Adults 55 and older are invited to the Gary Halter Nature Center, located inside Lick Creek Park at 13600 Rock Prairie Road in College Station, for a butterfly ball-themed Seniors Night Out on Friday. Seniors will have the opportunity to meet new people and explore the nature center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during this free event.
Hosted by the College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Seniors Night Out is one of many events held throughout the year to bring the senior community together.
Laurie Brown, recreation supervisor for the Gary Halter Nature Center, Lick Creek Park and Southwood Community Center, said this is the first time the event has been held at the nature center and is excited about the refreshing approach. Typically held at one of the senior centers throughout the city, Brown said this will offer attendees a beautiful change of scenery.
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“One of the things that we’re doing with this program is we’re having a Senior Night Out Program kind of rotate around the different facilities,” Brown said. “And we decided to throw in the Gary Halter Nature Center as kind of a fun, different thing to try to expose seniors to a whole new world of programing.”
This event comes at the perfect time with monarch butterflies migrating from Mexico to lay their eggs in Texas before departing for Canada. With Friday also being St. Patrick’s Day, those attending the ball are welcome to wear green, butterfly wings, flowers or anything they feel comfortable in to participate in this flutter-filled event.
“We wanted to do something kind of fun to celebrate the monarchs returning to College Station,” she added. “We’re a pretty important place, and we’re trying to highlight that to people in the community.”
Sticking with the butterfly theme, those who attend Friday’s ball will have the opportunity to participate in a seed stomp to replant one of the nature center’s pollinator gardens, as well as partake in a seed giveaway. For the dancers in attendance, a DJ will be playing music from the 1960s to the 1980s with a renaissance festival feel.
“It’ll be kind of fun because it’ll be different; it won’t be dancing on a polished floor; it’ll be dancing in the breezeway of the nature center, which can be really fun,” Brown said.
There will also be card games, board games and dominoes for the gamers.
Recognizing the weather is predicted to be cooler, propane heaters will be stationed on the property with a fire pit and s’mores station nearby. Light hors d'oeuvre will also be available.
With a vibrant volunteer program growing out of the nature center that is predominantly retired community members, Brown said it is great to see seniors branching out. The Lincoln Recreation Center, Meyer Senior and Community Center and Southwood Community Center also offer senior programs, so this is the city’s effort to bring them all together.
“I think it’ll be a fun way to meet a new community,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of place for connection out there, and I think the one thing that is the most important thing when we look at bringing people out to the nature center is it’s beautiful; it feels far away, yet it’s not, and I want them to feel like they’re part of this big, beautiful nature center.”
Just the drive into the center is gorgeous, she said.
“We have a gem in College Station, which is a 523-acre nature reserve, and it’s amazing,” she said of Lick Creek Park. “As we develop our programming for all audiences, including seniors, I just want them to feel exposed and welcome to this place and this space.”
In addition to Seniors Night Out, College Station offers a variety of fun activities, such as line dancing, arts and crafts, book clubs and more, the city’s website said. For more information about the city of College Station’s senior adult programs, visit https://www.cstx.gov/departments___city_hall/parks/seniors.