ID

January 18 at 2:00 PM

Join Bill Minter, Director of Land Management at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, as he walks participants through steps in identifying local tree species in winter. The workshop will include information about different species, identification tips & tricks, and a short hike.

January 24

Museum Matinee: CG Conn

January 24 at 11:00 AM

More info Cost: Free Ages: All
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Museum Matinee: CG Conn

January 24 at 11:00 AM

Can’t attend our museum programs in the evening? Now you can enjoy programs right before lunch! This first program will feature the life of CG Conn. Learn about his major accomplishments, which include the growth of his band instrument factory – the first major industry in Elkhart.

January 25

Beginning Beekeeping

January 25 at 9:00 AM

Register By January 20
More info Cost: $55/person (Limit 15) Ages: 12+
Learn more Register now

Beginning Beekeeping

January 25 at 9:00 AM

Steve Lesniak of Peace Bees, LLC has partnered with Elkhart County Parks to offer a special Beginning Beekeeping course. What is normally three sessions will bee combined into one highly educational day! This program is aligned with the traditional beekeeping calendar, so upon completion of the course participants will have the time and know-how to begin beekeeping for the coming season. Participants will leave with expert guidance, handouts, and a copy of The New Starting Right With Bees. Lunch included.

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