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I’d venture to guess most people have not explored the small town of Rensselaer, Indiana just off of I-65. I was one of those people, until the Ren Art Walk. I’m a fan of exploring and of art in general, and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about and I am so happy I did. 

The new art installations in Rensselaer, also known as the #RenArtWlk, is more than worth the trip to the small town about 45 minutes south of Merrillville, Indiana and under two hours north of Indianapolis.


Photo from NWI Times

You have probably seen, or seen pictures of, the giant metal propeller located at Indiana Dunes State Park. Did you know that it is from a sunken ship located in the bottom of Lake Michigan, that is also the first underwater nature preserve in Indiana? Now you do! 


“Hey, whattaya know, we got ourselves a cinnamon!” April and May are the typical calving months for our Kankakee Sand bison. So, you can imagine our utter shock and surprise when we saw a little red bison calf in the pasture this past November!

The first question that comes to mind is, “How did that happen?!” Well, we know how it happened.  The better question may be, “Why did that happen?”


This interactive, fuzzy, and colorful experience was more than just something out of a child’s dreams. As I, a 20-something adult, walked through the Mascot Hall of Fame I was in awe at the level of thought that has gone into making the building truly amazing for all ages. Not only is everything calling out to be touched, played with, read, or messed with, but it is educational and easy for younger audiences to figure out. 


Heavy rain was expected Saturday, so we got up early to get as much fun into our day as possible. After enjoying a delicious and relaxing breakfast at our hotel, we loaded up the car and headed a little bit south to Lowell, Indiana. Our first stop was Buckley Homestead. Buckley Homestead is described as a living history farm. It’s spread out over quite a few acres but is very walkable and so interesting that you cover quite a bit of ground without realizing it.


Photos from the Indiana Dunes National Park. View more on their Flickr account.

If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Northwest Indiana or if you’re a history buff you may want to visit the Century of Progress Homes at the Indiana Dunes National Park. These five homes were originally built for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, showing off the modern architectural design of the time. The homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once a year there is a ranger-led tour of the five homes.



 

Photo by Brian Niksch

I recently got the chance to visit Edge Adventures Northwest Indiana at Deep River, a "tree-top" ropes course and zip line park. It's one of the Region's newest attractions, and it's great. I did learn that I'm not as adventurous as my teenage self and I was a getting nervous as I was putting on my safety gear.


 

Photo by Jason Whalen at Big Foot Media

It feels as though we've waited an eternity for the answer, and now we have it.... ten bison calves! Since October 16, 2016 when the bison first arrived at Kankakee Sands, we have anticipated the birth of these calves. When would they be born? How many would be born? At long last, we have our answers.
 

On April 20th of this year, the first bison calf was born at Kankakee Sands. Over the next few weeks perhaps two or three more will be born, but as of today there are ten.


 

Grab your gear and get ready to explore the canals, rivers, streams and lakes in the South Shore. The South Shore has hundreds of miles of water trails and each route offers different opportunities from challenging and scenic to historic and wooded.