state park

Now that Spring is right around the corner, it is the perfect time to get out and explore our Indiana State Parks!  It is also a perfect time to invest in an IN State Park Pass or check-out a pass for FREE at your local library!  There are several exciting events and activities going on in March at various Indiana State Parks for people of all ages and abilities.  I’ve included ten wonderful affordable ideas below for your family to enjoy together including some Easter Egg Hunts!  Look through them carefully as many require advanced registration.  Need more ideas?  Check out the 2016 Indiana Recreation Guide!  Be sure to take photos of your fun together, while you’re out and about in our beautiful Indiana State Parks System and share your experiences on social media with Indy with Kids by using the hashtag #PLAYindy.  Follow Indy with Kids on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to find up to date information on all the current and upcoming events and activities in and around Indianapolis!  


March 5th & 6th

6th Annual National Maple Syrup Festival at Brown County State Park
1810 State Road 46 East, Nashville, IN 47448
Two Day Event: March 5th 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. and March 6th 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Children ages 6 and under get into the festival for FREE!  

This festival features tree tapping, sap boiling, syrup tastings, incredible foods and unique drinks using maple syrup as an ingredient and so much more. This event appeals to outdoor lovers, those looking for relief from cabin fever and families looking for fun.

The main event will take place in the Brown County State Park, where festival guests will be able to shop the maple market, taste warm maple syrup flights, attend sap school, and participate in guided hikes. There will even be a maple syrup heist challenge course for the kids. Buy Tickets Online Now. *Price varies based on participant options. Call (812) 988-6406 for more information.

March 6th

Walking Stick Workshop at Prophetstown State Park
5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906
1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. at the Visitor Center

Enjoy this fun, easy walking stick workshop! During this workshop, there will be different tools and different methods of design for all ages (only older participants will be allowed to carve with a knife and/or use a woodburning tool.)  Workshop cost is $7 per walking stick.  Registration is required by calling the Visitor Center at (765) 567-4919, via email or register online.


Maple Tree Hike at Monroe Lake
4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington, IN 47401
2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. at Fairfax SRA
Everything maple! Hike through the woods to learn about maple tree identification, legends, and superstitions, see a demonstration on how to tap a maple tree to obtain its sugary sap, and finish by sampling maple sugar and different types of maple syrup. $5 per person. Registration is required by calling (812) 837-9967, via email or register online.


March 7th

Homeschool Mondays at Mounds State Park
Mounds State Park Nature Center
4306 Mounds Road, Anderson, IN 46017
Home-schooled students are invited to Mounds State Park for hour long, hands on learning sessions.  These programs are designed for students age 7 and older, but younger students are welcome.  Program topics range from history to art and science to nature.  Call ahead to the Mounds State Park Nature Center for the session topic.  Preregistration is appreciated, but not required by calling (765) 649-8128 or via email.  Program fee of $1.00 per student.

Dates and Times:
March 7th at 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.
March 21st at 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.


 March 9th 

Pre K Wednesdays at Mounds State Park
Mounds State Park Nature Center
4306 Mounds Road, Anderson, IN 46017
Pre K Wednesdays are hour long, exploratory nature sessions for little hands.  Programs are designed for ages 6 and younger, but all are welcome.  Program topics vary each session, so please call ahead to learn the topic and to register.  Programs meet at the Mounds State Park Nature Center, but may be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. Preregistration is appreciated, but not required by calling (765) 649-8128 or via email. Program fee of $1.00 per child.

Dates and Times:
March 9th at 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.
March 23rd at 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.


March 12th & 13th

Maple Sugaring Days at Prophetstown State Park
5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906
March 12 – 13 from Noon to 4:00 P.M. at the Native American Village

3rd Annual Maple Sugaring Demonstration: Visitors will see, smell, and taste history during this event. Woodland Indian Educational Program presenters, Jessica and Mark Eaton, will demonstrate historic Native American-style maple sugaring techniques using clay vessels, hot stone boiling, and evaporation in metal kettles.  Help stir the sap, tend the fire, taste the treats, and more.  The activities are free and open to the public after paying the gate admission fee of $8/carload (in-state) or $10/carload (out-of-state). For more information call (765) 567-4919 or send an email.

March 19th

Fly A Kite Workshop at Patoka Lake State Park
3084 North Dillard Road, Birdseye, IN 47513
March 19th Noon – 2:00 P.M. at the Nature Center
Kite building will start at the Nature Center with all supplies provided. Then travel to the beach for some high flying fun! $5/kite. Contact the Patoka Lake State Park Office for more information at (812) 685-2447. Register Online.


Clifty Falls State Park Fossils Rock!
2221 Clifty Drive Madison, IN 47250
Visit Clifty Falls State Park website for more details. Register by calling (812) 273-8885. Join us for a journey back in time as we explore the world of geology and fossils of Indiana!


March 25th & 26th

McCormick’s Creek State Park Amphibian Outing
Canyon Inn 451 McCormick Creek Park Rd, Spencer, IN 47460
Call for more information (812) 829-4881 or visit the website.
Friday, March 25 7:30 P.M. Bring a flashlight to kick off this amphibien discovery weekend with a night hike to the Quarry.
Saturday, March 26:

10:30 A.M.-11:30 A.M. Canyon Inn front lawn “Amphibian Triathlon” – Open to children of all ages: hop like a toad, jump like a frog and walk like a salamander. Fun, laughter and cool prizes!

1:00 P.M.-2:00 P.M. Canyon Inn conference room Presentations by Hoosier Herpetological Society (HHS) Live animals on display and PowerPoint program on the Amphibians of Indiana.

2:30 P.M.-4:00 P.M. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for exploring on the hike to the creek, on Trail 3, learning from the pros’ where and how to look for salamanders.

4:30 P.M.-5:30 P.M. – Canyon Inn Lobby Jumping Frog Craft: fold and decorate a simple origami animated critter (very young kids will need parental help).

5:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. Dinner service is available at the Hickory Dining Room in the Canyon Inn.

8:00 P.M. Carpool from Canyon Inn to the campground pond for a glimpse into the night-time activities of the amphibian world.


BONUS: Easter Egg Hunts

March 19th:

Versailles State Park Easter Egg Hunt
1387 US-50, Versailles, IN 47042
11:00 A.M. around the pool area
The Easter Bunny will be there for photos and to greet all the children! The hunt is divided into 3 age groups, up to 10 years old. Please call the Chamber office for details at (812) 689-6654.  


MARCH 26th:

Shakamak State Park Easter Egg Hunt
6265 W State Road 48, Jasonville, IN 47438
10:00 A.M. Meet at the Pool Shelter
For more details please call (812) 665-2158


Summit Lake State Park Easter Egg Hunt Event
5993 N Messick Rd, New Castle, IN 47362
(765) 766-5873
Activities such as face painting, bounce castle and Easter Bunny Meet & Greet begin at Noon followed by a 1:00 P.M. Easter Egg Hunt.
Prizes for 1-4 year olds, 5-8 year olds and 9-14 year olds.
This event is free with Park admission.  


Potato Creek State Park Easter Egg Hunt
25601 IN-4, North Liberty, IN 46554
For more details please call (574) 656-8186


Harmonie State Park Easter Egg Hunt
3451 Harmonie State Park Road, New Harmony, IN 47631
For more details please call (812) 682-4821


March 26th and March 27th:

Fort Harrison State Park Easter Egg Hunt
6000 N. Post Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216
(317) 591-0904
2:00 P.M. on both Saturday and Sunday inside the Visitors Center for toddlers/preschoolers and school aged children from Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  No other special activities planned outside of the egg hunts.  Free with Park admission.  

MARCH 27th:

Whitewater Memorial State Park Easter Egg Hunt
1418 S. State Road 101, Liberty, IN 47353
For more details please call (765) 458-5565