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Unwind at Dunes winter open house

Visitors previous Dunes Learning Center winter open house learn identify trees after their leaves have fallen. | Phoprovided

Visitors to a previous Dunes Learning Center winter open house learn to identify trees after their leaves have fallen. | Photo provided

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At a glance

◆ Dunes Learning Center
winter open house

◆ 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 16

◆ 700 Howe Road, Chesterton

◆ For more information, call
395-9555 or visit www
duneslearningcenter.org.

Updated: January 14, 2013 7:18AM



This can be a hectic time of year. For a nice change of pace, spend some time outdoors in nature at the Dunes Learning Center winter open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.

You can leave your credit card and the crowds behind, and enjoy free activities for all ages including hikes in the woods, nature-inspired crafts, winter survival skills sessions, plus live music and hot chocolate by a fire inside the lodge.

“We’re not generally open to the public at this time of year, so this is a rare opportunity for the public to see our facility in the winter,” said Sandi Weindling of the center.

Weindling explained that the Learning Center generally serves school groups for two- and three-day programs in addition to offering a variety of summer camps and educator programs. The center has had an open house in the spring, but this is their first public winter event.

“The naturalist interns who serve in the school programs are taking their individual interests and special skills and parts of the school year program and putting that all together in this program as part of an effort to serve more people in the community in different ways,” Weindling said. “After all, why should fourth-graders have all the fun?”

Cross-country skiing will be offered (weather permitting), while inside the lodge there will be refreshments and music by members of the Save the Tunes Council.

Guided hikes will be offered at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Each 30-minute hike will have a different focus, including: looking for evidence of small mammals and their habitats; learning ways to identify trees after their leaves are gone; and discovering a surprising variety of colors in the winter woods.

Winter survival skill sessions will be offered at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Learn how to make a fire, build a shelter and more.

The site of the Dunes Learning Center has long been a place to learn about the outdoors.

“U.S. Steel built Camp Good Fellow here to provide children of steel workers with a place to experience nature. For folks who recall Camp Good Fellow or who might have attended the camp, the open house is a great way to get reacquainted with the site and to see what’s there now,” Weindling said.



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