Winter 2011-12 events in area

[Note: here’s a chance to check out winter 2011-12 – to get a glimpse of the sort of things one can enjoy this winter as well! Next winter, I will provide updates on the website noting winter 2013-14 events. But a quick preview: holiday parades are being held, lights are being installed, and there’s plenty to do at nature centers across the state.]

continuing events:

Skating on refrigerated rink                               Red Arrow Park

Winter Chapel open                                              Portrait Society Gallery

The Ambassador of Snow is a sponsor of this creative perspective on winter; this year, Keith Nelson will design a room, and Paula Schluze will be decorating it. The Chapel is “meant to offer an experiential encounter with visitors.” More info at

“Bright Winter” exhibit                                         Hotpop Gallery

and plenty of other ongoing programs at local nature centers!


“A Christmas Carol,” “Nutcracker Suite.”

Dec 16            Candlelight Walk                              Urban Ecology Center

Dec 16            After Dark: Festivus                        Milwaukee Art Museum

Dec 17            Audubon Christmas Bird Count      Wehr, Riveredge, and other area locations

Dec 21-31       Winterfest                                          Frontier Airlines Center

Dec 31            New Years Eve                                   all over town!

Jan 1               Polar Bear Plunge                              Bradford Beach

Jan 1               Free ‘first day hikes’                          Lapham Peak, and other state parks around the country

Jan 6              Moonlight ski                                       Appleton (Bubolz preserve)

Jan 15             Light up the garden                           Lynden Sculpture Garden.          Walk by lantern light at sunset, to enjoy the outdoor sculptures

Jan 16             Coldest average day of year in Milwaukee

Yep, its cold. A good time to reframe one’s perspective, and consider the gifts that cold weather brings us – including snow!

Jan 20            Winter Gallery Night                         around town, including 3rd Ward

A great indoor/outdoor mix. I will be one of the judges of, and am a sponsor of, the ice sculpting competition in the 3rd Ward. Info at

Jan 20-22       Big Chill                                              downtown Racine

Enjoy ice sculptures and snow sculptures. More info at

Jan 20-22       Janboree                                             Waukesha, various locations.

A variety of indoor and outdoor events, including horse rides, indoor and outdoor skating, a penguin egg hunt, karaoke for kids, a recycled sled race and fireworks. More info at

Jan 22             Winter Carnival                                  Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Family event, including nature tracking for younger children, and snowshoeing for those 12 and up. Educators will help people explore the beauty of live animals, snow crystals, and ice formations on the lakeshore. More info at

Jan 27           Owl prowl (for adults)                         Wehr Nature Center

Jan 28          Winterfest, 1-4 p.m.                             Urban Ecology Center, Washington Park branch

Probably the largest winter event I’ve been to in the area. More info at

See!/media/set/?set=a.150379078350743.36441.136469736408344&type=3 for some pictures I took at last year’s event; skating, skiing, sledding, all kinds of people out celebrating together!

Jan 28           Showshoe hike, 1-2 p.m.                      Havenwoods State Forest

Jan 28           Candlelit ski/hike, 6-9 p.m.                Kettle Moraine State Forest – southern unit.

Jan 28           Owl prowl, 830-10 pm                         Richard Bong Recreation Area, Kansasville

Jan 29            Winterfest, noon-330                          Wehr Nature Center

Nice opportunity to enjoy a great location. Last year I enjoyed showshoeing on the frozen pond; and there were lots of activities for kids. More info at

Jan 29           “1947: the blizzard that stopped MKE cold,” 2-3 pm, Central Library.

Video program, display of photos and news stories. More info at

Feb 1-5          National Snow Sculpting Competition    Lake Geneva, WI

Hey – its national! More info at

Feb 3              Candlight hike/ski, 6-9 pm                     Harrington Beach State Park, Belgium

Feb  4              A Hoot in the Night, 530-930                Urban Ecology Center, Riverside Park

Fundraiser to give low-income children opportunities to attend UEC summer events.  Dinner, activities, live entertainment, silent auction, nature education, and a cash bar. $100/family.

Feb 4              Tracking trek, 10:30 – 11:30                 Havenwoods State Forest

Feb 4             88.9 Wooly Bear Winter Fest, 12-4 pm  Gateway Park (The Wheelhouse Property) on Riverboat Road, off of Commerce Street

Sled dogs, hikes, storytelling, and Laacke & Joys winter activity Demonstrations.

Feb 4              Walk across Lake Winnebago                 Leaving from Neenah

Yes, really! When there’s enough ice. But sadly, there is not this year, so its been cancelled. More info at

Feb 4-5          38th annual Winter Festival                   Cedarburg

Interesting and creative mix of events. Ice-carving, golf, chili contests, dog weight pull. 1-2 pm on Saturday has perhaps the highlights: parade, barrel races, and costumed bed racing! Clearly, they know how to make fun out of winter…

Feb 11              Winter Carnival                                     Lynden Sculpture Garden

More info at

Feb 11              Return to Romance, 7-9 p.m.               Richard Bong State Recreation Area

“Warm someone’s heart this Valentine’s Day with a visit to the park. Enjoy a candlelit walk, a bonfire, music fine desserts and warm drinks with your special someone(s). Pre-register and pre-pay fee is $5/adult and $1/child plus state park admission sticker. Visitor Center. Event is weather permitting.”

Feb 11              Valentine’s (Snowshoe) Candlelight Hike, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Bristol Woods County Park

“Warm up afterwards by the crackling fire and refreshments will be served inside the nature center. In order to use the snowshoes, there must be enough snow on the ground. Arrive and leave when you like.”

Feb 11               Winter River Snowshow, 1-3 pm           meet on Menomonee River Parkway one block south of Burleigh in Wauwatosa

Neighborhood parkways often are home for numerous animals that go undetected by the untrained eye. Guided by Don Quintenz, we will search out the animals and signs that animals necessarily leave in their journey to find their needs. Many parkways are often quite scenic, e…specially with their winter cover of blue river ice and white snow. The ecology of a winter community will be our focus. Snowshoes are provided; no experience is necessary. If there is no snow, we will hike on foot. ***FEE: M: Adult $18; NM: Adult $21
LEVEL: Adult ***Pre-registration required.”

Feb 11              Candlelight Ski/Hike, 6-9 p.m.                       Delafield, Lapham Peak Unit, Kettle Moraine State Forest

 Just over 1 mile of candlelight skiing and hiking on the trails of Lapham Peak. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the Friends of Lapham Peak, as well as live music entertainment, and the warmth of a fire while sitting inside the Trekker Lodge. Outside seating and bonfire will also available. Homestead Hollow parking lot and Trekker Lodge. Event is weather permitting.”

And a whole lot more in parks throughout the state: check for details.

Feb 18            Winter NatureFest/ PastTimes          Havenwoods State Forest, Milwaukee.

Games, crafts, and a glimpse at how people experienced winter a century ago. More info on this, and other state park and state forest events, at

Feb 17-18        Camp-in                                                 Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Feb 18-19        Winter Festival                                     Madison, WI (Capitol Square)

More info at

Feb 19              Winter Blast                                           South Shore Park Pavilion

and for something a bit different, but an example of interesting indoor events this winter

Feb 17-19         Anime Milwaukee convention            Frontier Airlines Center

Feb 23               Morning Birdwalks, 8 am         Urban Ecology Center

Happens every Thursday – winter or summer or whatever the weather, here’s a chance to go birding with others.

Feb 25               Ridgefest                                     Crystal Ridge Ski Hill, Franklin

Free event, fun ideas – but cancelled. Bummer. Plans were for snowcarvings, cardboard box races, slalom big air competition…

Feb 25               Tapping the Sugarbush, 1-3     Riveredge Nature Center

A family program. “This event marks the start of the magical maple sugarin’ season at Riveredge. Bring your family and friends to join us in the traditional labors of the season. Learn how to indentify a maple, properly tap a tree, place a spile and hang the bucket to collect the sap. Call 262-375-2715 to Register. Fee: Adults $3, Children $1.” Tapping trees, I have heard, is one of the favorite events for children to participate in at nature centers during winter!

Feb 26                    Geocaching by snowshoe      Foxbrook Park, via Urban Ecology Center

Call for more info on event and registering… but alas, this looks like one of many events that will lack the snow event planners originally expected.

Feb 28                   Animal tracking and iceskating  Urban Ecology Center

Again, weather-dependent. 2-330, for children.

Feb 29                  Hike / snowshoe to “Discover the Milwaukee County Parks,” 3 p.m.  Milwaukee County Grounds, but meet at UEC at Riverside Park

“Join the adventures crew as we explore some of our favorite parks on snowshoes. Plan to be outside for two hours. No experience necessary. Transportation is provided. No snow? We will hike it!” Call UEC in advance.

March 8                  Maple Sugar Time                             Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

2 sessions: 9:00 – 10:15am and 10:30 –11:45am. Register in advance. FEE: Members: $12/pair; Nonmembers: $15/pair

March 24-25         Maple Sugar Days, 1-4 pm                Wehr Nature Center

“Get the spring juices flowing at Maple Sugar Days! Your whole family will hike with a naturalist guide to the sugarbush to see tapped sugar maples and taste fresh sap as it drips from the trees.”

3 Responses to Winter 2011-12 events in area

  1. Pingback: My Snow Sermon, 6:30 Friday | milwaukeesnow

  2. Pingback: Lynden Sculpture Garden, and other February 10-12 events | milwaukeesnow

  3. Pingback: Favorite Milwaukee Winter activities? | milwaukeesnow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s