[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.]
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 http://portraitsocietygallery.wordpress.com/
“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 http://www.historicthirdward.org/events/sculpturesonice.php
Jan 20-22 Big Chill downtown Racine
Enjoy ice sculptures and snow sculptures. More info at http://www.racinedowntown.com/TheBigChill.html
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 http://www.janboree.org/
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 http://www.sanc.org/speeve.htm
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 http://www.urbanecologycenter.org/events.html
See https://www.facebook.com/pages/Snow-bound-enjoying-Winter-and-Milwaukee/136469736408344#!/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 http://county.milwaukee.gov/SpecialEventsatWehrN10347/Winterfest.htm
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 http://blog.mpl.org/nowatmpl/2012/01/remember_the_blizzard_that_sto.html
Feb 1-5 National Snow Sculpting Competition Lake Geneva, WI
Hey – its national! More info at http://www.usnationals.org/
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 http://walkthelake.weebly.com/index.html
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
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 http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/news/events.html 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 http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/news/events.html
Feb 17-18 Camp-in Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Feb 18-19 Winter Festival Madison, WI (Capitol Square)
More info at http://www.winter-fest.com/
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.”