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No Family Left Indoors 2016

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

Local non-profits are continuing the tradition of offering free, family-oriented programs on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. The interactive outdoor programs will help participants explore the many wonders of Barry County. These programs are a great way to discover new places, learn about organizations that are working to make Barry County a better place, and have fun. All ages are welcome—even adults!

The program has its origins in the No Child Left Inside national initiatives, and since its inception six years ago, hundreds of families have participated and have appreciated learning about new places and having the opportunities to try new things. Inspired by the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, people around the nation recognized that children today are spending much less time outside just playing and exploring. This lack of outdoor play time has contributed to a variety of consequences, including poorer health, less understanding and appreciation for the natural world, and 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. Don't miss your chance to be a part of the fun!

No Family Left Indoors is generously sponsored by:



Program Information

Tuesdays in June, July and August.

6:30 – 8 pm

All programs are free and include light refreshments. Participants are welcome to just show up, but pre-registration is very helpful for planning purposes.

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


Location Map

June 14 – Family Night at Camp 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.

June 21 – It’s Recess Time! at Charlton Park. Explore the Park and play games from yesteryear. Try out hoop and stick, graces, and more! The best part is that there won’t be any detention! Hosted by Charlton Park.

June 28 – Pond Exploration at Clear Lake Camp. Get a peek at who lives beneath the surface of the water. Catch wiggling, hopping, or diving pond critters from the dock. The evening will end with a campfire and marshmallow roast. Hosted by Outdoor Education Center.

July 12 – Finding Art Scavenger Hunt at Bob King Park in Hastings. Participants will explore the park through the surfaces and textures around them during a hands-on scavenger hunt. Hosted by Thornapple Arts Council.

July 19 – Exploring McKeown Bridge Park at McKeown Bridge Park in Hastings. Enjoy a family night together fishing, building and flying a kite, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows—all while exploring the great outdoors. Hosted by Barry County Parks and Recreation Board.

July 26 – Surviving on the Trail at Stagecoach Park in Middleville. Learn how hikers can safely find and purify water while out on the trail. This lesson will be followed by a short hike to explore the wonders of this national trail. Hosted by North Country Trail.

August 2 – Amazing Animals at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Many marvelous creatures call the Institute home. See a number of these creatures up close and learn about what it takes to make it in the wild. Hosted by Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

August 9 – Summer Concert at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Students from the Community Music School will be playing an outdoor concert. Instruments will be available to touch and explore. Hosted by Community Music School.

August 16 – Hop into the Prairie at Hidden Pond Preserve. Participate in an insect investigation in the tall grass prairie at the preserve. Look for grasshoppers, crickets, mantises, beetles, and other insects. Hosted by Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy.