Now that we’ve had a splash of snow and a dash of winter-like temperatures, it’s time to start thinking of enjoying the upcoming holidays with a fun Forest Preserve District of Will County outing.
Here are some programs that should get you in a holiday mood and help you with your celebrations:
Recycled Holiday Craft Workshop – 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. Make treasures from trash. There will be a variety of projects to choose from. No experience is necessary. All materials are provided. Free; ages 16 or older. Register by Tuesday, Nov. 12; 815-722-9470. (Only a few spots remain for this program.)
Green Gift Wrapping – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays, Nov. 21, Dec. 5 and Dec. 19, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Most wrapping paper, gift bags and bows are not recyclable and Americans produce an extra 1 million tons of trash each week between Thanksgiving and New Year. This program will teach you how to create wrapping paper, bags, bows and gift cards from leftover materials. You can drop in anytime to learn some new ideas to make green gift wrapping a part of your holiday season. Free; ages 16 or older. Registration is not required.
Work Off the Turkey Volunteer Workday – 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Nov. 30, at Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access in Mokena. Work off your Thanksgiving feast while you contribute to your community, support your local environment, meet fellow nature-lovers, and get some fresh air. The purpose of this workday is brush control. Please dress for outdoor work and the weather. Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and work gloves. RSVP to Renee Gauchat, volunteer services supervisor, 815-722-7364 or email@example.com.
Caroling Campfire – 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Plum Creek Nature Center. Bring the family for a night of fun at this winter campfire. Sing holiday songs, tell stories and play games. The night will end with delicious s’mores prepared over an open fire. Dress for the weather. Free; all ages. Register by Wednesday, Dec. 4; 708-946-2216.
Holiday Nature Crafts – 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Plum Creek Nature Center. Deck the halls with nature-inspired trim, hot chocolate and quality family time while creating personalized woodland decorations. There will be something for adults and children alike to make and take home. All crafting abilities are welcome. Materials will be provided. Ages 5 or older; $3 per person. Register by Thursday, Dec. 5; 708.946.2216.
Holiday Owl Hike – 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, and 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at Plum Creek Nature Center. Join naturalists on a 1.5-mile hike as they search for the elusive winged predator, the owl. Enjoy an outdoor fire, hot cocoa and marshmallows. Bring your favorite mug and camping chair to sit by the fire. The 4 p.m. hikes are for all ages; the 7 p.m. hike is for ages 16 or older. Be prepared to walk 1.5 miles. Registration is required; 708.946.2216.
Hoot in the New Year – 7-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, and 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access. Celebrate the New Year by joining a 1.5-mile naturalist-led hike to search for owls and discover more about these amazing predators at Hickory Creek Preserve. Enjoy a fire, hot cocoa and marshmallows. Bring your favorite mug and camping chair to sit by the fire. The 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday hikes are for all ages; the 7 p.m. Saturday hike is for ages 16 or older. Registration is required; 708-946-2216.
Bonne Annee – A New Year Celebration! – 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville. Celebrate like it’s 1759! Ring in the New Year French-Canadian fur trader style with stories and games of Illinois Country. Enjoy a warm drink around a toasty fire. Make a vintage French craft to take home as a keepsake of this family-friendly event and the “Bonne Annee,” or Good Year, to come. Free; ages 6-12 (accompanied by an adult). Registration is required; 815-886-1467.
Online program registration also is available via the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org.