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Weekend Planner: Kids

Spotted salamanders, wood frogs and fairy shrimp (1-inch-long crustaceans related to lobsters and crabs) — such creatures can only breed in March and April in those temporary bodies of fresh water known as vernal pools. On Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary’s annual “Big Night,” you may not get to see these critters actually breed but you will witness them as they assume gigantic form and emerge from their swampy environs to perform delightfully grotesque musical skits that convey information about their lifestyles.

Set for Saturday and suitable for families with children ages 4 and up, “Big Night” unfolds in 45-minute guided tours that leave Arcadia Nature Center in Easthampton every 15 minutes, beginning at 5:45 and ending at 7:45 p.m. The tours are followed by an indoor program to learn more about vernal pools through games and slide presentations. Pre-paid advance registration and selection of a time slot is required. In case of extremely cold weather or heavy rain, the outdoor portion of the program will be brought indoors. 584-3009, ext. 812 or email arcadia@massaudubon.org (Jerrey Roberts photo)

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