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Explore the parks with these Game and Parks events in August

Spend some time this summer in Nebraska’s state parks. During August, a variety of events are planned for those interested in history, conservation, nature and just having a good time. Here are several examples:

Merritt Reservoir SRA to host Spectacular Stars, Magnificent Moths Nocturnal Insects

Uncover the fantastic world of nighttime insects at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area, renowned for its dark skies, on Aug. 4.

The program Spectacular Stars, Magnificent Moths Nocturnal Insects will introduce visitors to the process of “moth lighting.”

In moth lighting, a large bright light bulb and white bed sheet are set up. Moths are attracted to the light and the bed sheet, as a background, will help experts identify different species. Moths will be captured, photographed, then released. Come out and see how many species are captured.

The program starts at 3 p.m., with moth lighting beginning at 8:30 p.m. Meet at the Snake River Shelter.

A Nebraska vehicle park entry permit is required.

Wildcat Hills SRA to host Night Sky

Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area invites stargazers to bring a blanket and lie beneath the stars Aug. 27 during its Night Sky program.

The program, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Mountain time, will begin at the Nature Center. Visitors can explore constellations, mythology and much more. They will have an opportunity to watch the Perseids meteor shower, one of the best meteors showers of the year.

The event is free, but a Nebraska vehicle park entry permit is required.

Discover history of dolls at Arbor Lodge

Learn about the history of dolls Aug. 5-31 at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Special doll collections will be on display throughout the mansion.

The display will be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

A Doll Tea Party is scheduled for Aug. 14 from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the lodge’s sunroom. Feel free to bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to also enjoy the event. The tea will include small savories as well as hot and cold brewed tea. Reservations are required as space is limited. Tickets are $20.

Call 402-873-7222 for more information. Visit the calendar event entry to buy tickets to Arbor Lodge and the tea at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

Platte River State Park 40th Anniversary Run is Aug. 13

Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of Platte River State Park with a fun, scenic 1- or 3-mile trail run Aug. 13.

Runners will traverse the park’s challenging, beautiful trails. After the race, runners are encouraged to stay and explore the park.

Registration for the run, sponsored by Angry Cow Adventures, closes July 30. Visit the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to register. The registration fee includes a shirt and refreshments.

A Nebraska vehicle park entry permit is required.

Enjoy stargazing at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Come to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park on Aug. 19 and enjoy some summer stargazing.

Powerful telescopes will be set up at the park’s golf shack from 9-11:30 p.m. so visitors may get a glimpse at the night sky. Stargazing will begin at dusk. Remember to bring camp chairs or blankets.

The event is free, but a Nebraska vehicle park entry permit is required.

Mystery at the Mansion set for Aug. 13 at Arbor Lodge

Come to Arbor Lodge State Historical Park on Aug. 13 for an evening of fun with Mystery at the Manson: Clueless Murder. This old-fashioned whodunit will take place at Arbor Lodge Mansion at 6 p.m.

Solve clues, look for evidence, and break the case while mingling with new friends. Participants will receive a character to portray as they arrive at Arbor Lodge Mansion. Cost is $25, and space is limited for this adults-only event. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to buy tickets or for information on adding dinner or lodging.

Living History Weekend at Fort Atkinson is Aug. 6-7

Step back in time Aug. 6-7 and enjoy a Living History Weekend at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park.

Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. They will include military activity, mountain man camp, laundresses, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, spinning/weaving, coopering and more.

There will be free pony rides Aug. 6 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dr. Joe Starita will give the presentation “Warrior of the People” Aug. 7 at 1 p.m. Visit the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for the full schedule.

A valid Nebraska park entry permit is required. A per person fee is required at the Harold W. Andersen Visitor Center of $2 per adult and $1 per child. For more information, contact the park at ngpc.fort.atkinson@nebraska.gov or 402-468-5611.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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