The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) is offering family-friendly programs March 25 – April 8. Whether a new or a frequent visitor, it is an excellent time to enjoy the National Lakeshore.
Discover new areas of the National Lakeshore by joining park rangers on a guided hike to some of their favorite places during “Saturdays at the Lakeshore.” These Saturday programs begin at 1:00 p.m. Meet the rangers at the visitor center in Empire (M-72, 9922 West Front Street in Empire) for an introduction and then car caravan a short distance to begin the hike. Each program will feature a different topic and location. Dress for the weather. Warm layers, boots, and shoe traction or trekking poles are recommended. Plan to be outside 1.5-2 hours and hike up to 2.5 miles on mostly flat trails.
Storytime with a Park Ranger
March 25, March 29, and April 1 10:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
“Story Time with a Park Ranger” is open to children of all ages and is ideal for families looking to spend quality time together. Join park rangers inside the auditorium at the visitor center in Empire (M-72, 9922 West Front Street in Empire) on Saturday, March 25, Wednesday, March 29, and Saturday, April 1. Through stories, children will learn about the environment in a fun and engaging way. They will gain an understanding of the importance of preserving our natural resources. 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Younger children can learn about The Legend of the Beaver’s Tail and “Build a Beaver.”10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Older children will hear a story about the importance of the Great Lakes. They will also have an opportunity to take part in an activity demonstrating water usage.
Dune Formation Pop-Up Program
March 25 and April 1 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Have you ever wondered how the dunes were formed? Bring your family to the dune center (6748 S Dune Highway, Glen Arbor, MI 49636) Saturday, March 25, and Saturday, April 1, anytime between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to find out! Here a ranger will guide you through interactive and engaging activities, providing hands-on experiences that are both educational and fun.
Piping Up for the Plovers
March 28 and March 30 11:00 a.m.
This program aims to raise awareness about these threatened shorebirds and the importance of protecting their habitats. On Tuesday, March 28, and Thursday, March 30, at 11:00 a.m., start at the cannery in Glen Haven (end of M-109) for a guided beach walk to learn about these unique birds. During the beach walk, participants will have the opportunity to see the nesting grounds of the piping plovers and learn how to help protect them. Dress for the weather and plan to spend an hour outside and walk .5 miles in the sand.
There is no cost for the programs; however, you must have a park entrance pass, or an annual pass displayed in your vehicle. Park passes can be purchased at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, which is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reservations are not required but are suggested if you wish to bring a group. For questions, please call 231-326-4700, extension 5010. For more information, visit their calendar of events on their website.