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.
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.
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.
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 Lessons
Each monthly session will be held at Woodland Park. For dates, times, and fees, contact instructor Mary Chandler at bluemoondance.net
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.
T-Ball League for ages 4 to 6
Four- and 5-year-olds will play traditional T-ball, while 6-year-olds will transition from the tee to a coach pitch during the season. Teams play five weeknight games and three Saturday games. Ages for participation are the child’s age as of April 30. Price is $50/62. Register by May 10.
Valpo Tri 2013
Online registration is now open for the 11th Valpo Tri that takes place on July 13 at Rogers-Lakewood Park. Go to www.valpotri.net to sign up online for the USAT-sanctioned race. The Valpo Tri is a short-distance triathlon that begins with a .25 mile swim, transitions to a 12.4 mile bike, and concludes with a 3.2 mile run.
Season passes are on sale at the Valpo Parks office. Passes are $32 for Valpo residents who reside inside city limits and $47 for those outside city limits. The pass allows you unlimited vehicle entry during park hours throughout the Memorial Day through Labor Day season. Rogers-Lakewood is home to the disc golf course, Flounder Skate Park, Loomis and Spectacle Lakes and many other amenities at the 122 acre park.
Classes are available all year at the Valpo Parks Discovery Cottage. Children ages 3- to 5- year-olds participate in a wide variety of activities including playing games, performing experiments, cooking, and creating crafts. Several new options are available. Children can be enrolled in classes according to the day of the week, or by theme. Price varies by class length.
Registration is available for the whole summer or week by week at Discovery Camps. The summer camps are Monday through Friday from June 10 to mid-August at Rogers-Lakewood Park and are available for boys and girls, preschool through eighth-grade and are divided into age-appropriate groups. Sign up for the whole summer, and receive one week of camp free.
Golf Season Passes
Play both courses of the Valpo Parks Department, Forest Park and Creekside, when you purchase a season pass.
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.
Shelter and Facility Rentals
There are more than 30 facilities available for rent throughout the Valpo Parks system. Outdoor shelters, wedding gazebos, athletic fields or party room rentals can be reserved for special occasions, business meetings or group outings.
Summer program for kids
Four- to 10- years old can sign up to participate in a track and field program that includes traditional running and some modified field events. The Valpo Parks teams will compete in four meets against the Valpo YMCA, Portage YMCA, and Highland Parks Dept. Practices start in early June with 2 meets each in July and August. Price is $45/57. Register by May 24.
Learn to play LaCrosse
Play LaCrosse starting June 9 through August 18. Learn the basics and play the game. Price is $50/62 for ages 8 – 17, $60/72 for age 18 and older. Register by May 31 through the Valpo Parks. Equipment can be loaned to or rented by players. For rental equipment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. on Aug. 24. Price is $30 through August 9, $40 through August 24. Limited to 500 participants.