Festival Locations

2024 Festival Locations for Check-In and Events

This information is accurate for the 2023 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, May 16-19 in Porter, IN. Please use this as a guide for your trip planning and we'll see you at the festival!


Festival Headquarters

Indiana Dunes National Park Visitor Center

1215 N. State Road 49
Porter, IN 46304

Your one-stop shop for all things about the festival and a gateway into the Indiana Dunes country! You'll find the check-in and swag table inside the Visitor Center. Plus, we'll have the Migration Marketplace and food vendors outside in the parking lot. Have a question? Stop by and ask us!


Arrival Information

Name Badges

Your name badge is your pass to all festival events including headliners, presentations, and any field trips/sessions you have signed up for.  All festival participants are required to wear their name badges at all times while attending the festival. You will receive your name badge at check-in.

Show your name badge to the Indiana Dunes State Park attendant to get in free, too! 

Check-In Information

All festival participants are required to check-in at the Visitor Center prior to attending any festival related events. When you get into town, make sure to do the following:

1. Enter the Visitor Center building, under the "Welcome Birders" sign and look to your left for the festival table

2. Meet one of our awesome volunteers to check in! You will only need your first and last name, but having your confirmation number is handy in case of technological glitches.

3. Receive your festival name badge with a swag bag and start enjoying the festival! 

Visitor Center Check-In Hours

Wednesday, May 15: 4-8pm*

Thursday, May 16: 5:30am-4pm

Friday, May 17: 5:30am-4pm

Saturday, May 18: 5:30am-4pm

Sunday, May 19: 5:30am-9am

*Pre-festival participants will be checked in prior to departure of their trips in the morning on Wednesday.


Other Important Locations

Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center

1618 Indiana Dunes State Park
Chesterton, IN 46304


This location is used for some afternoon presentations and the Saturday Youth & Family Day event. When you enter the park, ask for a map to lead you to the Nature Center.

Sand Creek Country Club

1011 Sand Creek Dr.
Chesterton, IN 46304

This is where the Saturday keynote presentation and dinner is held.

Humane Indiana Wildlife

570 N 450 E.

Valparaiso, IN 46383

This location is used for afternoon workshops- Sparrow ID, Warbler ID, and Tree ID.

All headliner presentations are held in the Visitor Center auditorium. Afternoon presentations are split between the Visitor Center and State Park Nature Center. Please check the program guide for specific locations.


National Park Passes

The Indiana Dunes National Park (INDU) began requiring entrance permits in 2022.  The IDBF has a partnership to cover entrance fees for participants at the STATE park, but not avenue exists within the federal government. Participants visiting an INDU site will need to acquire an entrance pass in 2024.

National park entrance fees are NOT included in the 2023 registration fees. You can purchase your passes online or directly at the Visitor Center. 

 Festival Field Trips and/or Locations that Require National Park Passes

  • Beverly Shores (Great Marsh, Kemil, Dunbar, Central Ave)
  • Birding the Dunes with Lifer Nature Tours
  • Birding the Dunes with the Urban Birder
  • Cowles Bog
  • Heron Rookery
  • Little Calumet River
  • Michiana Marsh Meander
  • Miller Woods & Swale
  • Owl Prowls (some)
  • Pinhook Bog
  • Reynolds Creek (parking at Heron Rookery at times)
  • West Beach Pineries  (West Beach)
  • Western Indiana Dunes National Park 
  • Woodcock Walks (some)


Field Trip & Workshop Meeting Locations

Below is a list of field trip meeting locations. Most field trips depart from the Visitor Center, but some meet off-site at their locations. Please make sure to check your itinerary and know where you are going each morning!

 CLICK HERE for an interactive map of festival meeting locations.

**All van and carpool tours meet at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center**

 Coordinates for meet onsite tours are also in the printed guidebook, which is given to each attendee upon check-in.