Noon Year’s Eve

Celebrate New Year’s Eve from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell. Enjoy fun activities for all ages including a “toast” at 12 noon and pizza and beverages. The program is mostly indoors but may be partially outdoors if weather permits and is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Dress accordingly. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Family fun giveaway

Geauga Park District hosts Family Fun Giveaway for Geauga County residents. To enter, sign up for personalized email updates from Geauga Park District at bit.ly/gpdgiveaway2021 now through Dec. 31. The grand prize is cross country skis, boots, and bindings for up to four people, plus ski poles courtesy of Geiger’s. One lucky family will be equipped to enjoy the various cross country ski trails in the Geauga Park District. Official rules are listed at bit.ly/gpdwhatsnew, or sign up at West Woods Nature Center and Big Creek Park Meyer Center. For more information, call 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Bird count hike

Hike Welton’s Gorge Overlook and Dogwood trails to discover winter birds from 8-10 a.m. Jan. 2. Results from the bird walk will also be shared for the annual Burton Christmas Bird Count. Volunteers throughout America brave winter conditions to take part in the effort from late December to early January. Scientific organizations use this data to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action. Welton’s Gorge is located at 13973 Hale Road in Burton. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Sunrise hike

Join Geauga Gems for a crisp walk in the park to look for signs of winter animals from 8-9 a.m. Jan. 4 at Eldon Russell Park, 16315 Rapids Road in Troy. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Gems awards

Drop by West Woods Nature Center any time from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 6 or 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 8 to register for the 2022 Geauga Gems Trekking Series. Participants who completed the 2021 series can collect their coveted hiking stick and medallion sticker. This is a drop-in, open-house format. West Woods is at 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87) in Russell.

Nature games

Families play fun, quick, Minute to Win It-style games from 2-3:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell. Led by a naturalist, play games like “Wooly Aphid Wiggle” and “Move Your Midden” while learning fun nature facts and competing against other groups. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Coffee with birds

Register for a time slot to join a naturalist for close-up bird viewing and identification at the feeders from 9-10 a.m., 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. Jan. 9 at West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org. Please choose just one session. The program is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Ski lessons

From 1-3 p.m. Jan. 9, learn the basics of cross-country skiing, including proper clothing, types of equipment and proper techniques. Meet at the lodge in Orchard Hills Park, 11340 Caves Road in Chester. An indoor presentation is followed by outdoor instruction. Ski rental is available in advance at Geiger’s, 50 Shopping Plaza in Chagrin Falls. Call 440-247-4900 to reserve equipment. The special rental rate for this program only is $17 for pick-up on Jan. 7 and return on Jan. 10. Limited space and registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Geauga skywatchers

Join veteran astronomer Marty Mullet of the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society to learn all about observing Saturn from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Geauga County Middlefield Library, 16167 East High St. While designed for grades six through 12, any age can join. Registration is required at geaugalibrary.net. The program is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Geauga walkers

Seniors hike one-plus mile on a naturalist-led walk from 1-2:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Beartown Lakes Reservation, North Point Shelter, 18870 Quinn Road in Auburn. Call Geauga Senior Center for a full schedule of walks at 440-279-2126. Registration is required at geaugaparkdistrict.org or call 440-286-9516.

Preschool expo

Parents are invited to talk with several local preschools from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 11 at Bainbridge Branch Library, 17222 Snyder Road. Representatives will answer questions and provide information on their programs. The children’s area and activities will be available for the children.

Bird counting

Homeschoolers ages 5 to 7 and 8 to 12 learn about birds and take part in scientific research while counting birds at the feeders for Project Feederwatch from 1:30-3 p.m. Jan. 14 at West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87) in Russell. The data will be submitted to the national database. Adults may attend or drop off their child with a waiver. There will be some outdoor activities, so dress for the weather. Registration is required for all attending, including adults and siblings. Register at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Moonlight ski

Ski the Maple Highlands Trail and possibly the Buckeye Trail by the light of the moon from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 14. The ski will become a hike if there is no snow. Call after 1 p.m. on program day to check the snow conditions. Meet at the boathouse in Headwaters Park, 13365 Old State Road in Huntsburg. Ski rental is available in advance from Geiger’s, 50 Shopping Plaza, Chagrin Falls. A special rental rate for this program applies: $17 for pick up on Jan. 14 and return on Jan. 17 during business hours. Call 440-247-4900 to reserve skis. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Asteroid explorers

Explore the armada of asteroid-exploring space probes set to launch in 2022, from Dart to Lucy to Psyche, from 7-8 p.m. Jan. 14 at Observatory Park, 10610 Clay St., Montville. Weather permitting, finish with night-sky viewing using park telescopes until 11 p.m. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Night sky viewing

If skies are clear, observe the night sky through the Oberle telescope and other telescopes spaced around the plaza from 8-11 p.m. Jan. 14 and 7-11 p.m. Jan. 15 at Observatory Park, 10610 Clay St., Montville. If cloudy, there will be a planetarium presentation.

Scout snowshoing

All scouts in grades nine through 12 enjoy a snowshoe adventure from 9-10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jan. 15 in West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell. Discover a new way to enjoy the winter season. Learn the basic use of snowshoes which may meet some requirements for Scout badges. Scouts can register individually for the program and registration is by phone only at 440-286-9516.

Ansel’s Cave hike

Take a naturalist-led, two-mile hike to Ansel’s Cave to discover its history written in rock from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 15 in West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell. This is a rare winter opportunity to go into this restricted area. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy foot gear that may get wet while crossing streams. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Warm-up hike

Join Geauga Gems for a one-mile hike to explore a winter day in Sunnybrook Preserve from 1-2 p.m. or 3-4 p.m. Jan. 16. Wear good footwear for partially hilly terrain. Meet at the lodge at 12474 Heath Road in Chester. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Nature journaling introduction

Learn basic journaling techniques to record nature observations from 1-3:30 p.m. Jan. 16 and 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 17 in the West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell. A one-time fee of $20 for Geauga residents and $24 for out-of-county residents for the monthly series includes a journal, pen and pencil. The program is partially outdoors so dress accordingly. Registration is required by phone only at 440-286-9516.

X-treme winter fun day

Students in grades five through 10 enjoy winter fun outside with friends from 1-4 p.m. Jan. 17 at Orchard Hills Park lodge, 11340 Caves Road in Chester. Try snowshoes, bring the sled for downhill rides, learn about winter wildlife and warm up by a fire with hot cocoa and s’mores. This is a drop-off program; all participants must have a signed waiver. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Bear moon hike

Experience nature at night and learn about the winter transformations of black bears from 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Observatory Park, 10610 Clay St. in Montville. Weather permitting, observe the rising full bear moon using park telescopes. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Elderberries

Seniors learn about the variety of woodpeckers in Geauga Park District from 1-2:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87) in Russell. Refreshments are served. This wheelchair-accessible program is a collaboration with Geauga Department on Aging and University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center. Registration is required at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Snowshoe lessons

Learn the basics of snowshoeing including proper clothing, equipment and proper techniques from 9-11 a.m. Jan. 22 at Big Creek Park Meyer Center, 9160 Robinson Road in Chardon. An indoor presentation is followed by outdoor instruction and a snowshoe hike. Borrow a pair of snowshoes or bring your own. Spaces are limited so register early at 440-286-9516 or geaugaparkdistrict.org.

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