EDUCATION AND SUPPORT
ONGOING C.H.O.I.C.E.S. Northwest Indiana Natural Birth & Parenting Network Monthly Meetings, 7pm, first Wed of each month, Hebron Community Center, 611 N Main St, Hebron. 219.996.5188. indianabirthchoices.com. This free community program brings together midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, chiropractors, breastfeeding consultants and new and expecting parents. No need to preregister. May 1: All About Midwives, Doulas and Birth Educators.
ONGOING Kindermusik, various times and locations. Designed to introduce children ages 7 and younger to music, each Kindermusik unit provides a variety of activities that encourage creativity, exploration, language, movement and social development. With Kindermusik, children can experience the magic of music without the pressure to perform. See individual websites for enrollment information.
Local Kindermusik Locations
Chesterton and Valparaiso: 219.926.5022. duneland.kindermusik.net.
Dyer, Hammond, Highland, Munster and St. John (Ind.); and Lansing (Ill.): 219.765.4363. nancy.kindermusik.net.
For other classes in NWI, visit kindermusik.com.
ONGOING Mother Goose on the Loose, Lake County Public Libraries. lcplin.org. Babies up to 23 months old and their caregivers will enjoy this 30-minute lap-sit program that uses songs, rhymes and finger plays to encourage interaction and foster language development and motor skills.
Mother Goose on the Loose Times and Locations
Cedar Lake Branch: 10am or 11:30am, 1st & 3rd Fri of each month. 10010 E 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake. 219.844.8809.
Dyer-Schererville Branch: 1st Mon & Tue of each month. 1001 W Lincoln Hwy, Schererville. 219.322.4731.
Hobart Branch: 10:15am, 1st Wed of each month. 100 N Main St, Hobart. 219.942.2243.
Merrillville Branch: 10am, 1st Tue of each month. 1919 W 81st Ave, Merrillville. 219.769.3541.
Munster Branch: 2nd & 4th Wed of each month. 8701 Calumet Ave, Munster. 219.836.8450.
St. John Branch: 2nd & 4th Thu of each month. 9450 Wicker Ave, St. John. 219.365.5379.
ONGOING National Autism Association of Northwest Indiana Monthly Meetings, 7pm, third Thu of each month, Indiana Wesleyan University, 8415 Georgia St, Merrillville. northwestindianaautism.com. Parents of children with autism are invited to attend these monthly meetings to discuss topics related to autism.
ONGOING Sign 2 Sign, 3:30-4:30pm, every other Tue, Kouts Public Library, 101 E Daumer Rd, Kouts. 219.766.2271. pcpls.lib.in.us. Children in grades 3 through 6 will learn how to sign easy words and phrases at this free class. No registration required.
THROUGH MAY 30 Preschool in the Park, 12:30-1:30pm Thu, Deep River County Park Visitor Center, 9410 Old Lincoln Hwy, Hobart. 219.947.1958. lakecountyparks.com. Designed just for preschool-aged children, this program features stories, songs, games and more. Programs held rain or shine. Parents or guardians can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the park after the program, and picnic tables and hiking trails are available nearby.
MAY 25 Bring a Grandchild Fishing, 1-3pm, Brookdale, 919 N 50 W Chesterton. 219.465.3586. portercountyparks.org. Kids are invited to bring their favorite grandparent or favorite adult friend to learn how to tie knots, prepare a hook, cast properly and be safe in and around the water.
MAY 25, JUN 8, JUL 13 Conway Observatory Open House, 6:30-9pm Fri, Conway Observatory, Buckley Homestead, 3606 Belshaw Rd, Lowell. 773.639.5491. casonline.org. All are welcome to explore the wonders of the universe at this free event. Volunteers guide visitors in the use of telescopes and astronomical binoculars, plus visitors can learn about star charts, club information and astronomy-related activities. Attendees are advised to dress appropriately for changeable weather and call for updated weather cancellations on short notice.
JUN 24 Furs, Scales and Tails, 10-11am, Valparaiso Public Library 1st Floor Meeting Room, 103 E Jefferson St, Valparaiso. 219.462.0524. pcpls.lib.in.us. The Park Naturalist and his animal friends visit the library during this exciting educational program.
HEALTH, FITNESS AND NUTRITION
ONGOING Ballet Class, 4:30-5pm Tue 3-year-old class; 5:15-6pm Tue 4-7-year-old class, Southlake YMCA, 1450 S Court St, Crown Point. 219.663.5810. slymca.org. This five-week class introduces students to basic ballet positions and barre exercises, which build flexibility, strength and coordination. Children also will be made aware of music, rhythm and space. Two classes are offered, one for 3-year-old students and another for students ages 4 to 7 years old.
ONGOING Flip, Wiggle & Roll, 4-4:45pm Tue, Thu, Portage Township YMCA, 3100 Willowcreek Rd, Portage. 219.762.9622. ymcaofportage.org. Preschoolers will learn the basics of gymnastics during this fun class, which helps participants develop coordination, self-confidence, coordination, strength and pride.
ONGOING Karate, 6:30-7:30pm Wed, 6-7pm Fri Karate I; 6:30-7:30pm Mon, 7:30-8:30pm Karate II, Griffith Branch YMCA, 201 N Griffith Blvd, Griffith. 219.750.1082. griffithymca.org. Designed for children and teens ages 7 through 17, this program builds self-confidence and self-esteem through the study of martial arts as students learn how to defend themselves in a variety of situations. The eclectic style of martial arts taught during this program draws from many different disciplines.
ONGOING Tae Kwon Do, 6-7:15pm Fri, 12:30-1:45pm Sat, Hammond Branch YMCA, 7322 Southeastern Ave, Hammond. 219. 845.1507. hammondareaymca.org. Certified Tae Kwon Do instructor Bryan Razo leads teaches students the basic fundamentals and techniques of martial arts. The class is open to children ages 6 and older and class sessions run monthly.
MAY 28-JUN 25 Prepared Childbirth Classes, 6-9pm Tue, Methodist Hospital Southlake Campus’ Center for Advanced Clinical Studies Conference Room, 200 E 89th Ave, Merrillville. 888.909.3627. methodisthospitals.org. Recommended for pregnant mothers 7-8 months pregnant and their partner, this five-week course teaches participants about labor, delivery and the immediate post-partum period. The first four weeks focus on labor and the final week covers parenting topics. Registration by phone is required.
MAY 29 CPR, First Aid and AED Certification, 5:30-10pm, Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd, Valparaiso. 219.465.3586. portercountyparks.org. This two-year certificate training teaches child and adult CPR and AED use, as well as how to relieve choking on a child or adult. This course teaches skills with the American Heart Association’s Practice-While-Watching (PWW) technique, which allows instructors to observe students, provide feedback and provide guidance.
JUN 4-JUL 31 Gymnastics Classes, 2:15-3:15pm Tue or Thu, Patti’s All-American, 1530 Joliet St, Dyer. activenwi.com. This 8-week class is filled with summer fun at fitness where children learn gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline skills. Each week, the one hour class covers activities at the bars, balance beam, in-ground safety trampoline and Tumbl-Trak. Participants should wear comfortable stretchy clothing and gymnastics shoes.
JUN 10-JUL 30 Kids Fit Club, 8-9:30am Mon, Wed, Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd, Valparaiso. 219.465.3586. portercountyparks.org. Taught by Becky Kreiger and Jenna Martin, this fun workout utilizes the beauty of the outdoors while offering children in grades 3 through 6 a variety of fitness opportunities—from boot camp and intervals to yoga.
PERFORMANCES, ARTS AND EXHIBITS
ONGOING South Shore Arts Art Classes, call or visit website for dates, times and locations. 219.836.1839 ext 103. southshoreartsonline.org. South Shore Arts offers art classes for children and adults at various South Shore Arts galleries throughout Northwest Indiana. Class topics include drawing, painting, pottery, mixed media, drama and more for children and adults. Adults also can take photography, computer and art appreciation classes. Jun 10: Summer session begins.
ONGOING Target Free First Sundays, 10am-5pm, first Sun of each month, Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, 700 E Grand Ave, Chicago. 312.527.1000. chicagochildrensmuseum.org. Children and caregivers can experience the joy of learning together with hands-on activities and performances for families every Sunday. Admission to the museum is free for children ages 15 and younger.
THROUGH JUN 30 Civil War Memorial Exhibit, Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 800.255.5253. southshorecva.com. Photos, artifacts and reproductions of Northwest Indiana Civil War regimental battle flags tell the story of the Lake, Porter and LaPorte County men who fought to preserve the Union and end slavery at this historical exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
THROUGH AUG 19 Bird Exhibition, Dunes Learning Center, 700 Howe Rd, Chesterton. 219.395.9555. duneslearningcenter.org. This exhibit by artist Melissa Washburn features a series of mixed media pieces depicting some of the migratory bird species that can be seen in the Dunes area of Northwest Indiana.
THROUGH SEPT 2 Animal Inside Out, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 773.947.3133. msichicago.org. This exhibit explores the intricate biology and physiology of some of the world’s most spectacular creatures—from goats and giraffes to octopuses and ostriches. From creator of the trailblazing BODY WORLDS exhibitions, anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, this exhibit showcases more than 100 animal specimens that have been preserved through the process of plastination, which replaces the body's fluids with plastics to incredibly detailed effect.
THROUGH JAN 5, 2014 Creatures of Light—Nature’s Bioluminescence, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.9410. fieldmuseum.org. From glowworms to deep-sea fishes, this exhibit features the mysterious and magical world of bioluminescence. Visitors can discover the thousands of living organisms that blink, glow, flash and flicker. Also, through Jun 9: Images of Afterlife; through Jun 16: Fashion and The Field Museum Collection—Maria Pinto; through Sept 8: Scenes from the Stone Age—The Cave Paintings of Lascaux.
MAY 31-JUN 16 To Kill A Mockingbird, 4th Street Theater, 125 N 4th St, Chesterton. 4thstreetncca.org. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this performance brings to life author Harper Lee’s classic novel. The story deals with issues of rape and racial inequality and is better suited for teens and adults.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
ONGOING Sports of All Sorts, 11:15am-noon or 2:15-3pm Tue, Thu, Valparaiso Family YMCA, 1201 Cumberland Crossing Dr, Valparaiso. 219.462.4185. valpoymca.org. Children ages 4 through 6 have the opportunity to participate in a variety of games and sports—such as hockey, basketball, t-ball and soccer. The classes focus on sportsmanship, skill development and having a good time. Space is limited and registration is required.
JUN 3-28 Jr. Group Golf, 8am-9:30am Mon-Fri, Sherwood Golf, 600 E Joliet St, Schererville. activenwi.com. Children ages 8 to 11 years of age can learn all of the elements of the game of golf during this four-week session. Instructions include basics on grip, stance, swing, procedures, terminology and more from instructors who are all members of the PGA. Students receive a free round of golf on the executive course.
JUN 5-26 Sporties for Shorties, 9-10am Wed, Stephen Park, 7600 Lincolnwood Ave, Schererville. activenwi.com. This four-week program is created for children ages 4 through 6 as an introduction to sports—including kickball, t-ball, soccer, field hockey and more. Kids will learn the concepts of running bases, team play, sharing and taking turns.
JUN 8-29 Baseball Skills Camp, Duneland Family YMCA, 215 Roosevelt St, Chesterton. 219.926.4204. dunelandymca.org. Children ages 3 through 7 will learn the basics of baseball at this three-week camp.
JUN 10-26 Youth Tennis, 9-10am Mon, Wed 6-8-year-old class; 10:30-11:30am 9-12-year-old class, Stephen Park, 7600 Lincolnwood Ave, Schererville. activenwi.com. With an emphasis on fun, this three-week program teaches youths how to play tennis, participate in drills and develop skills under the direction of a tennis instructor. Participants must bring their own racquet.
JUN 27-AUG 8 Youth Bowling, 4:30-5:30pm Thu, Stardust Bowl III, 1330 Sheffield Ave, Dyer. activenwi.com. Preschoolers and their parents can enjoy bumper bowling during this six-week program. The program ends with a prize raffle and pizza party. Fee includes games, shoe rental and pizza party. Jul 4: No class.
MID MAY-MID SEPT Little Diggers, 11am Mon-Sat, Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center, Three Rivers County Park, 2800 Colorado St, Lake Station. 219.963.2070. mybellaboos.com. Bellaboo’s flower and vegetable garden is open for children to plant and shower the plants with love. Activities include garden songs, worm digs in the kid-friendly compost pile, eco-friendly information and more.
MAY 25 Jump into Spring Vendor and Craft Show, 9am-2pm, Avalon Manor, 3550 E Rte 30, Merrillville. 219.455.9725. Free and open to the public, this event showcases upscale local and regional vendors, crafters and businesses and features music, entertainment, raffles, door prizes, a kids’ corner and more.
JUN 1-Sept 28 2013 Farmers Market, 8am-1pm Sats, S Main St, Crown Point. 219.662.3290. crownpoint.in.gov/farmers. Produce, cheese, baked goods, flowers, home goods and accessories are available at this weekly farmers market.
JUN 1 A Hole Lot of Fun, Crown Point Community Library, 122 N Main St, Crown Point. 219.306.4599. crownpointlibrary.org. Players of all ages can have a “Hole Lot of Fun” when the first and second floors of the Crown Point Community Library transform into an 18-hole miniature golf course for the day. The event features fun for the whole family with refreshments, games and more.
JUN 13-JUL 25 Children’s Historical Discovery Series, 12:30-1:30pm Thu, Deep River County Park, 9410 Old Lincoln Hwy, Hobart. 219.947.1958. lakecountyparks.com. Children ages 5 through 10 can learn about a variety of historical, scientific and fun topics—including how to make a pioneer doll, make a pioneer quilt, churn butter and more—during this six-week program. Parents are required to stay in the park and may be asked to assist. Programs usually held rain or shine. Parents should bring bottled water and insect repellent if needed. Jul 4: No program.
JUN 15 Singing Sands Star Show, 8:30-10:30pm, Indiana Dunes State Park Beach (near pavilion), 1600 N 25 E, Chesterton. 219.926.1952. in.gov. This annual stargazing event features special telescopes and constellation talks on the beach with local astronomers from Calumet Astronomical Society. Participants should bring their own blanket. Optimal stargazing after 9:30 p.m.
JUN 13-16 Portage Township Summerfest, Haven Hollow Park, 330 W 700 N, Valparaiso. 219.762.1623 ext. 31. This free festival promises fun for all ages with entertainment on two stages, a carnival, food booths, a beer garden, commercial and craft vendors, and interactive booth activities.
JUN 21-23 Taste of the Region and Arts and Crafts Festival, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun, downtown Crown Point. 219.663.1800. crossroadschamber.org. Attendees can enjoy food from local restaurants, browse arts and crafts from local vendors and listen to great live musical entertainment each night.
JUN 22 4th Annual Eat, Shop & Rock, 10am-4pm, Hohman Ave & Williams St, Hammond. 219.937.0111. downtownhammond.org. Hosted by the Downtown Hammond Council, the this sidewalk sale and fest celebrates the 60s, 70s and The Beatles and features a wide array of vendors; singing, look-a-like and trivia contests; live music; vintage cars; delicious food and more.