Go: Creature of the NIght; Barbershop convention; Gem show

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1. Cupcakes and claws

Sink your talons into Creatures of the Night, an opportunity to meet owls and other raptors from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver. This event not only allows an opportunity to see the birds, it provides an opportunity to learn about how bats, owls and raptors are important to the ecosystem. Dissect owl pellets, looking for skeletons and discover what they’ve been eating. If you’ve still got an appetite, munch on a cupcake in honor of Green Neighbors’ fifth anniversary. Admission is free; online registration is suggested, so there’s enough cupcakes. 360-397-2121 ext. 4352 or clarkgreenneighbors.org/event-calendar/green-neighbors-is-celebrating-5-years/1926

2. Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Barber-Ann

Experience old timey fun at the Evergreen District Barbershop Harmony Convention and Contest on Oct. 13, 14 and 15. All that’s missing is an old-fashioned barber’s pole. This contest is where the best Northwest barbershop quartets belt out notes, competing for bragging rights. Ensembles from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, plus Alberta and British Columbia, will strike up a tune beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 13. The choral contest begins at 10 a.m. Oct. 14, with finals and a Show of Champions at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14, all at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St., Vancouver. Tickets are $36, $18 for ages 14 to 26, and free for 13 and younger. 971-238-7664 or bridgetownsound.org

3. Go outside

With so many fun, family-friendly options, it’ll be hard to settle on just one thing at the Family Nature Fest Oct. 14 at Columbia Springs, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway, Vancouver. Luckily, you’ve got four hours — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — to try to fly through as many activities as possible. Play games, participate in slug racing, win prizes and meet reptiles and amphibians, or build an exploding volcano. After that, forage for fungi on a guided hike. While admission is free, there is a $5 suggested donation per child, which helps continue the nature fest each fall. 360-882-0936 ext. 230 or www.columbiasprings.org/events

4. At your service

These critters live a pretty selfless life, so show thanks for various local service animals at Second Saturday: Animals Who Serve from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 14. The Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, has packed the afternoon with all kinds of furry and feathered appearances as well as kid-friendly, hands-on activities. Rojo the therapy llama will be present, as will multiple service dogs and a parrot from Parrots for Patriots, an organization that uses rescued birds to help veterans with PTSD. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 360-487-7111 or clarkgreenneighbors.org/community-events-green-events/652

5. What a gem!

It’s not always bad to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Just take the Portland Regional Gem and Mineral Show. If you get bored browsing the more than 45 booths selling rocks, fossils, gems, minerals, beads, tools and jewelry, then check out the 88 exhibits of fossils, lapidary arts and minerals. The show includes a kids’ activity corner with games and prizes. For adults, there are demonstrations and presentations on rocks and minerals. Special guest expert Dick Pugh will discuss meteorites on Sunday. There will be door prizes and raffles along with silent auctions every day. The show, which takes place at the Washington County Fair Complex (873 N.E. 34th Ave., Hillsboro, Ore.), runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 13 and 14; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15. Admission is $5; kids 12 and younger get in free. 503-648-1416 or portlandregionalgemandmineral.com