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 11 Power Paws for Reading, 10am, Lake County Public Library Dyer-Schererville Branch, 1001 W Lincoln Hwy, Schererville. 219.322.4731. lcplin.org. All ages are welcome to read a library book to one of the registered Delta Society Pet Partner dogs (accompanied by their trainers), provided by nonprofit organization Power Paws for Kids. Also, May 2 (6pm, Lake County Public Library Munster Branch, 8701 Calumet Ave, Munster. 219.836.8450).
MAY 8 Kids Can Cook, 10:30-11:30am, Schererville Town Hall Community Room, Schererville Town Hall Community Room, 10 E Joliet St, Schererville. activenwi.com. This four-week class introduces children ages 3 through 5 to simple utensils, measuring and table manners. Children will prepare snacks and desserts, and receive an apron or chef hat to keep.
MAY 10 Tour the World—England, 3:45-4:15pm, Crown Point Library, ¬¬¬¬ 123 N Main St, Crown Point. 219.663.0270. crownpointlibrary.org. Children ages 5 through 9 are invited on a journey to explore England’s culture through art and literacy.
MAY 16 Color Shape Bingo, 10am or 3pm, Lowell Public Library, 1505 E Commercial, Lowell. 219.696.7704. lowellpl.lib.in.us. Children in preschool through 5th grade will have fun playing bingo and winning fun prizes at this free program. Parents can register their children at the circulation desk or by calling the library.
MAY 18 Sibling Class, 10-11am, Community Hospital Auditorium, 901 MacArthur Blvd, Munster. 219.836.3477. comhs.org. This class prepares parents and children ages 3 through 10 for the arrival of a new sibling with a viewing of a video on being a sibling and a short presentation. Participants are giving a certificate for completion of the course.
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 10 Family Nutrition Program, 11am-1:30pm, Lake County Public Library Lake Station-New Chicago Branch, 2007 Central Ave, Lake Station. 219.962.2409. lcplin.org. Family Nutrition Advisor from Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Belinda Stepnowski, discusses a variety of food and nutrition topics, and shows participants how to prepare quick, tasty and healthy low-cost foods.
MAY 17 Pregnant—Hope and Help Information Fair, 2-5pm, St. Catherine Hospital Professional Office Building Conference Room, 4321 Fir St, East Chicago. 219.392.7135. comhs.org. Pregnant moms in need of assistance getting proper prenatal care and insurance for her and her baby are invited to this health fair, which features free pregnancy tests, health screenings, informational seminars, financial advisors, insurance information, giveaways and refreshments.
MAY 18 Tryon Farm Trail 5/10/50K Run, 8am-6pm, Tryon Farm, 1500 Tryon Rd, Michigan City. 917.328.1558. tryonfarm.com. Runners can choose from a 5, 10 or 50K run, as well as a kids’ race during this annual event. The course loops through rolling native prairie grassland, towering beechwoods and sloping dunes. The event also features a pig roast, craft beers from Shoreline Brewery, pizza from Rolling Stonebaker and house tours.
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 3 Night at the Museum, 5-9pm, LaPorte County Historical Society Museum, 2405 Indiana Ave, LaPorte. 219.324.6767. laportecountyhistory.org. This family-friendly after-hours event is designed for children in grades 3 through 8 and features a scavenger hunt, craft project, food and drinks, and more. Cost includes admission, all activities and food. Registration can be done at the museum or by email at email@example.com. May 2: Registration deadline.
MAY 8-12 Sesame Street Live—Elmo Makes Music, Star Plaza Theater, 8001 Delaware St, Merrillville. 800.745.3000. starplazatheatre.com. Jenny, an enthusiastic new music teacher, arrives on Sesame Street only to discover her instruments are missing. The Muppets quickly come to the rescue and learn in the process that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together. The race includes a kids’ fun race.
MAY 11 Young Artists—Mother’s Day Craft, 1-2pm, Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd, Valparaiso. 219.465.3586. portercountyparks.org. Youths of all skill levels can paint a gift for Mother’s Day during this class led by Shirley Massey. Cost includes supplies.
OPENS MAY 17 Cosmic Wonder, Adler Planetarium, 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.7827. adlerplanetarium.org. During Adler Planetarium’s new immersive space experience, the world’s most technologically advanced dome theater transforms into a virtual observatory, allowing viewers to see stunning space visuals in a new way. This live show tells the compelling story of how, through time, humans have pieced together an understanding of the cosmos and invites audiences to ask questions and help scientists unlock modern mysteries of the unknown.
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 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.
MAY 4 Lake County Pet Expo, 9am-4pm; noon pet blessing, Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S Court St, Crown Point. lcpetexpo.org. Tails will wag at this annual expo, featuring family- and dog-friendly activities, pet vendors, adoptable animals from local rescues, a K-9 fun walk, microchipping and nail trims, veterinarian Q&A, police dog demonstrations and more. Friendly leashed animals are welcome.
MAY 5 Polka Dots and Pearls Mother/Daughter Tea, 1-3pm, Franciscan St. Anthony Health, 1201 S Main St, Crown Point. 800.931.3322. franciscanalliance.org. This fun afternoon for moms and their daughters features great advice from experts, raffle prizes, free gifts and light refreshments.
MAY 11 2nd Annual Great Futures Family Bike Ride, 7:30am check-in, 8:30am bike ride, check in at Portage-Countryside Park, 5250 US Hwy 6, Portage or Chesterton-Duneland Trailhead/Skate Park, 108 S 15th St, Chesterton. 219.464.7282 ext. 235. bgcpoco.org. The entire family can participate in this fun, non-competitive bike ride hosted by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County. Families can choose to ride a couple of miles or complete the entire 18-mile round-trip. Refreshment and water stations, maps and rest areas will be available along the trail. Held at Countryside Park, main stage activities include free bike safety inspections, helmet fittings by Leo’s Mobile Bike service, local mascots and more.
MAY 11 Explore the South Shore, 11am-3pm, Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 219.989.7770. southshorecva.com/explorethesouthshore. The Indiana Welcome Center kicks off the summer season with games, giveaways, entertainment, rides and more. Northwest Indiana families can discover all the South Shore has to offer at this free event.
MAY 11 Little Princess Tea Party, noon-1:30pm, Schererville Town Hall Community Room, 10 E Joliet St, Schererville. activenwi.com. At Mrs. Newberry’s Traveling Tea Party, young girls are transformed into princesses. Girls can choose from a collection of gowns and accessories to wear while they enjoy raspberry lemonade with their lunch, listen to hilarious stories and play games. Girls should wear a bathing suit or leotard und their clothes and a responsible adult must stay with each child. Tea, coffee and lunch also are available for mom.
MAY 18 Spring Out To Sunset Festival, 10am-3pm, Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd, Valparaiso. 219.465.3586. portercountyparks.org. This yearly celebration of summer encourages families to get outside and get active with kites, fishing education, a garden and more activities.
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 18-19 Voyageur Rendezvous, 10am-4pm, Grand Kankakee Marsh, 21690 Range Line Rd, Hebron. 219.769.PARK. lakecountyparks.com. During this fun and educational event, visitors travel back more than 250 years when Northwest Indiana was primarily a marshland and learn how Native Americans; French-Canadian canoe men called “Voyageurs” and British and French militia, among others, lived and traded along the Grand Kankakee River. Activities include kids’ games authentic to the time period, historic demonstrations, a tomahawk toss, musical entertainment, merchants’ food and more.
MAY 19 Shopping Affair Vendor and Craft Show, 10am-4pm, Patrician Banquets, 410 E US 30, Schererville. 219.741.0435. anne-marieprince.com. More than 80 upscale vendors, crafters and direct sellers will fill the banquet hall for a day of shopping. The event also features entertainment, concessions, raffles and more. All admissions, donations and raffles benefit the Humane Society Calumet Area.
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 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.