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No Family Left Indoors 2017

A collaboration of nine different Barry County organizations to help get families outside together.

Local non-profits are continuing the tradition of offering free, family-oriented programs on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. The interactive outdoor programs will help participants explore the many wonders of Barry County. These programs are a great way to discover new places, learn about organizations that are working to make Barry County a better place, and have fun. All ages are welcome—even adults!

The program has its origins in the No Child Left Inside national initiatives, and since its inception seven years ago, hundreds of families have participated and have appreciated learning about new places and trying new things. Inspired by the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, people around the nation recognized that children today are spending much less time outside just playing and exploring. This lack of outdoor play time has contributed to a variety of consequences, including poorer health, less understanding and appreciation for the natural world, and lower levels of some social skills. Children (and adults too) need the time to interact with, to relax in, and to learn from the natural world for their health. An important goal of the No Family Left Indoors programs is to provide an easy way for families in Barry County to spend time outdoors doing fun activities together. Don't miss your chance to be a part of the fun!

No Family Left Indoors is generously sponsored by:



Program Information

Tuesdays in June, July, and August.

6:30 – 8 pm

All programs are free and include light refreshments. Participants are welcome to just show up, but pre-registration is very helpful for planning purposes.

Please be sure to check the event location, as each of the nine events are hosted at a different site.


June 13 – Family Night at Camp at Camp Algonquin. Families can enjoy a concentrated camp experience, including camp games and a climbing wall. Hosted by YMCA of Barry County.

June 20 – Exploring McKeown Bridge Park at McKeown Bridge Park in Hastings. Enjoy a family night together with food, fun, and family activities—all while exploring the great out-of-doors. Hosted by Barry County Parks and Recreation Board.

June 27 World War I at Charlton Park. This program will highlight the centennial of the U.S. entering the Great War. Explore military and home life to discover how World War I changed a nation. Activities will include making mini-parachutes, coded messages, Navy signal flags, and more! Hosted by Charlton Park.

July 11 – Pond Exploration at Clear Lake Camp. Get a peek at who lives beneath the surface of the water. Catch wiggling, hopping, or diving pond critters from the dock. The evening will end with a campfire and marshmallow roast. Hosted by Outdoor Education Center.

July 18 – Summer Concert at Barry County Fairgrounds. Students from the Community Music School will be playing an outdoor concert during the County Fair. Instruments will be available to touch and explore. Hosted by Community Music School.

July 25 – Wild Art at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Collect natural materials that can be made into distinct art projects. Make a fairy or toad house, three-dimensional collage, mobile, or something completely unique. Hosted by Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

August 1 – Introduction to Birding at Otis Sanctuary. Take a short hike at Otis Sanctuary while looking for a number of the bird species that call this place home. The program will introduce participants to identifying birds by sound and by sight. Hosted by North Country Trail Association and Michigan Audobon.

Friday, August 4 – Family Fun in the Park at MecKeown Bridge Park. Due to McKeown Bridge Park's "No Family Left Indoors" event being rained out, all of the fun has been rescheduled for Friday August 4th from 6 – 8pm. Come on out and enjoy fun games and activities for the whole family. This is an ALL age event. Just some of the activities include: face painting, a nature scavenger hunt, giant bubble fun, fishing, and even more to be announced soon!

August 8 – Hop into the Prairie at Hidden Pond Preserve. Participate in an insect investigation in the tall grass prairie at the preserve. Look for grasshoppers, crickets, mantises, beetles, and other insects. Hosted by Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy.

August 15 – Story Trail at Hastings Public Library. Write a story while stopping at stations along the River Walk Trail. The stories will be bound into a book that participants can take home with them. Hosted by Hastings Public Library.