Special Events

From adult programs to open house events, Dunes Learning Center special events offer people of all ages opportunities to develop, and be inspired by, a personal connection to nature.

Event Sponsorship

Dunes Learning Center event sponsorship connects families with nature, communities with valuable education programs and YOU with business leaders, employees and customers. Event sponsorship packages provide a full year of benefits and recognition while supporting popular programs that benefit your community. Learn more >


Celebrate excellence in environmental education
Saturday, September 12, 6–10 pm at the Spa Special Events Center, Porter, IN

Join Dunes Learning Center friends and supporters for a fiery night of fun. This year’s gala event features an expanded cocktail hour, music by Chris and Lou, VIP presenters and a very special 2015 Green Apple honoree—Dunes Learning Center President Emeritus, Lee Botts.

The evening begins at six o’clock with a cocktail reception and sumptuous hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy a view of the Little Calumet River from the Spa’s deck or peruse our silent auction showcasing one-of-a-kind items and experiences, while you mix and mingle.

The award presentation kicks off with a short film by the makers of the Everglades of the North and soon-to-be released Shifting Sands documentaries and is followed by live music for those in the mood to dance. It will to be a night to remember and one you won't want to miss.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available. Purchase online >


Family fun with a winter flair
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Don’t let cold keep you indoors. Nature crafts, snowshoe hikes, live music and hot cocoa make for a memorable day in the dunes. Details to come.


Get Outdoors Day celebration and open house
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Get Outdoors and explore your national lakeshore at our 5th annual Get Outdoors Day celebration. Learn about the secret life of the Little Calumet River, get up close with nature or learn to kayak safely with the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. Guided hikes, science games, live music, art and a picnic lunch under the trees—it’s all free with your pre-registration! Watch for details and a registration link here.


Bands, beer, food and fun
Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at Sunset Hill Farm, Valparaiso

More than 1300 people, including 250 children under the age of 12 attended the second annual Lightning Bug Music Festival which raised a whopping $10,000 to send deserving kids to summer camp. Watch for details regarding line up and tickets, coming Spring of 2016.