Need something to do with the kids over the holiday vacation, a gift of experience that may last a lifetime? Try getting them outside in the wonderful state parks surrounding Lafayette.
On Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, Chicot State Park in Ville Platte will offer a Dutch Oven Gathering from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will join the monthly Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, to view how cooking can be done in the wild. At the nearby Louisiana State Arboretum on Dec. 22 visitors will take a hike literally to identify trees during the hardest time of the year, winter, beginning at 2 p.m. For more information on either event, call (888) 677-6100 or (337) 363-6289 locally. Also on Saturday, Dec. 22, Lake Fausse Pointe State Park near St. Martinville will offer a Sunset Hike from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to the slough lookout to catch views of deer, owls and other wildlife while the sun sets. There will also be a morning canoe tour from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park where visitors will enjoy the tranquility of calm and quiet waters while learning about the parks history and flora and fauna along the way. Canoeing experience is recommended and space is limited, so please call for reservations. For more information call (888) 677-7200 or (337) 229-4764 locally.
For something totally different, visit the Louisiana State Arboretum and learn about Flying Squirrels with the site naturalist from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Visitors will enjoy a hike to see the squirrels preferred habitat in the old growth forest at the Arboretum. For more information about Louisiana State Parks, visit