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Dinosaur Train schedules stop at Nature Center

Buddy Dinosaur Tiny are shown scene from PBS children's show 'Dinosaur Train.' Buddy will visit with kids from 10 a.m.

Buddy the Dinosaur and Tiny are shown in a scene from the PBS children's show "Dinosaur Train." Buddy will visit with kids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2012, at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center in Chesterton.

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Updated: August 20, 2012 11:42AM



“Get outside, get into nature and make your own discoveries!” is the tagline from, and the idea encouraged by, the popular television show “Dinosaur Train.” Through next weekend, there are several unique opportunities in the area to follow that advice, including a Dinosaur Train event at the Indiana Dunes State Park.

† Dinosaurs and trains are two interests of many preschoolers. The Jim Henson Company and PBS show “Dinosaur Train” takes those interests and combines them with activities that spark science learning. On Thursday, July 26, young fans of the show will get to do nature activities and see Buddy the Dinosaur from the show at the state park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This event is a collaboration between Lakeshore Public Television and the Indiana Dunes State Park. It will be an open house, with activities continuing throughout the day. The activities will include screenings of 30-minute episodes of the show in the auditorium, an animal tracking make-and-take activity, and short, naturalist-led sensory and exploratory nature hikes.

“This will be geared for little kids (ages 3 to 6) who are into the show, and it should really be a lot of fun for them,” said Becky Hughes, a naturalist at the state park.

The Dinosaur Train event will take place at the Nature Center. The event is free after the standard park gate fee of $5 per Indiana-registered vehicle. Indiana Dunes State Park is off of Highway 49, north of Interstate 94 at exit 26 in Chesterton. For more information, call 926-1390.

† The Zoo Snooze at Michigan City’s Washington Park Zoo gives both night owls and early birds a unique experience among the sights and sounds of a zoo after hours. The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28.

“You bring your own tent, sleeping bags and flashlights. We start with a camp-out style dinner, complete with s’mores for dessert, and have a short, laid-back animal presentation. Later, after dark, there’s a flashlight safari through the zoo going all the way up to the top of the tower. Some people get a little spooked out, but I think that everybody who’s done it thinks it’s a neat experience,” according to Julia Dare-Cole, education curator at the zoo.

“In the morning we might hear the tigers sounding off and we’ll probably hear the peacocks making their sounds. This year, McDonald’s will be sponsoring breakfast, and then everyone leaves by 8 a.m.,” said Dare-Cole.

The cost is $75 for the first adult and child, then $20 for each additional person. Discounts are available for zoo members. For more information or to register, call Julia at 873-1510.

† Owls will be the stars of the day Saturday, July 28, as five different species from the Lake Milton Raptor Education Center come to the New Buffalo Performing Arts Center in Michigan.

Bring your camera as there will be opportunities to see a barn owl, a long-earred owl and others up close, while you learn about how and where to spot them in the wild. The program is an educational outreach event for the Chikaming Open Lands, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting undeveloped land in southwest Michigan.

Whooo Are These Owls? Will be presented at noon (CDT) at the New Buffalo Performing Arts Center, 1112 Clay St. Admission is $10, or $5 for children up to age 12. Reservations are suggested; call (269) 469-2330.



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