Weekend Event Recommendations, Dec 16-18

TOP PICK: Candlelight Walk at the Urban Ecology Center, 7-9 p.m.

Was a fun way to kick off a season of winter appreciation last year, and I’m looking forward to attending this year, and talking to other fans of winter.

 A candlelit walk! How often do you get to do that? It’s a nice distinctive activity. This is a great way to step into winter as a means of feeling togetherness with other people, outdoors in winter. Don’t feel isolated during winter – lets find ways to share winter with each other!

 The UEC normally does a great job connecting people to nature, and here’s a way to talk to them, check out what they have to offer, and see Riverside Park from an unusual perspective. Some of you, like me, may have enjoyed a Bat Survey there, and thus sampled some of the nighttime experiences around there already… but still worth going back for more rare nighttime parktime!

 Not to mention the fact that I got to warm up inside too (another joy of winter!), listen to some live music, and enjoy a warm beverage.

 And for those of you who love reading like I do, the chance to hear (and recite) information and reflections while outdoors is a treat. (I need to remember to take readings with me more often, however odd I might look reciting to myself 😉

 OTHER PICKS:

Outdoors

 Bird count. I’m no expert at bird-watching, I admit. But those who do love birds, or just observing in general, this is a great way to catch some of the motion that is visible, at a time of year when so much of nature can seem still. It provides a chance to focus attention on spotting animals that do spend the winter outdoors, to see how they manage. And, to take part in a tradition that covers the country, and goes back over a century!

 Milwaukee County Parks suggests: “Take part in the annual Christmas Bird Count – the longest running wildlife census in the United States – this Saturday, Dec. 17th. This is the 112th year of this citizen science event! Please join us: – Wehr Nature Center http://county.milwaukee.gov/Birding10341.htm#xmasbirdUrban Ecology Center in Riverside Park http://www.urbanecologycenter.org/calendar/December2011.html#seventeen_1 – Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park http://www.urbanecologycenter.org/calendar/December2011.html#seventeen_4

 Indoors

I will keep lobbying people to enjoy the outdoors during winter. But part of enjoying the winter in Milwaukee is remembering that there are plenty of indoor activities to take advantage of, too! Don’t shut yourself off from them just because its cold…

 Trains, trains, trains! at Discovery World. I have enjoyed setting up my Dad’s Lionel set many times at Christmastime. Discovery World sets up a lot more than one set; check it out from 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday. Along with everything else DW has to offer, of course.

 Festivus at MAM. Milwaukee Art Museum is a favorite of mine at all times of year. With a display of impressionist art that is impressing many, it is worth a visit on any day that it is open. This is a chance to enjoy some newer, ahem, holiday traditions stemming from the classic Seinfeld episode. As well as the usual chance to see a mix of people enjoying a casual night out, and people dressed to impress with style (a winter style preview?)

That is just some of what the weekend has to offer – let me know if you have more suggestions!

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About MilwaukeeSnow

Dr. Jeffrey Filipiak, Milwaukee's Ambassador of Snow, loves winter, Milwaukee, and environmental history! He has taught college courses on topics including history, writing, environmental ethics, food studies, the Great Lakes, and sustainability. You can contact him at ambassadorofsnow@gmail.com.
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