Monday, December 7, 2009

Natural Happenings: Kids Activities This Week

Sure, we've got lots of hikes on our calendar. But we don't often highlight the numerous events for kids that we put up there as well.

Monday: Make holiday crafts at Huntley Meadows in the afternoon. (Ages 6-8, $5, registration required.)

Tuesday: The Museum of Natural History has a program every week in their soil exhibit called "Dig It!" with hands-on activities for kids. 

Wednesday. Huntley Meadows has another holiday craft session, this one for ages 3-5, in the morning. The planetarium at Rock Creek Park has an afternoon program aimed at ages 4+ (no registration required), and Long Branch Nature Center has an after-school activity to learn about snow and make snow globes (ages 6-10, $5, registration required).

Thursday. Huntley Meadows has another holiday craft session (ages 3-5) in the morning. Thursday afternoon in  Rock Creek Park, there's a short hike aimed at kids to look at the forest in winter (ages 5+). Or stop by Gulf Branch Nature Center in Arlington, where they'll be having "Christmas for the Animals," with stories for ages 5-9 and decorating and outdoor tree with treats for the birds.

Friday. Actually, one event really inspired this week's whole theme. I loved Woody Woodpecker as a kid. On Friday morning at 9:30, at the Locust Grove Nature Center in Bethesda, they'll show Woody Woodpecker cartoons, to be followed by a short hike. Maybe you'll even spot a pileated woodpecker. Advance registration is required - it's $2. (ages 2+)

On Friday night, there will be a walk at Locust Grove to listen for owls (ages 6+). Or stop by Long Branch Nature Center to look for flying squirrels (all ages, advance registration required, $5).

Saturday. Saturday morning, head to Locust Grove to learn about birds and make a birdfeeder (ages 6+). Or head to the Audubon Naturalist Society for a craft activity making holiday decorations that "highlight the colors, textures, and smells of nature"  (Ages 5+, $15-18). Registration is required for both events.

Sunday. On Sunday afternoon, a Rock Creek Park ranger will lead a hike to Milkhouse Ford (ages 7+).

Both Saturday and Sunday. The Rock Creek Park planetarium will have multiple programs on both Saturday and Sunday. And the Long Branch Nature Center program on flying squirrels repeats on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Perhaps most enticing for parents, on both Saturday and Sunday, parents can drop their kids (ages 4-14) at Long Branch from noon to 4:00 for nature-themed activities, for just $20. Advance registration is required.

Of course there are lots of hikes and programs aimed at adults on our weekly calendar. We'll see you out there!

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