Sleeping Bear Dunes Weekend Events: Junior Ranger Day, Solar Viewing & Star Party

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is hosting three awesome family events this Saturday, June 24. Learn about lighthouses and animals, ride a bike, view distant galaxies and more!

Junior Ranger 101
Kids of all ages are welcome to come and learn at Junior Ranger 101 at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Families can take part in fun activities and learn the basics of being a Junior Ranger. Complete the activities and earn your official Junior Ranger patch.

Junior Ranger Day activities will take place 3–6 p.m. on June 24 at the Dune Climb. Visitors will meet park staff at the Dune Climb parking area for this free event. Families are welcome to come and go but plan to spend one hour with park rangers to earn a Junior Ranger badge. For your safety, visitors are encouraged to consider personal comfort needs and bring water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear. Please note, participants will be asked to sign a photo/video release.

The Junior Ranger Day 101 event is free with a park pass. Passes may be purchased at the Phillip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, Michigan, and cost $15 (per vehicle) for seven days, or $30 for an annual pass.

Milky Way rising over the Crouch farm at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Solar Viewing & Star Party
Junior Ranger 101 coincides with our Solar Viewing event at the Dune Climb. Join park rangers and astronomers from the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at the Dune Climb parking lot. On this date, two events offer you opportunities to focus on the sky. The first event is from 4–6 p.m. and will allow visitors to safely view our closest star, the Sun, using a solar telescope. Then come back for the second event, from 9–11 p.m., which is the Star Party! It is a great chance to view distant galaxies and star clusters, as well as the evening planets of Jupiter and Saturn. Please park in the row furthest from the dunes with your headlights facing M-109 if staying for the Star Party.

—Press Release provided by National Park Service


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