The Journal Gazette
Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:00 am

Winter Events Calendar

Find new activity this season

AUBREE REICHEL | For The Journal Gazette

The daylight hours continue to increase so there's even more time to reduce the symptoms of cabin fever that can plague even the most active of individuals during the winter months.

With an abundance of events going on, there's no reason to be stuck inside to kick off the new decade.


Early Morning Bird Walk, 8:30 a.m. today, Pokagon State Park. Binoculars are provided for the 90-minute walk that begins at the Potawatomi Inn. Stick around until 2 p.m. for the Movie Matinee featuring a family-friendly animated movie at the Nature Center Auditorium.

The CCC Tribute Tree –Wonderland of Lights Event at Ouabache State Park continues daily from 6-9 p.m. through Tuesday. The Tribute Tree began as an annual tradition in 1939 and features the traditional 16 strands of blue lights and is surrounded by 13 pines to symbolize the original 13 colonies, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.


The annual Chilly Chili Challenge from Three Rivers Velosport is a tradition that many have incorporated into their New Year's Day traditions. The guided tour of the city starts and ends at Bob Arnold Northside Park at 1 p.m. and loops through Johnny Appleseed Park to watch the Polar Plunge participants at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Mona by email at

First Day hikes are an annual tradition across Indiana's state parks to start the year on the right foot (or left ... then right ... ):

Salamonie Lake's begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Interpretive Center.

Ouabache's Bison Hike meets at the park's bison enclosure at 11 a.m.

Chain O' Lakes hike starts from the Sand Lake beach parking lot at 2 p.m. followed by hot cocoa and cookies.

ACRES Land Trust is also hosting a free hike at 10 a.m. with hot cocoa at the Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve, 1802 Chapman Road in Huntertown.

Families can participate in a Winter Scavenger Hunt at Chain O' Lakes (noon Saturday). The card can be picked up at the Stanley Schoolhouse any time before 2:30 p.m. Final prizes are awarded at 3 p.m.

January's Senior Monday Luncheon at Salamonie Lake's Interpretive Center is at noon Jan. 6. The theme of the luncheon is Everglades of the North, featuring the story of the Kankakee Marsh. The main dish is potato soup and attendees are requested to bring a side dish to share, a beverage and their own table service. For reservations, call 260-468-2127.

Winter Tracks at Chain O' Lakes at 11 a.m. Jan. 11 at the Stanley Schoolhouse will present a 1-hour overview of common critter prints found around the park in the snow. At 1 p.m., attendees can also learn about owls and take home an owl creation with the Whoooooo is Here? presentation at the Schoolhouse.

Wonderful Woodpeckers, 11 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Stanley Schoolhouse at Chain O' Lakes. Attendees will meet inside the schoolhouse for a discussion about the park's woodpeckers then go on a short hike.

Meet at Salomon Farm Park for a Winter Walk on the Farm at 3 p.m. Jan. 26. The 4-mile walk will take walkers through the farm and the back fields, off the paved path, which could be considered challenging. To register for free, call 260-427-6000 or online at

The 42nd annual Fort Wayne Running Club Banquet will be 2:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Parkview Mirro Center. The keynote speaker is Dick Beardsley, a marathoner, drug abuse survivor, fisherman, author and motivational speaker. For information, go to

Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show sponsored by Master Spas is Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at Memorial Coliseum. The winter is the perfect time to plan for spring and summer getaways with the best travel trailers, motor homes, fifth wheels, among others.


Chain O' Lakes is hosting a Monthly Hiking Club at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month starting Feb. 1. Hike start locations will be announced on the Facebook page ( Hike times will vary but typically take 1-2 hours.

Senior Monday Luncheon, noon Feb. 3 at Salamonie Lake's Interpretive Center. Upper Wabash Interpretive Services naturalist Lynnanne Fager will share stories of Indiana bald eagles. The main dish is chicken, noodles and mashed potatoes.

Salamonie Lake will host an Eagle Watch, 3-7 p.m. Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. Attendees will meet at the Interpretive Center, have a short program about the eagles the drive to roost sites. Bring snacks, drinks, binoculars, cameras, spotting scopes and dress for the weather. Advanced registration is requested by calling 260-468-2127.

The Fort Wayne Derby Girls Season opener is at 5 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Coliseum. For more information and a full schedule, go to

The 39th annual Fort Wayne Boat Show and Sale is Feb. 13-16 at the Coliseum. Over 56 exhibitors from Indiana and Michigan will have low financing and special incentives.

The Northern Indiana Golf Show is Feb. 29-March 1 at the SportONE Parkview Fieldhouse. The first 150 attendees will receive a free round of golf from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation.

In addition to the daily events, the DNR is offering a 2-for-1 special at all seven of the state park inn locations, including Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon, for Sunday through Thursday reservations through Feb. 27. For more information, contact the Indiana State Parks Inns at 877-563-4371.

The Headwaters Park ice skating rink is open daily until March 1.

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