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Top 10 Things to Do in Three Rivers Parks During Winter Break

Plan early to prevent the winter break blues with some upcoming events offered in the Three Rivers Park District in Hennepin County.

The Three Rivers Park District provided the following for 2012. Call 763-559-6700 for more information.

Ski Lessons, Snowshoeing, Tubing, Snowboarding and Sledding

Throughout the winter months, Three Rivers Parks around the Twin Cities offer a variety of activities. Check the Three Rivers website for hours, cost (if applicable) and details. Activities include: cross-country ski lessons, sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing downhill and telemark skiing, snowboarding

Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the longest night of the year. On Friday, Dec. 21, from 7-9 p.m., at Kroening Interpretive Center, in North Mississippi Regional Park, Brooklyn Center, explore the origins of holiday traditions in different cultures. Create a Yule log or a prayer stick, enjoy refreshments by a bonfire. Cost is $5 and reservations are required. Call 763-559-6700 to make a reservation and reference activity number#116901-22. This program is open to all ages.

Free Family Funday: Holiday Traditions

Sunday, Dec. 23, from 1-3 p.m., at Kroening Interpretive Center, in North Mississippi Regional Park, Brooklyn Center. Learn about the origins of some of your holiday traditions and others from around the world. This program is free and open to all ages.

Feeding Frenzy

Sunday, Dec. 23, from 1-3 p.m., at Eastman Nature Center, in Elm Creek Park Reserve, Dayton. Look on as the salamanders snack, toads and turtles taste, and frogs feed. Watch the snacking snakes. Different animals will be fed throughout the afternoon. Bring a camera for up-close photos. This program is free and open to all ages.

Wildlife Watch

Sunday, Dec. 23, from 3-4 p.m., at Richardson Nature Center, in Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington. Drop in anytime. Enjoy wildlife through the windows of our backyard as animals visit the bird feeders for food, heated pond for water, and shrubs for shelter. Find out how to attract wildlife to your backyard. This program is free and open to all ages.

Family Winter Bird Walk

Wednesday, Dec. 26, from 1-2:30 p.m., at Kroening Interpretive Center, in North Mississippi Regional Park, Brooklyn Center. Stroll along the Mississippi looking for birds adding color to the winter landscape. Binoculars will be provided. Warm up with hot cocoa after the walk and make two pinecone bird feeders — one to take home and one to leave as a gift for the birds along the Mississippi. Cost is $5 and reservations are required. Call 763-559-6700 to make a reservation and reference activity number #116901-23. This program is open to all ages.

Frost Fun Winter Break Camp

Drop off your child for a day of winter nature exploration on Thursday, Dec. 27, or Friday, Dec. 28, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Eastman Nature Center, in Elm Creek Park Reserve, Dayton. Hike or snowshoe through the woods in search of animal tracks and signs, and play in the snow. Learn how wild animals survive the Minnesota winter. Meet the nature center’s captive animals up close and personal, and help feed them. Enjoy winter crafts, games, songs and stories.  Each day will be different, so sign-up for one or both days. Cost is $49.50 per day and reservations are required. Call 763-559-6700 to make a reservation and reference activity number #112210-00 for Thursday, or #112210-01 for Friday. This program is for ages 4-9.

Winter Birds

Saturday, Dec. 29, from 1-4 p.m., at Eastman Nature Center, in Elm Creek Park Reserve, Dayton. Discover what birds are active during our Minnesota winters. Identify common birds by watching them come up to the nature center’s feeding area, examine specimens in the hand, and look at feathers under a microscope. Learn the best feed to put out, as well as other tips to attract birds. Binoculars will be available to help identify birds at the feeders, or use them on a short self-led hike. This program is free and open to all ages.

Winter Nature Walk on Snowshoes

Saturday, Dec. 29, from 10 a.m.-noon, at Kroening Interpretive Center, in North Mississippi Regional Park, Brooklyn Center. Explore woodlots and prairie on snowshoes. Beginners welcome. Hike if there is no snow. Snowshoes and refreshments are provided. Cost is $5 and reservations are required. Call 763-559-6700 to make a reservation and reference activity number #116917-06. This program is for ages 16+.

Winter Survival

Saturday, Dec. 29, from 1-3 p.m., at Lowry Nature Center, in Carver Park Reserve, Victoria. What happens when you’re out snowshoeing and you suddenly realize you don’t know where you are anymore? What if during a blizzard your car swerves off the road and into a ditch? The winter months can be fun, but they make survival situations tough. Learn about what to do in a survival situation, the “Rule of 3s,” find out why shelters may be more important than fires, and have an opportunity to practice building both. Cost is $5 and this program is for ages 6+.

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