MN Nature Activities: Dec 10-17

Happy winter! MN Nature in St Paul, MN, is thrilled to be chilled. Wildlife is getting ready to hibernate if they haven’t already. Also, it’s that time of year when you can save energy costs by storing your beer outside (before the January freeze comes along and it’s too cold outside to do that). And it’s that time of the year when you get to layer up and freeze your nose off. Just layer. And read “Dressing for Cold.” Let’s have some fun in the outdoors!

Most events here are FREE unless otherwise noted. For events at state parks a permit is required on each vehicle ($7/day pass or $35 annual pass. Available at park office upon entry to park).

And just for fun, here are some educational and at times ridiculously cute bear cams. See this one in particular of mamma and her cubs, courtesy of the North American Bear Center in Ely, MN.

Caring for Cubs from Bearstudy Videos on Vimeo.



H.O.P. Into the Park: Healthy Older People
The H.O.P. program (Healthy Older People) is offered mid-week each month to allow older adults opportunities to socialize and learn about the natural world. Each month we welcome a new speaker to share about interesting topics in the blufflands region. Call 507-312-2308.
Whitewater State Park


L’il Park PEEPS
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Bring your “Lil’ PEEP” to this preschool environmental education program designed for ages 2 – 5 years. Each month we explore a different nature topic through engaging stories, songs, activities and outdoor exploration. We sometimes go outdoors if the weather cooperates, so bring appropriate clothing. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park


Project WET Teacher Workshop
9 AM to 3 PM Come get your feet WET and enjoy the beauty of the Whitewater Valley as you explore Project WET! Discover how you can use these valuable tools to teach others the importance of healthy watersheds. Join us as we explore the amazing world of water, nature as we make those connections. Explore through inquiry as you take home ideas which will engage your audiences! Fulfill your standards requirements, learn a new lesson, meet new people and enjoy nature at its finest! $35 per participant. Contact Sara Holger at to request a registration form.
Whitewater State Park


Women’s Walk – Getting Ready for Winter
9:30-11:30 Discover how animals prepare for winter and things we can learn from them to survival winter.
Afton State Park

Winter Geocaching
12:30 – 2 pm Enjoy a high-tech treasure hunt in winter! After a short indoor presentation, we’ll venture out into the park to find a hidden cache. If there is enough snow, we’ll snowshoe. Bring your own snowshoes or use the parks.
Whitewater State Park

A Home For Our Native Bees: Holiday Gifts
10-12 We have hundreds of native bee species and the honey bee is not one. They live different lives and in different places. We will take a look at some of them and the many other wonders of insects like bees, while putting your creative and craftsmanship skills to work. This is a “make and take” program, so participants will leave with one or more projects they can use at their own home or give away as holiday gifts.
Glacial Lakes State Park

Winter Ecology
1-2 pm Get out of hibernation and come out to Fort Snelling State Park to see who is active. Join the Naturalist and search through the trails of the park’s winter wonderland for wildlife. See their interaction among each other and their surroundings. Dress for the weather and meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center (10 minute drive into park from entrance).
Fort Snelling State Park

Kids Winter Wonderland Program – Reindeer and White-tailed Deer, What’s the Difference?
10-11 am Hey kids! Learn about the similarities and the differences between Reindeer and White-tailed Deer! After the talk, make a Reindeer Ornament to take home! Registration is required so please call the park office at 651-433-0500 to reserve your spot!
William O’Brien State Park

Where Do the Wild Things Go?
1-2 pm Thank goodness the mosquitoes are gone, but where are they in the winter? How do other animals survive those cold winter blues? Come out to see who migrates and who sleeps during the winter. You may have a chance to see if you can create your own animal to survive. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park


Animal Skins and Skulls
1-2 pm All animals are uniquely adapted for their survival. Learn about the adaptations of various animals that live in the park by examining their skins and Skulls. Dress for the weather and meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. No registration required.
Fort Snelling State Park

Animal Tracks and Signs
10-11 As the animals of winter scuffle through the snow, they leave behind their footprints and other signs. Join us on this snowshoe hike and become a nature detective in search of animal tracks and sign. This activity is recommended for ages 12 and older. Park snowshoes will be available for free use during the hike if there is more than 8 inches of snow on the ground.
Afton State Park


22nd Annual Itasca State Park Winter Bird Count
8-3:30 Explore Itasca’s count area in search of our winter bird residents. Stay a few hours or spend the whole day. Information collected is used to track migration patterns and changes in winter bird species abundance throughout North America. To learn more about this nation-wide bird survey go to: Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Lobby between 7:30 and 8 a.m. for assignment of count areas.
Itasca State Park


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