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No Family Left Indoors 2015 Series

A collaboration of 11 different Barry County organizations to help get families outside together.

The No Family Left Indoors program provides a free weekly activity in Barry County led by a local non-profit organization. These programs are designed to provide a fun way for families to enjoy time outside and explore the resources of Barry County. Now in its fourth year as a county-wide program, the No Family Left Indoors program continues to foster collaboration and partnership in Hastings, Delton, Middleville, Dowling, and the rest of Barry County.

Hundreds of families have participated in these programs over the past four years and have appreciated learning about new places and having the opportunities to try new things.

“One of the reasons that the organizations are interested in participating is to help attract people to the unique places of Barry County and to help the public recognize our local resources” said Matthew Dykstra, program manager at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. “Many of us are busy doing our regular programs throughout the year, but this is a great opportunity to go after a broader audience and to have a lot of fun with the people that participate.”

The program has its origins in the No Child Left Inside national initiatives. Inspired by the book “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv, people around the nation recognized that children today were spending much less time outside just playing and exploring. This has contributed to a variety of consequences, including poorer health, less understanding and appreciation for the natural world, even 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.



No Family Left Indoors is generously sponsored by Pennock Health Services





Program Information

No Family Left Indoors Summer 2015

Tuesdays in June, July and August

6:30 – 8 pm

All programs are free

Call (269) 721-4190 to register, or register online.


Once again Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is pleased to be a part of the Barry County community’s No Family Left Indoors program. There are several new locations and new organizations participating this year. All programs are free and include light refreshments. Participants are welcome to just show up, but    pre-registration is very helpful for planning purposes.

June 9 – Summer Stories and Activities at Thornapple Kellogg Schools and the Community Library (same building). Come and listen to stories and have fun in Middleville. Hosted by Thornapple Kellogg Schools.


June 16Nesting Season at Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary. Join a skilled birder for a discussion about birds’ nesting habits and then go for a hike on the trails to identify birds and look for nests. The approximate length of the hike is 1.5 miles. Hosted by the Michigan Audubon Society.


June 23 – Pond Exploration at Clear Lake Camp. Catch wiggling, hopping, or diving pond critters on the boardwalk. If there is time, the evening will end with a campfire and a story. Hosted by the Battle Creek Outdoor Education Center.


June 30 – Art in Nature at Charlton Park. Families will have a chance to explore Charlton Park and use items found in nature as the tools for an art project..


July 7 – Summer Outdoor Concert at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Community Music School students from the school will be playing an outdoor concert. Instruments will be available to touch and explore. Hosted by Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.


July 14 Sidewalk Art  at the Barry Community Enrichment Center. Create individual works of art on the sidewalks and add to a collaborative piece. Hosted by the Thornapple Arts Council.


July 21 – Finding Frogs at Hidden Pond Preserve. Kids will have the opportunity to get their feet wet and look for their favorite amphibians. Hosted by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy.


July 28 North Country Trail hike with the North Country Trail Association. A hike on the North Country Trail, highlighting some of the recent work on the trail. NE of Middleville at Crane Rd.


August 4 Exploring McKeown Bridge Park. Enjoy a family night together fishing, building and flying a kite, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Hosted by Barry County Parks and Recreation.


August 11 – A Bug Hunt at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Explore fields and forests, look for the creatures that call them home, and learn about what it takes to make it as an insect in the wild.


August 18 – Family Camp Night at Camp Algonquin. Families can enjoy a concentrated camp experience, including camp games, a climbing wall, and a boat ride. Hosted by YMCA of Barry County.


Please be sure to check the event location, as each of the 11 events are hosted at a different site. Location Map



Get Outdoors
There are several inexpensive ways you can introduce your child or grandchild to nature while helping them develop their muscles, fine tune their senses, increase their cognitive skills, and have a healthy respect for the environment. Many activities can be inexpensive or at no cost because we already have all the tools we need to explore the outdoors, being our hands, eyes, ears, and noses.

Here are some activities you can try at home or when out on a walk in the neighborhood or at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.