Forest Preserve District of Will County December programs

Don your ugliest holiday sweater and prepare to meet the abominable snowman at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Winter Wonderland in the Woods program on Dec. 4 at Messenger Woods Nature Preserve in Homer Glen. The free program also will feature a festive campfire in the woods, s’mores, hot chocolate, a photo booth and family-friendly games and activities. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Don your ugliest holiday sweater and prepare to meet the abominable snowman at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Winter Wonderland in the Woods program on Dec. 4 at Messenger Woods Nature Preserve in Homer Glen. The free program also will feature a festive campfire in the woods, s’mores, hot chocolate, a photo booth and family-friendly games and activities. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Sign up for a Forest Preserve District of Will County program this December to ward off the urge to hibernate! Learn about nature, take a hike or don your ugliest sweater for a fun outdoor campfire program. Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org. Here is the lineup:

Birding the Preserves (Zoom Webinar): 7-8 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 1, Jan. 5 and Feb. 2. Learn birds and birding from home on this virtual hike through one of the District’s preserves. Each month features a different preserve. Free, all ages. Register online for the Zoom link.

Feeding Time at Hidden Oaks: 10-11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook. Join a Forest Preserve naturalist as the nature center’s animals are fed and learn the differences between carnivores, herbivores, grazers and opportunistic eaters. Animals will be fed fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, live insects and frozen, thawed mice. Free, all ages. Register by Dec. 1.

Hoot Hike and Campfire: 4-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Learn about owls and get tips on what to look and listen for while owling, and then go on a hike in search of our feathered friends. Afterward, warm up around a fire with hot chocolate and marshmallows while listening to an owl story or two. Free, all ages. Register by Nov. 30.

Winter Hike and Craft: two sessions, 10 a.m and 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Take a hike and then warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and make a special ornament, card or decoration. Free, all ages. Register by Dec. 2.

Woods Walk Celebration: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, Hickory Creek Preserve – Hickory Creek Junction, Frankfort Township. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular Woods Walk hiking challenge, which wrapped up Nov. 30. All are welcome, even if you walked only a few trails or none at all. Stop by the picnic shelter for doughnuts and beverages. Free, all ages.

Wildlife in Winter: noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Learn how different animals species react to winter weather and what you can do to help them out. This is a drop-in program. Free, all ages.

Morning Bird Hike: 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access, Mokena. Join this guided hike to find out what birds use the preserve in winter. This program is for birders of all levels. Free, ages 16 or older. Register by Dec. 2.

Winter Wonderland in the Woods: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, Homer Glen. Celebrate winter at this festive campfire in the woods. Enjoy s’mores and hot chocolate, and don’t forget to take your picture with the friendly abominable snowman. Make the event more festive by wearing your gaudiest, funkiest or most creative ugly sweater. A photo booth will be provided. The event will be at Hawthorn Grove Shelter. Free, all ages.

Sensory Sunday: 11 a.m.-noon, Sundays, Dec. 4, Jan. 8 and Feb. 5, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. This independent program is for guests with sensory-processing needs, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and those who would benefit from a small-group experience. The center will be open only to registered participants. Buddy bags with sensory gadgets and a limited supply of noise-canceling headphones will be available for use. Seven handheld audio units providing a narrative of the All-Persons Trail will be available for checkout. Free, all ages. Registration is required by the Saturday before each program.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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