MN Nature Activities: Dec 18–24

MN Nature in St Paul, Minnesota, brings outdoor activities to you for free every week. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @MN_Nature, give us a “like,” share our posts with your friends and family, and, most importantly, enjoy the great outdoors leading into the winter solstice — the longest night of the year!

12/18/16

22nd Annual Itasca State Park Winter Bird Count
8 AM to 3:30 PM This holiday season take part in the annual winter bird count at Itasca State Park on Sunday, December 18, 2016. This year marks the park’s 22nd year of participation in the nation-wide Audubon Christmas Bird Count. 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: http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count
Itasca State Park – Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Lobby between 7:30 and 8 a.m. for assignment of count areas.

Snowshoe for Beginners
1 PM to 2:30 PM Snowshoeing is a fun way to beat those winter blues! Learn the history of snowshoes, and then try on a pair during a guided snowshoe walk. Bring your own snowshoes or use a pair from the park. Program will start inside the Visitor Center. Registration is required. Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

12/21/16

Winter Solstice
It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Get outside to see how many of our holiday traditions from caroling to mistletoe have evolved from ancient traditions related to this special night.
Sibley State Park – Meet in the Interpretive Center Theater for an indoor presentation, followed by an outdoor bonfire and a wassail social.

Winter Solstice
10 AM–1 PM Join Celebration Pop-Ups Central Station over your lunch break on Wednesday, December 21, to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Activities will include:
Hot drinks and Simply Steve’s Food Truck
Winter lawn games
Fire pits and s’mores
Interactive activities
Share your ideas for activities at Central Station block in the coming months
Central Station is located at the corner of 5th Street East and Minnesota Street

Final Night of the Holidazzle Parade
5–10 PM Enjoy this festive tradition outside in Minneapolis and at nearby Loring Park. More details here.
Downtown Minneapolis, Loring Park

12/24/16

Winter Nature Hike
10 AM to 11:30 AM Explore Fort Snelling State Park?s winter wonderland with a park naturalist. We?ll look for animal tracks and signs, talk about the history of the area, and take in the sights of a winter flood plain forest.
Fort Snelling State Park