Merry Lea hosts various nature-based programs for children, families and adults. Below are a list of our annual and recurring public events that you won’t want to miss!

We also host many one-time public events: past events have included goat cheesemaking, bird banding family workshop, searching for amphibians, fruit tree pruning workshop and more.

See our Event Calendar for all upcoming events

Tales & Trails

Hear a tale and hike a trail with your preschooler to discover the natural wonders around you together! Children and their caregiver(s) gather for a short story that incites curiosity before exploring different places around Merry Lea. This is a 1.5-hour monthly program led by a Merry Lea educator.

When: Last Tuesday of every month (except December)
Ages: Children ages 3-5 and their caregiver(s), with younger siblings welcome

Tales & Trails

Spring Break Day Camp

Looking for a way to keep your student entertained during spring break?

Merry Lea hosts a Spring Break Day Camp for elementary students. Students participate in hands-on activities grouped by age for fun, outdoor exploration.

When: April 1 - 5, 2024
Ages: K – 5th grade students

Spring Break Day Camp

Nature Fest

Get outside and celebrate the beautiful spring weather with the whole family. This fun-filled festival hosts a variety of activities that happen over two days during a weekend. There is canoeing, nature crafts, campfires, hikes and so much more!

When: May 10 & 11, 2024

Nature Fest

Conservation Leadership School

Merry Lea hosts high school students for a week focused on exploring what it means to conserve natural resources in northern Indiana. The week includes workshops, activities, and student-developed projects for developing communication and leadership skills. Participants explore our 1200-acre nature preserve through hiking, canoeing, camping, swimming, dipping for macroinvertebrates, banding birds, and more.

When: June 3 - 7, 2024
Ages: High school juniors & seniors

Conservation Leadership School

Nature Play Day

Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN) hosts an annual, statewide Nature Play Day designed to get people outside. Join Merry Lea at this free, family-friendly event for guided and self-guided activities to choose from. Dip for tadpoles, create a nature craft, go on a hike, work on a scavenger hunt, and much more. Come explore the natural world in your own backyard!

When: June 2024

Nature Play Day

Junior & Teen Indiana Master Naturalist Summer Day Camp

This weeklong summer day camp includes activities like canoeing glacial lakes, exploring Merry Lea Teaching Farm, fishing, learning about current research projects, removing invasive species and more.

When: July 22 - 26, 2024
Ages: 9 - 15 years

Junior & Teen Indiana Master Naturalist Summer Day Camp

Luckey’s Landing Community Picnic

Merry Lea staff and Wolf Lake residents enjoy an evening by the lake while sharing stories, making s'mores, and dipping for critters in High Lake. This event brings the local community together for a fun, family-friendly summer evening.

When: Mid-August

Luckey’s Landing Community Picnic

Enchanted Forest

Join Merry Lea for an enchanting night hike where trail guides lead family groups for one-hour hikes by lantern light to meet real “live” animals on our trails. Costumed staff and volunteers talk about life as a native Indiana animal and answer questions children and adults may have. This family-friendly evening is a great alternative to Halloween events too scary for young children.

When: Late October

Enchanted Forest

Michiana Regional Seed Swap

Gardeners, farmers and plant enthusiasts in the Michiana region gather to exchange or acquire seeds, learn about seed saving techniques and gardening practices, and network with other plant growers. Merry Lea hosts this annual educational event, intended for everyone: from first-time gardeners to experienced growers.

When: January 20, 2024

Michiana Regional Seed Swap

Want even more? Check out our upcoming events calendar!