The Portage Parks Department offers a variety of programs. The office is at 2100 Willowcreek Road. Call (219) 762-1675.
Woodland Park preschool
Openings for Tuesday and Thursday afternoon class, for ages 3 and 4. There is a one-time $20 nonrefundable registration fee. Class tuition is $70 per month for residents and $80 for nonresidents and is due by the first of each month. Bring a copy of the student's birth certificate.
Yule craft show vendors
The price is $45 for a 10-foot by 10-foot booth. The fair is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Woodland Park. Entry forms are available at the park office or call (219) 762-1675.
Great Pumpkin Bash
The Great Pumpkin Bash is from 5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 19 in Oakwood Hall at Woodland Park. There will be a bonfire, weenie roast, hayride, taffy apples, s'mores, flashlight tag, pumpkin painting and scarecrow making. Registration deadline is Oct. 15. Ages 5 to 7 must be accompanied by an adult; ages 8 and older, no restriction. The fee is $28 for residents and $38 for others. Parents can eat and participate in everything but the craft activities for $8. Park officials will supply everything except bug repellent, a flashlight, a stick for the weenie roast and an old long sleeve shirt and pair of jeans to make the scarecrow.
Harvest Festival fair
The Harvest Festival Fine Arts Fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Woodland Park's Oakwood Grand Hall, 2100 Willowcreek Road. The music lineup features Candee Sweet from 10 a.m. to noon; Joel Renderson Duo, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Marco Villarreal, 3 to 5 p.m., all on Friday. Saturday's entertainment includes Dave Hutchins from noon to 2 p.m. and Johnsie & Christina May's, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Porter County Parks
Register for all programs by calling (219) 465-3586. For more information, visit www.portercountyparks.org.
Reiki level 1 is offered 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 12. Reiki is a Japanese technique for working with the life energy that flows through our bodies. This Reiki Level 1 class teaches techniques to increase and direct that energy for relaxation and optimal well-being. Reiki 2, the next level, is 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 19. The cost $40. Continue your learning and practice in the art of Reiki. This class will add to what you learned in the Reiki Level 1 class.
A meditation retreat is offered 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 20. The cost is $35. Join instructor Cynthia Smith at Brincka Cross Gardens for a restorative retreat that will focus on both mind and body.
Gentle yoga for seniors
Gentle yoga for seniors is sponsored by Porter Regional Hospital and is offered 10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays, Oct. 24 to Nov. 21 at the Hebron Public Library. This class, taught by a yogafit certified instructor, will teach the basics of gentle yoga while sitting in a chair.
Young Artists at Sunset Hill Farm County Park meets from 1 to 2 p.m. the second Saturday of the month. There is an $8 charge. Youth painting instruction, led by instructor Shirley Massey, is for all skill levels, where the focus of the project is different each month. Participants will create and take home their project the same day.
Meet the animals
Meet the animals and their caretakers at Sunset Hill Farm from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Nov. 6 and 9.
Family hikes are offered from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Nov. 6 and 9 at Sunset Hill Farm.
Friday family campouts
Enjoy a campout from 6 p.m. Oct. 18 to 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. Set up from 5 to 7 p.m. The cost is $15 per family.
Go FishIN at Dunn’s Bridge
Come to Dunn’s Bridge, which spans the Kankakee River at 500 East in Kouts, and learn to tie knots, prepare a hook, proper casting and safety in and around water. This program is free and will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting.
Come to a seance from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 19. It’s the time of the year when the Veil Between the Worlds grows thin ... the perfect time to attempt to make contact with departed spirits. Join paranormal investigator and amateur historian Jayde Petersen as she, along with the help of her associate, employ traditional techniques to make contact with those who have gone before us. This is a serious inquiry, conducted in a respectful and mature manner. Participants must be over the age of 21 and willing to abide by the rules set forth at the event.
Joyce Scully, who has a doctorate in psychology, will provide an intimate and supportive environment in which to decode your dreams from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 26. The cost is $20. Learn tips for remembering and recording dreams and recognizing common symbols.
Save the date
Winter Lights Night Festival is 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 16 with a grand finale firework display at 7:30 to end the evening at Sunset Hill Park. Visit Santa, decorate cookies, wagon rides, crafts, games and breathtaking light displays throughout the park. The cost is $5 per car.
Valparaiso parks officials offer many activities this month. Call (219) 462-5144, visit www.valpoparks.org or visit the parks office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 3210 N. Campbell St.
Instructional golf sessions Linksters Academy, L’il Tigers and the First Tee, led by LPGA teaching professional Nancy Bender, are available for all ages and skill levels at Creekside Golf Course and Training Center, 2355 Clifford Road in Valparaiso. Programs are offered every month and throughout the year. For complete details and information on programs, log on to www.nancybender.com or contact her at (219) 531-7888.
Monster Dash 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.
Youth volleyball signup
Grades one through six can learn and play volleyball this winter in this eight-week program. VU volleyball players will run the practices, making it fun to learn the basics of the game. All practices and games are at the Valparaiso Boys & Girls Club. The price is $65/77 ($35 less if a member of the Boys & Girls Club).
Registration is available for fall and winter classes at Discovery Cottage, 1155 Harrison. New class times in late afternoon are available for kids to discover science, nature, music, theater and crafts. Discovery Cottage is for ages 18 months to 8 years.
Group hayride reservations
Group hayride reservations begin later this month and run through Nov. 3. It’s a great gathering for family outings, service groups, youth organizations and more. The hour and a half events are available Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
Volleyball officials needed
Those who are familiar with the game and rules of volleyball are encouraged to apply for the part-time evening positions for the season that runs through March. Go to www.ValpoParks.org to fill out on online application or come into 3210 N. Campbell. Be sure to fill in “volleyball official” in the position applied for field.
Golf simulator upgrade
Play the fully upgraded golf simulators at Creekside, 2355 Clifford Road. State of the art software and hardware have replaced the existing system, with more than 30 course options to play.
Eye on Science
Eye on Science is offered for ages 6 to 12 on Oct. 11 at Discovery Cottage, 1155 Harrison Blvd. Action Science instructors provide safe, fun and sometimes messy projects to get kids excited about science in this 90-minute session. Sign up for the next Eye on Science class online or over the phone with Valparaiso parks officials, held at Discovery Cottage, 1155 Harrison. The price of $35 includes class and materials; $47 for those residing outside city limits.
Junior golf instruction
Each Saturday through December, youths 12 and older with golf experience can participate in two-hour sessions. Refresher classes on scoring with the short-game, full swing work or on-course management are some of the topics. The price is $30 per two-hour class, plus range balls. Call (219) 531-7888 to register.