Did you know that Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is celebrating National Park Week

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Date: April 12, 2013

National Park Week? Join the festivities at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore).  There is something for everyone, whether you come out to explore the park on your own, attend the National Junior Ranger Day event for kids from age 1 to 110, join the volunteer appreciation event, watch the movie "Chasing Ice," or spend an evening under the stars at the "Star Party."

Did you know…April 20 is National Junior Ranger Day, where "Every Drop Counts"? Over 800,000 children (of all ages) became Junior Rangers last year across the country. Join park rangers and Junior Rangers this year for an afternoon of fun, while exploring, learning about and protecting your national parks. Water is the theme of the day at the National Lakeshore, so be prepared to have a "splashing" good time! 

1:00 p.m.  Exploring Our Water, Esch Beach
Water testing, Lake Michigan water relay, and other activities await you while you explore Otter Creek and learn about all that water in the big lake. How much do you use?

2:00 p.m.  Water Wise, visitor center in Empire
The Visitor Center and Auditorium will host self-guiding stations where you can learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Dump, how many plastic water bottles wash up on Lake Michigan beaches, and what you can do to help. You will be able to vote for what you can do to help protect our water.  

3:00 p.m.  Swearing-in Ceremony, visitor center in Empire
Raise your right hand, repeat the pledge, and get your National Junior Ranger Day certificate and patch and become the newest Junior Ranger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore! Refreshments to follow.


Did you know…April 27 is movie night (well, movie afternoon)? The National Lakeshore will be showing the acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice. It is the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet.

2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Chasing Ice, visitor center auditorium in Empire
In Chasing Ice, we follow filmmaker James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. Balog's hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Running time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.

There will be two showings. Reservations are recommended. Seating is limited to 100 people per showing. Those with reservations will be seated first.


Did you know….April 27 is National Volunteer Day (part of National Volunteer Week) and the National Lakeshore is sponsoring an appreciation event to celebrate all of their awesome volunteers? Over 257,000 people volunteered at one of the national parks last year and 1,632 people volunteered 44,741 hours at Sleeping Bear Dunes, breaking all previous records for the National Lakeshore.

Kickoff the summer season with popcorn and a movie - followed by a Star Party!

6:30 p.m.  VIP Movie Night - Chasing Ice, visitor center auditorium in Empire
All current and future volunteers are invited to enjoy an additional screening of the documentary Chasing Ice. People who want to sign up as new volunteers are welcome, too. Our volunteers are truly Very Important People!


Did you know…April 27 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is hosting a Star Party to celebrate starry night skies and natural darkness which are an important part of our national parks?

8:30 p.m.  Star Party, Platte Point Beach
National parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide an excellent opportunity for the public to experience this endangered resource. Join Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society for a guided experience through the night sky. Sunset is at 8:44 p.m., then the star-studded exploration through telescopes begins.


Did you know…that to celebrate National Park Week, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at all parks from Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26?

So, if you are looking for something fun to do with family and friends, head out to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore during National Park Week and celebrate your national park.

Please call 231-326-5135, extension 328, for details and to make reservations.


About the National Park Service:  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


(231) 326-4700

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