Red Oaks Nature Center prepares February lineup | C & G Newspapers

MADISON HEIGHTS — There’s a lot happening at the Red Oaks Nature Center this month, both indoors and outdoors.At one event, parents can drop off their kids to learn about winter constellations in an inflatable planetarium, followed by a discussion of nocturnal wildlife. It’s a great opportunity for Mom and Dad to enjoy a date night while the kids learn about nature in a safe environment. At another event, parents and their young ones can learn about birds and bird-watching together.Another event will teach guests of all ages how to identify different types of trees during the winter when their leaves are no longer available.Yet another event will show guests how to tap a maple tree and turn its sap into syrup and then sugar.The first event, titled “Parents Night Out — StarLab,” will take place from 7 to 10 p.m Friday, Feb. 12. Kids ages 5-11 can come dressed in their pajamas or other comfortable clothing. A release form is required with registration, and the cost is $15 per child.The event is entirely indoors and includes the StarLab unit — an inflatable planetarium where the kids sit inside, the lights are dimmed slowly so their eyes adjust to the darkness, and then constellations are projected on the ceiling. The program focuses on the constellations most easily visible during the winter, such as Orion, Pegasus and Taurus.“(StarLab) allows us to bring the wonder of the night sky indoors,” said Sarah Hudson, naturalist at the Red Oaks Nature Center. “We’re able to project the constellations with the dots connected, so to speak, so you can see the pictures in the sky that the stars are supposed to be representing. The kids get a kick out of seeing the stars in the first place, and then they see the pictures they connect to represent.”The planetarium portion is about 45 minutes long. There will also be a talk about nocturnal wildlife in Michigan, including bats, skunks, moths and salamanders. There will be taxidermy mounts to help illustrate the animals being discussed. The kids will also get to enjoy make-your-own-constellation snacks consisting of graham crackers, frosting and chocolate chips.“It’s an opportunity for the parents to drop their kids off and have a date night or project night or something like that,” Hudson said.
Source: Red Oaks Nature Center prepares February lineup | C & G Newspapers

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