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Tippecanoe County area nature happenings, May 31-June 1

Memorial Day Parade, Lafayette, 2014-slide0
Beth Memmer

Gas prices cutting into your weekend fun? There are some options.

Five Points Firehouse Museum: Saturday, noon to 5. Free, although donations are gratefully accepted. Kids love this unique museum, especially in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.

Annie’s Orchard (link): This weekend u-pick strawberries will be available. Great way to save money; the strawberries that you pick are 2$ per pound. This is also a great way to teach kids about food production.

Columbian Park Zoo (link): Free, although donations are accepted. Kids can pretend to be prairie dogs or visit the otters under water. They can also pet the farm animals and get a glimpse at Australia.

Both the Lilly Nature Center (link) at Celery Bog and the Wabashika Nature Center at the Battlefield Park in Battle Ground are open and free. Lilly features a great kid’s zone and a large bird viewing area. Wabashika is in a small, cozy cabin and is trail head for the Wabash Heritage Trail. Both sites have hiking trails nearby.

Most of the parks in the county (including Lafayette and West Lafayette) have picnic facilities. Be aware that the shelter houses may be rented out. Happy Hollow and Columbian Park are usually full, especially this weekend with high school graduation parties. There are typically some picnic tables and grills.

Remember too, there are dozens of hiking trails in the area. Generally, if it's paved, the trail is multi-purpose. If it's not paved, it is hiking only. The one exception is the dirt trail at the amphitheater allows bikes.