NGPC plans nightly events in Merritt, Wildcat Hills | Lifestyles

Telegraph Staff Reports

Spend time this summer at Nebraska State Parks. In August, a variety of events are planned for those interested in history, conservation and nature, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said in a press release.

Merritt SRA will host “Spectacular Stars”

Discover the fantastical world of nocturnal insects at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area, known for its dark skies, on August 4.

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

In the butterfly lighting, a large bright bulb and a white sheet are installed. Moths are attracted to light and the bed sheet as a backdrop will help experts identify the different species. The butterflies will be captured, photographed, and then released. Come and see how many species are caught.

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The program begins at 3:00 p.m., with butterfly lighting starting at 8:30 p.m. Meet at the Snake River Shelter.

A Nebraska Fleet Entry Permit is required.

Wildcat Hills SRA will host “Night Sky”

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

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

The event is free, but a Nebraska Fleet Entry Permit is required.

Discover the history of the dolls at Arbor Lodge

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

The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

A Doll Tea Party is scheduled for August 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the veranda of the lodge. Feel free to bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to enjoy the event as well. The tea will include small flavors as well as hot and cold brewed tea. Reservations are required as places are limited. Tickets are $20.

Call 402-873-7222 for more information. Visit the calendar event entrance to purchase Arbor Lodge tickets and tea at

The Platte River State Park 40th Anniversary Run will be held August 13

Come celebrate Platte River State Park’s 40th anniversary with a fun and scenic one or three mile run on August 13th.

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

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

A Nebraska Fleet Entry Permit is required.

Enjoy stargazing at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

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

Powerful telescopes will be set up at the park’s golf hut from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. so visitors can get a glimpse of the night sky. Stargazing will begin at dusk. Don’t forget to bring camping chairs or blankets.

The event is free, but a Nebraska Fleet Entry Permit is required.

Mystery at the Mansion is August 13 at Arbor Lodge

Come to Arbor Lodge State Historic Park on August 13 for a fun night out with Mystery at the Manson: Clueless Murder. This old-school thriller will take place at Arbor Lodge Mansion at 6 p.m.

Solve clues, search for evidence, and solve the case while mingling with new friends. Participants will receive a character to embody upon arrival at Arbor Lodge Mansion. Cost is $25 and seating is limited for this adult-only event. Tickets must be purchased in advance. See the list of events at to purchase tickets or for information on adding dinner or accommodation.

Living History Weekend at Fort Atkinson is August 6-7

Step back in time on August 6 and 7 and enjoy a weekend of living history at Fort Atkinson State Historic Park.

Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. They will include military activities, a mountain men’s camp, laundresses, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, spinning/weaving, cooperage and more.

There will be free pony rides on August 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dr. Joe Starita will give the “People’s Warrior” presentation on August 7 at 1 p.m. for the full program.

A valid Nebraska park entry permit is required. A per person fee is charged at the Harold W. Andersen Visitor Center of $2 per adult and $1 per child. For more information, contact the park at [email protected] or 402-468-5611.

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