Valparaiso Parks Department offers many activities this month. Call (219) 462-5144, visit www.valpoparks.org or visit the parks office at 3210 N. Campbell St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Youth Baseball Leagues
The Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball leagues with the Valpo Parks give the community several league options for youth ages 7 through 15. Valpo Parks strives to maintain a balance between teaching progressive baseball skills, sportsmanship, and healthy competition.
The Rookie League of Cal Ripken baseball is for 7- and 8-year-olds. The 10-game schedule includes weeknight games at 6 p.m. and Saturday games plus an end of season single-elimination tournament. New this year is the pitching aspect; players start with a pitching machine and transition to player pitch by the end of the season. Games are at Westside Park. Price is $60/$72. Register by May 10.
The Cal Ripken Minor league is designed for ages 9-10, and the Cal Ripken Majors league for ages 11-12 programs. Majors and Minors compete against other teams in the Porter County Youth League. Home games are played at Westside or Kirchhoff parks. Price is $70/$82, and registration must be completed by today. Evaluation day will be in mid March.
Babe Ruth baseball is for ages 13-15 as of April 30. The regular season games will begin at the end of April through June. Games will be played weekday evenings and Saturdays. Price is $110/$122, and registration must be completed by today.
The age for each league’s participation is the age of the youth as of April 30, 2013.
Youth Soccer Programs
From age 12 on down to age 3, there is a soccer choice for all kids. Register for Spring Coed, Kick-start, and Back to School soccer choices. The seasons start in April, June and August but all registration is now available. Prices are $45/$57 for Spring and BTS soccer, and $30/$42 for Kick-start soccer. Teams fill quickly so early registration assures a spot for your youth. All games are played at Westside Park.
Classes at the Valpo Parks’ Discovery Cottage get kids ready; ready for kindergarten, ready to study, ready for friendships. Several new options are available for 3- to 5-year-olds. Children can be enrolled in classes according to the day of the week, or by theme.
Adult Sports Leagues
Softball rosters for the adult men’s and women’s leagues are available. All games are played at Fairgrounds Park fields. Roster deadline is March 27. Price is $590 per team plus any nonresident fees.
Adult soccer league rosters are also available with the deadline of April 17. Price is $725 per team plus any nonresident fees. Individuals are able to sign up and be placed on a team for $75/$87.
Porter County parks
Porter County parks officials offer a variety of activities for all ages. Call (219) 465-3586.
This free year-round club is led by experienced trail runners. The group meets from 8 to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Sunset Hill Farm and generally runs about five miles.
Bring your pet on a leash for a walk on the trails at Sunset Hill Farm County Park with fellow dog lovers. This program is free and open to the public, and takes place at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday until May 30. Jenna Martin, a registered nurse, will lead the group and offer health tips along the way.
Acrylic painting lessons
All skill levels are welcome to attend this adult art class under the guidance of an experienced instructor on the first Monday of each month at the South Haven Public Library, 403 W. 700 North. The cost of the program is $10 and a painting surface will be provided.
This youth painting class is for all skill levels, focusing on painting expressions. It will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month at the Sunset Hill Farm Program Center. The cost is $8 and supplies are included in the fee.
Acrylic Painting Lessons in Hebron
All skill levels are welcome to attend this adult art class under the guidance of an experienced instructor from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at the Hebron Community Center, 611 N. Main St. The cost of the program is $8 and a painting surface will be provided.
Feeding Time at the Farm
This free program is offered 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays and allows children to come to Sunset Hills Farm to meet the goats, chickens and pony and help them get ready for their day.
Women’s Walk Club
Join group leader Jenna Martin, a registered nurse, for a walk along the trails from 8 to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Sunset Hill Farm.
Open Art Studio with Acrylics
All skill levels are welcome to attend this weekly adult art class and create a project of their choice under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Classes take place from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday and from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday at the Sunset Hill Farm County Park Program Center. Cost is $5 if students bring their own painting surface or $10 if a surface is provided by instructor.
The Portage Parks Department offers a variety of programs. The office is at 2100 Willowcreek Road. Call (219) 762-1675.
Jewelry, gem show
2013 Jewelry, Gem and More Show consists of jewelry, candy, day spas, nail salons and anything else that could pamper moms and girlfriends. The show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4 at Woodland Park. Admission is free. Vendors are still needed, particularly flower shops, massage businesses, day spas and nail salons. For vendor information, call (219) 762-1675 or download an application at www.ci.portage.in.us/parks. Booth spaces are $25, and a table and chairs are provided.
Spring soccer is for ages 3 to 14. The cost is $40 for Portage Township residents and $50 for others. Registration will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 11 to 22. Register at the park department office. A copy of your child's birth certificate is required.
Register monthly for each session. Classes are held Wednesdays in Sycamore Hall at Woodland Park. The cost is $25 per month, ages 18 and older. Good for all skill levels.
Riverwalk concession stand
The concessions stand has reopened. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The classroom is open during operating hours and there is free Wi-Fi. Call (219) 763-7138 for soup of the week.
The festival's juried art show is open to all artists who produce original art. The fine art mediums include glass, wood, oils, watercolor, mixed media, pencil, pastels, pottery, jewelry and photography. The entry deadline is Aug. 2. There is a nonrefundable $20 jury fee. Juried artists will have to pay an additional $55 entry fee. This is an indoor show Oct. 5 and 6 at Woodland Park. Call the parks office for an artist’s application or download an application at www.ci.portage.in.us/parks.
Parks officials have partnered with Young Champions Cheerleading to offer a fun course designed to teach choreographed pom-pom and dance routines in a fun, social environment. No experience needed. The current session has begun but late registrations are accepted. There is an initial $7 registration fee and $7 per class at Woodland Park.
For all ages 3 and up, learn from a certified instructor from Achievement Martial Arts with more than 13 years of teaching experience. Students will build confidence, self-esteem and life skills. The program runs April 10 to May 31 at Achievement Martial Arts, 3394 Willowcreek Road. The cost for 3- to 5-year-olds is $50/residents, $60/nonresidents; for ages 6-plus, it is $80/residents, $90/nonresidents. Register by April 9 at Woodland Park.
Adult softball league
Season starts April 14. Games begin at 6 p.m. and are played at Imagination Glen Park. Choose between men’s upper and lower, women’s, and coed divisions. Download a roster form online at www.ci.portage.in.com. The cost is $500/team.
Mother son dance is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 3 at Woodland Park's Sycamore Hall. Register by April 24. The cost is $36 a couple for Portage Township residents and $41 for nonresidents.