What’s Happening in May/June

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I think … maybe …hopefully, spring has sprung! And you know what that means … warm weather to play in. Play doesn’t have to be tag or baseball or merry-go-rounds. I like to “play” in my garden. And bike riding feels like play because I rode around the block, had bike parades, and even took friends for rides on my handlebars when I was a kid. Play can be dancing in your seat at a summer rock concert. Or trying to catch butterflies at the Botanical Conservatory. Play is whatever we find fun and should be enjoyed as often as possible.

And it is my duty, and pleasure, to share some more play opportunities with you during the months of May and June:

Family Fun Day on May 4, 9:30 am – 3 pm in Shoaff Park  is the ultimate play experience for the whole family. There are cool races for the kids: Trike the Trail is a 1/8 mile trike race for boys and girls 3 – 5 years old that starts at 9 am. The Spring Sprint is a 1.1 mile foot race for boys and girls ages 6 – 11 that starts at 9:30 am. Register before April 26 at www.fortwayneparks.org and the kids will get a free t-shirt with the $10 fee. You can sign your kids up the day of the race, at least 30 minutes before start time, but there may not be t-shirts left and the fee goes up to $15 for each event. There will be prizes for all the trike riders and certificates for the top finishers in the sprint. (Trike the Trail registration code: 243903-S1. Spring Sprint registration code: 243904-S1.)

Family Fun Day doesn’t end with the races. There will be outdoor games, hands-on crafts, inflatables, live llamas and other animals to pet. Your kids can rent a table for $11 and have their own “garage sale” to sell their gently used toys and books. Call 427-6000 before April 30 to rent your space.  Or your kids can just shop for toys and books. The Children’s Gently Used Book Swap & Sale will also take place that day in the park.  The price of books are 25 cents to about $1.

PlantSale2011_012For those of you who “play” with landscaping and in the garden, the Mother’s Day Plant Sale is Friday – Sunday, May 10 – 12 at the McMillen Ice Arena, 3901 Abbott Street. This space is perfect for spreading out hundreds and hundreds of every plant imaginable. There will be a plant list at www.botanicalconservatory.org soon.  Did you know there are about 100 different types of basil? Amazing.

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Mother’s Day in the Garden also takes place that weekend at the Botanical Conservatory–on Sunday. Mom’s get in free that day, from noon – 4 pm. The Butterflies with an African Beat showcase will be a highlight of that special day. Bring your mom in early so she gets a free plant before they run out.

CHICAGOLOGOIn late May and June, the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre doors open and the entertainment begins arriving. This is when you’ll know summer is finally here! If you haven’t already heard, the band Chicago is coming in August. We also have Little River Band, America and Kansas scheduled this year, as well as many favorites coming back. The complete schedule, concert fees, and a link to order tickets can be found at www.foellingertheatre.org.

Until next time, have fun!

What’s Happening in March/April

ImageThis is the time of year when we become hopeful that warmer weather will arrive. The crocuses peek up from the ground. The golf courses open. Children run through the grass (hopefully not snow!) searching for colored eggs. This time of year is also the beginning of the Parks & Recreation Department’s busiest time.

ImageTo celebrate the start of the golf season, we’ve launched a Fort Wayne Golf Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/fwparksgolf. We’re all set to videotape golf tips that will be posted soon. In fact, we’re excited about the snow arriving this afternoon because the setting for the first golf video is a snow covered field and we were a little worried that we’d waited too long to start filming. Opening day for the golf courses is March 11. You can find phone numbers for Foster, Shoaff and McMillen golf courses, register for tee times and find special deals at www.fortwayneparks.org

The Botanical Conservatory is gearing up for their well-loved, much anticipated Easter in the Garden. Even if there’s a foot of snow on the ground (oh, please no!) the Easter egg hunt can still go on in the beautiful, INDOOR, garden environment of the Conservatory. The butterfly exhibit will be underway as well! There will be plenty of opportunities for you to take pictures of your children with or without the Easter Bunny. And we’ll have cute, cuddly baby animals to hold and pet. Easter in the Garden is Friday, March 29, 10 am – 3 pm. There’s more info at www.botanicalconservatory.org.

If you haven’t received a Spring Fun Times, or you’d like to checkout camp, youth sports activities or swim lessons, you can download all the brochures on our website at www.fortwayneparks.org.

Have fun!

What’s Happening in January/February

JungleIn the winter when you snooze on the sofa, do you dream of tramping through uncharted territory and building a shelter from branches and leaves? If so, the Mighty Jungle Adventure is just the thing to get you off the couch. Or, even if you don’t care about the adventure or the tramping part, but you’re craving the aroma of garden flowers and warmth, visit the Botanical Conservatory January 12 – April 7 and you’ll forget how long it is until spring. Bring the little ones to explore the jungle treehouse and they’ll show you how to build that rustic shelter. Then, to top it off, Jungle Adventure Day is Saturday, February 9–fun for the whole family! Visit www.botanicalconservatory.org for more info.

Did you get a chance to attend Winterval last year? This year, on Saturday, January 26, it will be even bigger and better than ever. The Conservatory is offering $1 off admission 10 am – 3 pm and they’ll have indoor snowmaking, a bagel bird feeder craft, cookies and hot chocolate. The Community Center has their free Winter Carnival 1 – 4 pm with horse-drawn carriage rides, indoor curling, ice fishing, snow crafts and a pinewood derby.

There will be ice carvings at the ACPL at 11 am, Botanical Conservatory at 2 pm, the Community Center at 3 pm and at the Arts United Plaza at 4 pm.

That’s not all! Check out the activities at The Old Fort, the Allen County Public Library, Headwaters Ice Rink, Science Central, Arts United, and the Polar Bear Rugby at Lawton Park. There’s more information on this Winterval poster:
Winterval Poster 2013

Have fun!

What’s Happening in December

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

Do you remember that narration from How the Grinch Stole Christmas? There were so many good lines in that cartoon! This year after you watch the movie, come out to the Botanical Conservatory and see the garden version of that famous holiday up close. The How the Grinch Stole Christmas exhibit will be open through January 6.

Santa and two of his reindeer will be visiting the Conservatory every Saturday in December as well, from noon – 4 pm. Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can get some great holiday photos.

Christmas on the Farm–Salomon Farm, that is–will take place on Saturday, December 1, 6 – 9 pm. Salomon Farm is located at 817 W. Dupont Road, next to the Y. This is what we call a “traditional” Christmas event with a live Nativity scene, horse and tractor drawn carriage rides, stories from Saint Nicholas and refreshments, of course. It’s all free!

Have fun!