A statue of the character Flick from the movie "A Christmas Story" welcomes visitors to the South Shore Convenction and Visitors Authority's Indiana Welcome Center and the movie-associated activities throughout the holiday season. | Post-Tribune photo
Updated: December 30, 2013 11:19AM
Happy Thanksgiving. If your family is looking beyond football and shopping for family activities while gathered together, today and throughout the weekend, there are a variety of fun, even magical options.
† International Friendship Gardens in Michigan City is hosting its annual Turkey Walk and Native American Celebration today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regardless of the weather, people flock to this event to hike on over two miles of trails, “hunt” for turkeys and learn about Native American culture.
Visitors should keep their eyes peeled for three types of turkey while at the gardens.
Paper turkeys will be covertly placed among the trees and fallen leaves along a trail. Visitors are encouraged to hunt for these as they hike, and count how many they see. Wild turkeys will be harder to see, but they sometimes cross through the woods and open areas of the grounds. The caged turkeys from a local farm will be easy to spot and are a popular part of the day’s activities.
Other activities include Native American displays and cooking over an open fire. Refreshments will be available.
International Friendship Gardens is located at 2055 U.S. Highway 12, about 1 1/2 miles east of downtown Michigan City and the Blue Chip Casino. Admission to the Turkey Walk is free, and donations of canned and packaged dog and cat food for local animal shelters are appreciated.
† A magical evening is planned for tomorrow at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Mich. Four magicians will each perform close-up magic sets for small groups of audience members beginning at 7 p.m. CST.
Magicians Sean Masterson; Tomas Medina, known for comic “geek magic;” Joe Diamond, who specializes in spooky, paranormal magic; and Benjamin Barnes will all perform just feet away from their audiences, making their sleight of hand tricks especially impressive.
Tickets are $30 and can be reserved online at www.acorntheater.com or by calling (269) 756-3879. Acorn Theater is at 107 Generations Drive, off of Elm Street behind the post office, in Three Oaks, Mich.
† Saturday’s Major Event at the Indiana Welcome Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will kick off a series of special events in conjunction with the annual exhibit “A Christmas Story” Comes Home.
The Major Event will include showings at 1 and 3 p.m. of “A Christmas Story,” the classic holiday film based on the nostalgic and humorous writings of hometown Hammond author, Jean Shepherd. Craft projects, bingo, a scavenger hunt and more are part of this event.
Come back on Saturday, Dec. 7 starting at 10 a.m. to enter “Mommies Little Piggy,” a mashed potato eating contest for all ages based on scene from the film, and at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 to enter the “Oh Fuuudge! Relay Race for children ages 4 through 12. The entry fee for these events is a canned good to be donated to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.
There will also be a meet-and-greet and autograph session with the actors who portrayed some of the Hohman, Ind. kids in the film, including little brother Randy Parker; Flick, whose tongue got stuck on the flag pole; and bullies Scut Farkus and Grover Dill. Tickets are $20 for this event on the evening of December 6, and can be purchased at the Indiana Welcome Center gift shop.
You can also view the delightful movie-themed store window displays and see the Ugly Lamp Contest entries and more through January 5. Details can be found online at www.southshorecva.com.
The Indiana Welcome Center is at 7770 Corinne Drive, just off of the south Kennedy Avenue exit from Interstate 94.
† If Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” has captured the imagination of a little dancer in your life, then you’ll want to be at the Chicago Cultural Center on Sunday for the Dance-Along Nutcracker, an event with live music, professional dancers and lots of little ballerinas.
Basic ballet movements and positions will be taught in sessions at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Then the action moves to the beautiful Preston Bradley Hall at noon and 3 p.m. where the little ballerinas dance along with professionals from Ballet Chicago to the classic Nutcracker score performed by the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band.
The Chicago Cultural Center is at 78 E. Washington, just above the last stop for the South Shore train. Admission is free.