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Thursday, October 8 News

Darien Nature Center plans a day at the farm

Looking for a place that will give you a glimpse of a frog or two, put a bounce in your step and bring you face-to-face with some farm animals? Then make haste for the Darien Nature Center.

"This is really a fun, warm, community event," said Elizabeth Hearle of the center's annual Memorial Day weekend activity, Down on the Farm, which takes place on Saturday, May 24.

For many years, Hearle brought her own children to the event, but this year she will be seeing it through her eyes as the director of the nature center. It has been about a year since she started at the post and is looking forward to seeing the many who come out this year.

"It should be an exciting day," she said.

In addition to some of the traditional features, which include a petting zoo and pony rides, there will be some new programs, such as a visit by a beekeeper. Visitors can see several hives and learn about the honey-

making process.

Families also will be encouraged to hit the trails and see what the center has to offer through a scavenger hunt, while children will be encouraged to reach new heights in some inflatable bounce houses.

One can also find their perch amid the treetops, with the help of Almstead Tree Service. Or climb a tractor or two and see a truck up close, thanks to Fox Hill Builders -- exploration is welcome.

More Information

Darien Nature Center, 120 Brookside Road, Darien. Saturday, May 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (raindate Sunday, May 25). $10 child, $5 adult. 203-655-7459, www.dariennaturecenter.org.

Music will be provided by the Bossy Frog Band, which has played at the event many times in the past and is looking forward to returning. Jeffrey Friedberg, on banjo, and Joe Angelori, on bass, plan to perform the original and traditional music for which they are known.

"We are 100 percent interactive," Friedberg said. "We get everybody singing and dancing."

Also returning will be Goshen-based Commerford & Sons, which will bring goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits, a llama, miniature horses and other animals to the site. There also will be four ponies available to ferry young riders.

Hearle said the day is a great way to have some fun, as well as learn about some of the center's programs and activities, including the Junebugs vacation programs and the Chili Challenge, an increasingly popular event that takes place in September. She said there will be opportunities to sign up for some of those events, as well.

For sustenance, there will be food by Whole Foods and for sustainability visitors will be encouraged to let a little of the day take root before they return home, thanks to Norwalk's Reynolds Farms.

"We are going to have a station set up with seedlings and garden gloves," Hearle said. "Visitors will be encouraged to plant them around the property as part of our beautification effort."

The afternoon also will reveal the winners of the center's raffle drawing.

"It's a nice place for everyone to meet up," said Hearle of the annual tradition. "It's really a great family event."

Christina.hennessy@scni.com; Twitter: @xtinahennessy

Darien Nature Center, 120 Brookside Road, Darien. Saturday, May 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (raindate Sunday, May 25). $10 child, $5 adult. 203-655-7459, www.dariennaturecenter.org.