HOUGHTON - Families experienced nature both outside and inside at Thursday's second annual Winter Family Fun Night at the Nara Nature Center.
About 50 people attended the event, which was sponsored by the Western U.P. Math & Science Center and the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.
"Families are always so busy that when you put something together, they enjoy the family time," said Joan Chadde, education-outreach program coordinator for the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Vincent Llamas, 8, of Laurium, displays a snowflake he created during Winter Family Fun Night at the Nara Nature Center Thursday night.
Attendees could do two 45-minute sessions. In one, they learned about snowflakes and got to make two- or three-dimensional models. In an outdoor hike, families learned about meteor showers and embarked on a scavenger hunt for snow.
"They have to see how many types of snow they can find," Chadde said.
Inside the Nara Nature Center cabin, people had scissors in hand to follow the instructions for making snowflakes.
Learning more about snowflakes was why Melanie Walls of Houghton and her granddaughter came.
"I think this is the best program they could offer for families," she said.
Her granddaughter, Lela Walls, 7, of Hancock, was melting down snow by the fire. She and others were investigating one of the science facts they'd learned: all snowflakes form around a particle of dust.
She had a magnifying glass ready. It turned out to be unnecessary.
"I can see seven of them without it," she said.
Christoper Llamas of Laurium was helping his son Vincent, 8, make snowflakes.
"It's a fun thing to do with the family," he said. "Especially my wife ... she's always on the lookout for these activities. And there's a lot you learn about snowflakes. I didn't know about the speck of dust."
Vincent considers the activities fun.
"Every time we come to one of these, I get to learn more," he said.