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Issue Date: June 2008

Nature at Night

July 19 | Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Nature Center
Olga Kharitonova
Youngsters might have to stay up past their bedtime to enjoy this summer favorite — an annual ode to the mysterious, fascinating and sometimes spooky side of the Cleveland Metroparks after dark.

Never fear, educational night hikes will take explorers of all ages into the depths of the woods to shed light on the creatures that lurk there. Nocturnal wildlife that’s a little harder to spot — owls, snakes and opossums — will be on display inside the Nature Education Building, just behind North Chagrin Nature Center, so you can see what you’ve been missing.

Music around the campfire, storytelling and crafts such as making buttons and glow-stick lightning bugs will keep the little ones busy as families wait for sunset. “It’s around the full moon in July, so we do have a couple extra minutes of brightness,” says Cleveland Metroparks marketing specialist Dan Crandall.

Stargazing is also on the schedule once darkness falls. Even if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, those in attendance can get their astronomical fill thanks to the Star Lab, an inflatable planetarium provided by the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center.

Around 8:30 p.m., eight-piece band Blue Lunch, a ’50s-era swing and blues ensemble, will take the stage inside the Nature Center. If you’re not in the mood for music, bring a blanket and prepare to snuggle up under the stars for an outdoor screening of “Night at the Museum.”

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