Family-Friendly Boulder Area Tours [that are FREE too!]

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Looking for something a bit different to do with your family during the week or on the weekend? Check out these free local tours…

Celestial Seasonings Tour: Learn how tea is harvested, blended, packaged and makes its way to market. This is a 45 minute tour that leaves on the hour every day of the week. The tour is free and includes samples. Kids of all ages enjoy this tour!

NCAR Self-Guided Tour & Weather Hike: NCAR provides a building full of things to discover for kids and adults alike. Kids can explore many things related to weather in this hands on setting. There is also a short weather hike right above the building. Bring a picnic lunch and eat outside or plan to eat in their cafeteria. The tour is free and exhibits are open when the building is. Our family loves visiting NCAR!

Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art & Sculpture Garden: Explore paintings and statues of Western life and art. This is a relatively extensive collection of art and it is always free to visit.

CU Museum of Natural History: The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History is located on the University of Colorado main campus. The Museum offers a wide range of special events and educational programs throughout the year. Permanent exhibition galleries feature paleontology, zoology, anthropology and the children’s Discovery Corner. Three galleries offer changing exhibits on a variety of topics. The museum is very family-friendly and admission is free. Open 7 days a week.

Interested in other FREE opportunities happening around town? See the Denver Free Days List for museums and attractions along the Front Range.

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Boulder Family Events: June 28 to July 4, 2013

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Friday, June 28

Saturday, June 29

  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.
  • Twenty Ninth Street Live! Live musical performances Saturday nights throughout the summer. Food trucks, drinks, music. All outside at the Twenty Ninth Street Mall. 7:00 to 10:00pm. 

Sunday, June 30

Monday, July 1

Tuesday, July 2

Wednesday, July 3

  • Bands on the Bricks. Get down and enjoy great live music playing on the Pearl Street Mall. Check out the line up here. Free. 7:00 to 9:00pm [libations starting at 5:30pm]
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, buy some veggies, get some dinner, listen to live music and even have a beer. There is always so much going on at the market and it’s not as crowded as Saturdays, so it’s great for families! 4:00 to 8:00pm.
  • FREE Night at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits. 4 to 8pm.
  • TEBO Train on Pearl Street Mall. Free. 10:00am to 11:15am. More details in the June 10 listing.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, July 4–Happy 4th of July!

Boulder Family Events: June 21 to June 27, 2013

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Friday, June 21

  • Noon Tunes on Pearl Street Mall. Head down to Pearl Street for some free, grooving good tunes. Let the kids play in the pop fountain and dance the afternoon away. Noon to 1:30pm.
  • Friday Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. Come listen to stories. Free. 10:15am.
  • Wanda & The Wave Children’s Theatrical Performance. A giant wave looms over the home of Wanda. “Drip-drop!” she scolds the wave, as she goes about daily life with her dog Bones, not realizing that the wave is a companion who loves her.  A stranger muses on the possibilities of the wave, awakening Wanda’s curiosity as to what lies beyond. Told through puppetry, “Wanda & The Wave” is a whimsical tale about
    appreciating the world around us. The audience will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the puppets and performers. 7:00pm.

Saturday, June 22

Sunday, June 23

  • Ballet in the Park with the Boulder Ballet. The ninth-annual outdoor concert series, free to the public! This family-friendly repertoire concert features excerpts from the season along with new works, in classical and contemporary styles. Come early with a picnic, enjoy a beautiful summer evening with the ballet, and then marvel at the spontaneous dancing by children from the audience after the show! Performance length is approximately one hour. Boulder’s Central Park Bandshell, Downtown. Free. 7:00pm.
  • Charlotte’s Web performed by the Now or Never Theater brings this classic tale to life with puppets, shadows and storytelling performed by Betsy Tobin and Margarita Blush. Children and adults will love this touching story enacted with puppets and magical shadow imagery of the webs that Charlotte weaves for her friend, Wilbur.
    at the Boulder Public Library. Free. 2:00 to 3:00pm at the Main Boulder Library Canyon Theater.
  • Wanda & The Wave Children’s Theatrical Performance. See description on 6/21. Showtimes: 3:00pm

Monday, June 24

Tuesday, June 25

  • GrandRabbits’ Play Day. Join this great toy store for unique crafts and activities each week. Free. 11:00am.
  • TEBO Train on Pearl Street Mall. Free. 10:00am to 11:15am.
  • PJ Storytime at the George Reynolds Branch library. Wear your PJ’s and bring a teddy bear for this fun filled storytime. 10:15am.
  • Teen Summer Film Festival presents Lincoln. For middle- and high schooled- aged youth only! Pizza in the Teen Art Gallery at 5:00. Movie in the Boulder Creek Room at 5:30.Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg. As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
    Seating in chairs or on floor instead of theater seats—bring pillows and blankets for comfort!

Wednesday, June 26

  • Summer Reading Crafts at the George Reynolds Branch Library. Open to all. 3:00pm.
  • Bands on the Bricks. Get down and enjoy great live music playing on the Pearl Street Mall. Check out the line up here. Free. 7:00 to 9:00pm [libations starting at 5:30pm]
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, buy some veggies, get some dinner, listen to live music and even have a beer. There is always so much going on at the market and it’s not as crowded as Saturdays, so it’s great for families! 4:00 to 8:00pm.
  • FREE Night at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits. 4 to 8pm.
  • TEBO Train on Pearl Street Mall. Free. 10:00am to 11:15am. More details in the June 10 listing.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, June 27

  • History Hunters at the Boulder Public Library. Enjoy the musical quest as the History Hunter sets out to search through the world’s history, discovering stories of remarkable people who have made a difference along the way. Filled with amazing songs, festive dances, and a cast of wonderful characters. 11:00am Canyon Theater at the Main Boulder Library.
  • LEGO Club at the George Reynolds Branch Library. Do you like LEGOs? Do you like stories? Then you’ll love LEGO club at the George Reynolds Branch Library! Join us the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month for storytime and LEGOextravaganza. If you’re a great LEGO builder, or a first timer, this is the place for you. Open to anyone interested, no need to sign up.
  • TEBO Train on Pearl Street Mall. Free. 10:00am to 11:15am. More details in the June 10 listing.

Boulder Family Events: June 14 to June 20, 2013

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Friday, June 14

Saturday, June 15

  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.
  • Hellen Olson: The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids at the George Reynolds Branch Library. Great for the whole family whether you are veteran campers or just want to start getting your family out. 11:00am to Noon.
  • Louisville Public Library Kickoff Event for All Summer Reading: Digging in the Dirt. All ages are welcome to participate in this hands-on program presented by Dr. Cathy Regan of the University of Colorado Museum. Much of what is done at the Museum starts with digging in the dirt. Explore and share some of the techniques and collections: Archaeology—Dig up ancient southwestern potsherds to discover how much insight we gain into people’s lives from a single broken piece of pottery. Paleontology—Search for real fossils in material dug up by ants in Wyoming. Animal adaptations for living in the dirt. Look at real museum specimens up close to learn about what it takes to excavate and live underground. 10:00am to Noon. 

Sunday, June 16 — Happy Father’s Day! 

  • Ballet in the Park with the Boulder Ballet. The ninth-annual outdoor concert series, free to the public! This family-friendly repertoire concert features excerpts from the season along with new works, in classical and contemporary styles. Come early with a picnic, enjoy a beautiful summer evening with the ballet, and then marvel at the spontaneous dancing by children from the audience after the show! Performance length is approximately one hour. Broomfield Amphitheater.
  • Charlotte’s Web performed by the Now or Never Theater brings this classic tale to life with puppets, shadows and storytelling performed by Betsy Tobin and Margarita Blush. Children and adults will love this touching story enacted with puppets and magical shadow imagery of the webs that Charlotte weaves for her friend, Wilbur.
    at the Boulder Public Library. Free. 2:00 to 3:00pm at the Main Boulder Library Canyon Theater.

Monday, June 17

Tuesday, June 18

Wednesday, June 19

  • Summer Reading Crafts at the George Reynolds Branch Library. Open to all. 3:00pm.
  • Bands on the Bricks. Get down and enjoy great live music playing on the Pearl Street Mall. Check out the line up here. Free. 7:00 to 9:00pm [libations starting at 5:30pm]
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, buy some veggies, get some dinner, listen to live music and even have a beer. There is always so much going on at the market and it’s not as crowded as Saturdays, so it’s great for families! 4:00 to 8:00pm.
  • FREE Night at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits. 4 to 8pm.
  • TEBO Train on Pearl Street Mall. Free. 10:00am to 11:15am. More details in the June 10 listing.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, June 20

Boulder Family Events: June 7 to June 14, 2013

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Friday, June 7

Saturday, June 8

  • Longmont Museum FREE Day. Enjoy a free day at this great museum. Today kicks off their Build! LEGO exhibit and interactive events. 10:00am to 2:00pm. 
  • Snow White performed by Theater-Hikes Colorado. Audience and actors take a moderate hike amidst the scenic backdrop of Boulder Open Space while scenes from “Snow White” are performed along the way. There are additional performances, but in the past this has sold out, so get your tickets! SOLD OUT!
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.
  • Eldorado Canyon Junior Rangers. Resource-based nature programs for kids 6 to 12 years. The program is free with a parking pass or annual pass. 10:00 to 11:15am. More details: 303.494.3943.
  • Dig In To The World of Henry Cole at the George Reynolds Branch Library. Join children’s author/illustrator, Henry Cole for this interactive presentation filled with laughter as he brings the art of writing and illustrating for children to life. His vibrant animal illustrations, his love for nature and his imagination will inspire everyone who attends. Free. 11:00 to Noon.

Sunday, June 9

  • Boulder Jewish Festival on Pearl Street. Entertainment, food and fine arts come together to celebrate. This is a family-friendly, fun annual event. Definitely worth checking out!
  • Snow White performed by Theater-Hikes Colorado. Audience and actors take a moderate hike amidst the scenic backdrop of Boulder Open Space while scenes from “Snow White” are performed along the way. There are additional performances, but in the past this has sold out, so get your tickets!

Monday, June 10

Tuesday, June 11

Wednesday, June 12

  • Bands on the Bricks. Tonight is the first in a series of great live music playing on the Pearl Street Mall. Check out the line up here. Free. 7:00 to 9:00pm. 
  • Now or Never Theater Presents Charlotte’s Web. Adapted from the book by E. B. White by Betsy Tobin of the Now Or Never Theatre: puppets, shadows and storytelling performed by Betsy Tobin and Margarita Blush. Fern’s mother, the storyteller, evokes life in the barn as she tells the story of Wilbur the pig’s unlikely survival and his lasting friendship with a spider and her offspring. Children and adults will love this touching story enacted with puppets and magical shadow imagery of the webs that Charlotte weaves for her friend, Wilbur. Free. Meadows Branch Library. 1:00 to 2:00pm.
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, buy some veggies, get some dinner, listen to live music and even have a beer. There is always so much going on at the market and it’s not as crowded as Saturdays, so it’s great for families! 4:00 to 8:00pm.
  • FREE Night at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits. 4 to 8pm.
  • TEBO Train on Pearl Street Mall. Free. 10:00am to 11:15am. More details in the June 10 listing.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, June 13

Boulder Family Events: May 31 to June 6, 2013

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Friday, May 31

Saturday, June 1

  • FREE Day at the Denver Art Museum. 
  • Snow White performed by Theater-Hikes Colorado. Audience and actors take a moderate hike amidst the scenic backdrop of Boulder Open Space while scenes from “Snow White” are performed along the way. There are additional performances, but in the past this has sold out, so get your tickets!
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.

Sunday, June 2

  • Circle Boulder By Bicycle Fun Ride presented by Community Cycles. Kick off Boulder Walk & Bike Month in style. This non-competitive ride follows the city’s bikeways, beginning and ending at Scott Carpenter Park and is open to all ages. Riders can register for free and start the ride for the approximately 26-mile or 16-mile  rides. Participants that need extra time, for either ride, can register earlier. Participants will loop around Boulder using a linking network of paths, neighborhood streets and unpaved trails. A free, post-ride party will take place at Scott Carpenter Park, where the ride began. The free party starts at 5 p.m. and will include refreshments.
  • Snow White performed by Theater-Hikes Colorado. Audience and actors take a moderate hike amidst the scenic backdrop of Boulder Open Space while scenes from “Snow White” are performed along the way. There are additional performances, but in the past this has sold out, so get your tickets!

Monday, June 3

Tuesday, June 4

Wednesday, June 5

  • West End 3k/1.5k Kids Run. This local favorite kicks off the Downtown Boulder Race Series, taking runners through the vibrant West End district of Pearl Street. The race will include a special 1.5K distance just for the kids. Click here to REGISTER.
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, buy some veggies, get some dinner, listen to live music and even have a beer. There is always so much going on at the market and it’s not as crowded as Saturdays, so it’s great for families! 4:00 to 8:00pm.
  • FREE Night at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits. 4 to 8pm.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, June 6

Boulder Family Events: May 24 to 30, 2013

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Climbing in Boulder Canyon with the kids last weekend was great!

Friday, May 24

Saturday, May 25

  • Boulder Creek Festival. This is a fun event for families. There are kids rides, lots of food, kids activities, nonprofits, and lots of great people watching. To get more details on the Kids Place, Teen Fest, and other features of this fun weekend event click here.
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.

Sunday, May 26

  • Boulder Creek Festival. This is a fun event for families. There are kids rides, lots of food, kids activities, nonprofits, and lots of great people watching. To get more details on the Kids Place, Teen Place, and other features of this fun weekend event click here. 

Monday, May 27

  • Boulder Creek Festival. This is a fun event for families. There are kids rides, lots of food, kids activities, nonprofits, and lots of great people watching. To get more details on the Kids Place, Teen Place, and other features of this fun weekend event click here.
  • Bolder Boulder. This is a fun event to run or watch. The link gives you info on the route. There is entertainment all along the way.

Tuesday, May 28

  • Storytime Creekwalk: Clean Up Crew. Meet at the Main Boulder Library for stories and activities including an outdoor explore along Boulder Creek.
  • GrandRabbits’ Play Day. Join this great toy store for unique crafts and activities each week. Free. 11:00am.
  • Musical Story Hour at Chautauqua. Join Boulder Public Library’s Youth Services Staff for a fun story hour full of music, play and dance!  The chosen books will be full of rhythm and song inviting all children and their caregivers to sing along.  The presenters will incorporate movement to help youth feel the groove and joy of books, music and song! The hours are designed for ages 3 to 7 but all ages are welcome. Cost $1. 10:00am

Wednesday, May 29

  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, buy some veggies, get some dinner, listen to live music and even have a beer. There is always so much going on at the market and it’s not as crowded as Saturdays, so it’s great for families! 4:00 to 8:00pm.
  • FREE Night at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits. 4 to 8pm.

Boulder Family Events: May 17 to 19, 2013

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Photo credit: Kai Wember-Brown

What is your family up to this weekend? Share your plans or other fun things going on around town here [comment here] or on our Facebook Page

Friday, May 17

Saturday, May 18

Sunday, May 19

  • Magicians of the Mountain Parks Come meet some of the astonishing magicians who live in our wild backyard – the rabbit, the skunk, the weasel and more. Magician Paul Norton and Naturalist Lynne Sullivan will reveal the amazing survival strategies of our wild neighbors. Join us at the Sunrise Amphitheater on Flagstaff Mountain for this stationary nature magic show. 11:00am.

Boulder Family Events: May 10 to 13, 2013

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What is your family up to this weekend? Share your plans or other fun things going on around town here [comment here] or on our Facebook Page

Friday, May 10

What is happening today? Some ideas: Family movie night, take a hike on the Annie U. White Trail, Bike at the Valmont Bike Park, Walk along the Bobo Link Trail

Saturday, May 11

  • Kids’ Bike Day at Community Cycles. Free event which includes bike tunes for kids bikes, a bike rodeo, bike safety, and lots of other fun stuff. Every kid who participates gets a prize! No need to register just make your way over. 11:00 to 3:00.
  • FREE Day at the Longmont Museum
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.
  • Dinosaur Day at Chautauqua Millions of years ago, they stalked the earth! Drop by the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage to see and touch fossils that tell the stories of Boulder’s prehistoric creatures.  Help assemble a life-sized replica of a duck-billed Edmontosaurus skeleton! Feel a real dinosaur track, and a tooth from the awesome T. rex, and visit with naturalists who will show you pictures of what Colorado used to look like in the days of the thunder lizards. (Hint: prepare to be amazed).  Dinosaur costumes and clothing, and lots of questions, are encouraged. Free event. 10:00 to 2:00
  • Boulder Home and Garden Show at 29th Street Mall. Lots of great ideas and products, food trucks, and an Alpaca Petting Zoo. 10:00 to 4:00
  • Best of Mary Sue and Cari Be ready to clap, stomp, sing and enjoy “The Best of Mary Sue & Cari” From buzzing like insects to dancing like fairies, these talented musicians will captivate you with their original kid-centered rhythmic music, relevant to kids and parents alike. Lauded by Downtown Boulder as, “The best kids music in Boulder!” this is a concert you won’t want to miss. Free event. 11:00am at the George Reynolds Branch Library AND 3:00pm at the Meadows Branch Library.

Sunday, May 12 

  • Midsummer’s Night Dream performed by the Boulder Ballet. At the Boulder Theater. 2 shows: 11:00am and 2:00pm. 
  • FREE Day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Walking Through the Language of the Landscape Shapely mountains, textured meadows, communities of plants – these are the voices of the landscape, patiently waiting for an observer to discern their stories. Join naturalist Lynne Sullivan as we learn to read the language of the landscape for the subtle and significant stories of our beloved wildlands. Meet at the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage with water and snacks for this 3 mile moderate hike. Attn: appropriate for teens and up. Free event. 9:00 to Noon.
  • Bach 4 Kids Concert at the Main Boulder Library. The Annual Bach 4 Kids Concert opens with a performance of a movement of Bach’s “Double Violin Concerto” by Boulder Suzuki Strings under the direction of Amy Gesmer-Packman. The Boulder Bach Trio–Benjamin Tomkins-violin, Ysmael Reyes-flute, and Karen Terbeek-cello–follows with a hands-on demonstration of how Bach ornaments his music by “decorating” it with added notes and trills. Kids will create and “decorate” their own melodies, using the aria from Bach’s “Goldberg Variato”.

Monday, May 13

  • Rain, Mud, and Bees! Celebrate moisture, mud and May as naturalist Ellen Orleans reads lively picture books at the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage. Your children (or grandchildren!) can join in the fun with pitter-pattering, foot stomping, buzzing, and the color of the week. At 10:30, we’ll take off for a kid-friendly “Signs of Spring” hike. Wear clothes to match the weather and bring a snack if you like. The story portion of this program is wheelchair-accessible. Free event. Geared toward 3 to 6-year-olds. 10:00 to 11:00.

Boulder Family Events: May 3 to 5, 2013

Photo - Red-winged Blackbird

Photo credit: City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks

The snow may still be on the ground, but warmth is in the air. Please do share your plans or other fun things going on around town here [comment here] or on our Facebook Page

Friday, May 3

Saturday, May 4

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream Storytime.  A special storytime reading of selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented by ballerinas from the Boulder Ballet Company! Free. Boulder Bookstore at 11:00am.
  • Boulder Jazz & Artfest. Head to Pearl Street for live jazz and shopping from unique artisans. Fun for the whole family!
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.
  • FREE Day at the Denver Art Museum. Great opportunity to explore the DAM.
  • FREE Day at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Check out all the cool train cars and much more!
  • Family Day: Digging in the Dirt at the CU Museum of Natural History. Much of what we do at the museum starts with digging in the dirt. We’ll explore artifacts and fossils dug up by archaeologists and paleontologists. But it’s not just scientists who dig in the dirt – lots of animals dig for food or to make their homes. And we won’t forget the plants, whose roots bring food and water from the dirt. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty as we explore the world under our feet! Free entry. 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Sunday, May 5

  • Wild Earth Day. Join the Wild Bear Mountain Center to enjoy Boulder County’s largest Earth Day celebration. Hands on events for kids. Central Park in Downtown Boulder. 11:00am to 4:00pm. 
  • Boulder Jazz & Artfest. Head to Pearl Street for live jazz and shopping from unique artisans. Fun for the whole family!
  • Marsh Songs. Listen for bird songs in a local marsh with naturalist Dave Sutherland and hear selections from the orchestral work. Early birds should meet at Sawhill Ponds, on 75th Street about 0.6 miles north of Valmont Road, for this easy hike. This program is free and open to the public. Beginning bird watchers strongly encouraged! 8:00 to 10:30am.
  • Nature for Kids & Parents: Birdsong. Find out why birds sing and where each bird gets his song.  Learn a song, dance, and game while observing the many local birds.  Go on a bird hunt to listen to the song the birds are singing, so you can tell exactly what is on his mind. Meet at the Lehigh Street entrance to Shanahan Ridge (map search 1903 Lehigh, where Lehigh and Lafayette Streets intersect) for an easy hike.  Parking is available along the street. Ages 6 and up. 1:00 to 3:00pm.