Zionsville’s Nature Play Days aim to get families outside


By Renee Larr

Zionsville Nature Center will offer special activities June 10 to 18 designed to get kids and families outside to enjoy nature.

CIZ COM 0606 Nature Play Days

“Nature Play Days is an initiative that was started last year through the Indiana Children and Nature Network,” said Mindy Murdock, Zionsville park naturalist. “The idea is to encourage families throughout Indiana to get outside and unplugged.”

This year, Zion Nature Center paired with other groups in town to offer activities.

“We wanted to work in conjunction with other organizations in the community who already do activities for kids, like the Zionsville Police Dept., SullivanMunce and the Zionsville library,” Murdock said. “I reached out to them and asked if they would like to do their programming during this week so it could be a community-based effort.”

Mayor Tim Haak even got in on the fun by declaring June 10 to 18 as Zionsville Nature Play Days.

“I reached out to the mayor and he really enjoyed the idea,” Murdock said. “He’s very active outside with his family, so this kind of fit him professionally and personally.”

There is also a social media contest in conjunction with the program.

“If people are out and about and they snap a picture of something they’re doing and use the hashtag #ICANNaturePlayDay on social media, they can win prizes. Some of the prizes are pretty cool,” she said.

Murdock hopes each year the program will continue to grow.

“My hope is in the years to come it becomes an annual thing,” she said. “We’re hoping we can add to it each year.”

For more information and a complete list of programs, visit zionnaturecenter.org under the Nature Play Days tab.

Nature Play Days

  • June 10 – Make Your Own Fish Kite, 9:30 a.m. to noon, SullivanMunce Cultural Center
  • June 10 – Campfire and Night Hike, 7 to 8 p.m., Zion Nature Center
  • June 11 – Nature I Spy, noon to 4 p.m., Zion Nature Center
  • June 12 – S’more Solar Oven, 1 to 2 p.m., Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library
  • June 13 – Storytime in the Grass, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., HMMPL
  • June 14 – Maplelawn Open House, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Maplelawn Farmstead
  • June 14 – Creekstomp, 1 to 3 p.m., Creekside Nature Park
  • June 15 – Teddy Bear Picnic, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lincoln Park
  • June 16 – Bike with a Cop, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Zion Nature Center
  • June 16 – Wetland Explorations, 1 to 3 p.m., Zion Nature Center
  • June 17 – Sss…Snake Hunters, 9 to 11 a.m., Starkey Nature Park
  • June 17 – Starkey Park Project, 1 to 3 p.m., Starkey Nature Park
  • June 18 – Dads and Me Explore, 1 to 2 p.m., Zion Nature Center