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This area of Indiana is perfect to help you get in touch with nature. Gary Gatman, board president of Noble County CVB joined us today to tell us all about the fun the area has to offer.

Located 19 miles northwest of Fort Wayne right along Indiana State Road 9 in Noble County, Chain O’ Lakes State Park is a unique geological area encompassing 2,718 acres, about 700 acres of which are water. Chain O’ Lakes offers 416 camp sites, 4 canoe camping sites, a rally camp area, youth tent area, and 3 reservable picnic shelters. There are also 18 forested hillside family cabins which sleep 6 people each. 

For activities, the park has a Historic 1915 One Room Schoolhouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. There is also a beach swimming area and a Boat Rental. The park boasts 12 trails covering 29 miles. These trails vary in difficulty and traverse a variety of habitats within the park, including wooded forest, restored prairie, and the many miles of lakeshore. 

There are 13 lakes total in the park, all of which are kettle lakes, formed by receding glacial ice sheets during the Pleistocene Epoch. Nine of these lakes are connected and provide an excellent paddle trail, thus the creation of the “9 Lake Challenge”!

The 9 Lake Challenge will take you 5 miles across the park via nine connected kettle lakes. Enjoy the natural landscape from the unique vantage point of your boat. You can bring your own boat or rent one at the park’s Boat Rental. Download or pick up a paddle map to guide you, take pictures along the way at the nine designated locations, and then show your photos to the staff at park headquarters. Upon completion, get a free sticker and purchase your 9 Lake Challenge merchandise. Then you can officially say I PADDLED THE CHAIN!

No matter which activity you enjoy while visiting, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and rejuvenate in nature here. With 9 connected lakes and 29 miles of trails to explore, Chain O’ Lakes State Park is a small boater’s paradise and a hiker’s haven, where YOU can make Memories Made Naturally. 

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2020 has been a year to remember!  Lifestyle and parenting expert, Sherri French is here today to help you and your family usher in 2021 with fun and games to bring the new year in with a bang. 

Countdown Clock Decoration

Blow up balloons and using black stickers or markers, write the numbers from 1 to 12.  Stick them to your wall with tape in a circle to form a clock.  Add ribbon to the bottoms of the balloons for more fun.  Make a minute and hour hand for the middle of the balloon.  A great addition to your NYE decorations.

What you need:  12 balloons, 12 ribbons, black marker or sticker numbers, minute and hour hands cut out, black paper, scissors, tape

Mocktails for Kids

Create fancy drinks for the youngest members of your house!  Using plastic champagne flutes, using a light-coloured fruit juice such as apple juice, grape juice or sparkling apple juice.  To make the colour change, add hard rock candy to the juice.  Also try Sour Patch Kids, gummy bears, pop rocks or anything else fun.  You can also try to add sprinkles to a glass of milk to make it fancy and fun.  

What you need (mocktails) – Plastic champagne glasses, light fruit juice (apple, grape or sparkling apple), candy of your choice

Milk glasses – Glass, colourful sprinkles, something to make the sprinkles stick to the rim (honey, corn syrup)

Glow In The Dark Ring Toss

Make an easy ring toss for family fun using glass bottles, glow in the dark tape and glow sticks.  Decorate the glass bottles in the tape and make rings with the glow sticks.  Set up the bottles, turn out the lights and toss the rings!

What you need – Glass bottles, glow in the dark tape, glow sticks

Shaving Cream Fireworks

What is NYE without fireworks?  Have some messy fun with your kids using shaving cream, paint, toothpicks and a cookie sheet.  Fill the cookie sheet with shaving cream.  Using a piece of cardboard, flatten it out evenly in the pan.  Drop colours of paint onto the shaving cream.  Using a toothpick, start on the middle of the dot and pull the colour out like a firework burst.  Add in a second colour if you wish.  Do this for all of the drops of paint on the cookie sheet.  Take a blank piece of paper and press down gently onto the shaving cream.  Pull gently away from the pan.  If there is any excess shaving cream, use the cardboard to remove.  Let it dry and you have an amazing firework print!

What you need – Cookie sheet, shaving cream, paint, cardboard, white paper, toothpicks

To find details on all of these great NYE ideas head to @momhint on Instagram.