Valparaiso parks officials offer 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.
New afternoon classes at Discovery Cottage
Classes are available all year at the Valparaiso Parks Discovery Cottage. Children ages 3 to 5 participate in a wide variety of activities like Baking Buddies, Musical Movers, Science Seekers, Nature Investigators, and more. Pick up a brochure at the parks office. Children can be enrolled in classes according to the day of the week, or by theme. Price varies by class length.
Shelter and facility rentals
There are more than 30 facilities available for rent throughout the Valpo parks system the newest one being the Caterpillar Shelter at Butterfly Meadow. Outdoor shelters, wedding gazebos, athletic fields or party room rentals can be reserved for special occasions, business meetings or group outings. Prices vary per facility.
Valpo Night Ride
This 15-mile organized bicycle ride begins and ends at Fairgrounds Park and allows participants to ride in and around the city at their own safe pace. Enjoy a mid-ride snack at Valparaiso’s Central Park Plaza and an after-ride party at the pavilion. The ride starts at 11 p.m. Aug. 24. The price is $30 through Aug. 9, $40 through Aug. 24. Limited to 500 participants.
Monster Dash Halloween Run
Sign up for the newest special event of Fit City and Valpo parks. Oct. 27 is the inaugural Monster Dash. It includes a 1K Family Fun Run as well as a 5K race, beginning and ending at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valpo. Dress as your favorite superhero, villain or fairy tale character for this costume fun run. 1K is $15, 5K is $25 or $30 for both.
T’ai chi session in September
Practice the martial art to enhance coordination, concentration, relaxation and inner energy flow. For adults 18 years and over, this class is taught by an experienced instructor one hour per week from Sept. 24 through Nov. 12. The price is $75.
Fall baseball sign-up ends Aug. 2
Register now for the fall baseball league for youths ages 7 through 12, including Rookie, Minor and Major leagues. Season runs Aug. 24 through Sept. 28 with weekday and Saturday games. The price is $60/$72.
Instructional golf sessions led by LPGA teaching professional Nancy Bender are available for all ages and skill levels are at Creekside Golf Course and Training Center, 2355 Clifford Road in Valparaiso. Programs are offered every month throughout the year.
Register for Popcorn Fest races
Sign up now for the traditional kick-off races of the world-famous Popcorn Festival in downtown Valparaiso. This year the races begin and end at Central Park Plaza! Puff races are for 2 to 9 year olds (age as of Sept. 7) and everyone who runs receives a participation ribbon. The Puff price is $10 through Aug. 9, or $20 after. Popcorn Panic runners and walkers will register for the 5 Mile run or the 5K walk for $25 through Aug. 14 and $35 after.
Porter County parks
Porter County parks officials offer a variety of activities for all ages. Call (219) 465-3586.
Camp reunion is from 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 3 at Sunset Hill Farm. Reminisce about summer camp experiences with other camp mates. The cost is $15 per child.
Family Wagon Rides
Family wagon rides are offered from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $3. Come to Sunset Hill for a Saturday evening 30-minute ride through the park. Last wagon will depart at 9:30 p.m. Group reservations/rates are $60 per wagon (20 to 25 people) and will last 30 to 45 minutes.
The Portage Parks Department offers a variety of programs. The office is at 2100 Willowcreek Road. Call (219) 762-1675.
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.
Ballroom dance class
Each monthly session will be at Woodland Park. For dates, times and fees, contact instructor Mary Chandler at bluemoondance.net.
Hayride scenes wanted
Raise money for your civic club or Scout troop. Each scene will earn $200 and be eligible for additional prize money. The Haunted Hayride is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 24-26 at Woodland Park. To reserve a space, call Pam at (219) 762-1675.
Harvest Festival Fine Arts Fair
Artists are needed to show, and sell their artwork for the two-day event. For an artist’s entry form call the Portage Park Department office at (219) 762-1675.
Fall youth soccer
Register by Aug. 2 for fall youth soccer for ages 3 to 14. Games begin Sept. 7. Games will be held at Imagination Glen Soccer Complex.