Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Fun - Lots to Do!

No matter what holidays you celebrate, this is the season to enjoy your family, keep the kids busy on those days off, and spend time outdoors before winter reeeally hits. Looking for ideas? There is a lot going on around town these days! Or, if you'd rather cozy up around your own house or yard, there are plenty of fun activities you can do with your friends and family. Read on for ideas...

Out and About
Beyond the Edge of the Sea and Seaworthy @ the UW Ebling Library and Story Time at the UW Geology Museum. Check out this traveling exhibit featuring the magnificent watercolors of deep-sea expeditionary illustrator Karen Jacobsen (Art and Science Exhibitions on display until January 31, 2012), and stop by the Geology Museum on Thursday, 12/15 at 10:30am for their family Story Time!

Winter Solstice Celebration @ the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Celebrate the longest night of the year with a nighttime winter hike under the stars, feed winter bird neighbors, gather around the campfire to burn a Yule log, sip cocoa and eat a seasonal solstice snack! 6:30-8pm, Friday, 12/16.

Winter Solstice Bonfire @ Glenwood Children's Park. Help shorten the longest night of the year! Bring your mug for hot cider, snack on s'mores, listen to local music and more! 6-10pm, Sunday, 12/18.

Holiday Concert @ Olbrich Garden. Enjoy festive "The Electric Orchestra"/Organ Music at 2pm on Sunday, 12/18. You can also see Olbrich's Holiday Express Flower and Model Train Show, warm up in the Bolz Conservatory and visit the outdoor gardens to see winter grasses and berries.

Exhibits Sneak Peek: Special Public Hours @ the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Stop by for a sneak-preview of brand new interactive exhibits and programs, which won't be available to the public until next Spring! Get a one-of-a-kind view of our planet's rarely seen "frozen world," explore hands-on exhibits about weather and climate, and, see the winning entry from ALNC's snow globe art contest transformed into a giant spinning snow globe! Thursday, 12/29, noon-7pm.

Winter Wonder Week @ the Madison Children's Museum. Celebrate Wisconsin's signature season with special activities throughout the museum from January 2-7. Help build an ice sculpture, practice ice fishing, brave the Rooftop Ramble for frosted food, art and games, brush up on basic survival skills, enjoy a winter themed sing-along and a visit to the log cabin to learn what pioneers did for entertainment through the long, cold winter.

Tiki Torch Toboggan @ the Aldo Leopold Nature Center (Black Earth Campus). Discover the winter flora and fauna as you sled, snowshoe or hike along the snow covered trails and warm up around a roaring campfire with a cup of hot chocolate. Saturday, 1/14, 4-7pm.

At Home
Christmas Bird Count - National Audubon Society. From 12/14 through 1/5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission.

Winter Bird Feeders - You and your family and friends can make birdfeeders together and see what critters they attract this season! Using pinecones, pipe cleaners, milk cartons, or other household items, you can make quick and easy birdfeeders that will make the birds happy and give your family something to watch together. Keep track of what you see and enter them into the Christmas Bird Count or Earth Alive!

Decorate with Nature - Go Explore Nature has a great list of holiday ideas that will get you outside with your family. Check out these 5 Ways to Decorate with Nature or their 24 Days of Holiday-Inspired Nature Fun.

Track and Trail Blaze! - In case you missed December's Nature Net News, it was full of ideas for getting outside, seeing what tracks and trails you can trace, and making snow stories of your own. Check it out!

This time of year sure can be busy, but try out any of these great events and activities to make the most of the season. Have fun, and Happy Holidays from Nature Net!

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