Outdoor outings can be even more fun when the weather turns cold, and Great Parks is encouraging guests to take advantage of its 22 parks and preserves in the crisp air of winter with the launch of the Find Your Winter Wild campaign.
The nearly 18,000 acres of greenspace and 84 miles of trails carry their own, unique beauty when tree branches are empty and snowfall dusts the ground. Great Parks has made it easy to find immersive wintertime experiences through where programs and activities are sorted into different interest areas.
Find Your Winter Wild Programs
Winter Wonder events allow everyone to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life by learning more about our animal friends, such as, groundhogs, salamanders and owls, with the potential to even see one of these creatures in their outdoor home. A small sampling from this category includes:
- Groundhog-Wild!, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. from Jan. 28-Feb. 5 at Sharon Woods
- Searching for Salamanders, at 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Sharon Woods
- In Search of Owls, at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 at Woodland Mound.
Off the Beaten Path programs focus on experiences such as winter hikes, a sunset sounds walk and opportunities to learn about beavers on the ground and the earliest spring ephemeral wildflowers. The full list of Off the Beaten Path opportunities is available here and includes:
- Off-Trail Exploration: American Beavers, at 9 a.m. on Feb. 11 at Winton Woods
- Winter Night Hike, at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 at Sharon Woods
- Spring Ephemeral Hike Series, at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25 at Miami Whitewater Forest
- Sunset Sounds Walk, at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Sharon Woods.
Bring the Outside In activities include a program to learn about the real-life creatures that inspired video games, and the special Pastries, Petals & Pours evening of food and drink at Parky’s Farm. Highlights include:
- Pastries, Petals & Pours, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Winton Woods/Parky’s Farm
- Nature of Video Games, at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26 at Sharon Woods.
Four Season Family Fun opportunities for family members young and small include wintertime scavenger hunts, tie-dying with snow and ice, and Maple Sugar Days in late February.
- Tie-Dyeing with Snow & Ice, at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Nature Center at The Summit
- Maple Sugar Days, at noon on Feb. 25 and 26 at Farbach-Werner Preserve
- Winter Fun Scavenger Hunt, online.