Winters can be really long here in Wisconsin if you don't get out and find something to do. If you need help finding a new hobby, making friends, or just finding inspiration, look no further than our fabulous parks and nature centers.
For anything going on in the County Parks, the best source is the website or Facebook page. Connect to find out what's happening today and see great photos and articles coming from media outlets. There are two indoor county pools where you can find lessons, winter water exercise or aquazumba. Or maybe ice skating lessons is more your thing?
The Urban Ecology Centers are a great deal. Become a member (starting at just $30 for an entire year!!!) and you'll have access to equipment, classes and discounts for all three centers. Follow their Facebook page to get last minute ideas. There's even a link to sign up for e-mail notifications. You can take lessons in snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and a whole lot more. Just ask for the latest newsletter to see what's up. Miltown Moms blog is a great place to learn about family friendly activities. She mentions in her 2015 Winter Must-dos that you can sign up for last minute deals at the Urban ecology center. If you're not aware of the centers, here are the locations with hours.
The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center has recently updated their website, so be sure to take a look at the latest in family programs, adult classes, and camps. Expect classes and fun with yoga, birdwatching, snowshoeing, and environmental lectures. You can go to the calendar to find what's happening this month. Most classes require registration and fees so book in advance. Membership starts at $50 if you'd like to support the nature center, get discounts at the gift shop and save on classes. If you have a membership here, it gets you in at 180 other nature centers across the nation, which is a bargain, even if you only use it within Wisconsin, where there are five additional centers within a short driving distance.
Wehr Nature Center is constantly evolving and continues to impress me. New this year is the DIY series where you can learn some new skills taught by experts. Already on the calendar is a spa day and maple syrup tapping. This is sponsored by Friends of Wehr which also keeps a calendar of events on the website. This is a beautiful outdoor location for winter hiking and snowshoeing too. Follow Wehr Nature Center at Facebook for up to date information.
Havenwoods State Forest has a nature center where classes and story times are offered. Check the website calendar for details. You can also sign up there to get the e-mailed newsletter that includes lots of useful information about the forest and the animals you may find there. They offer free snowshoe rental for all ages.
Lynden Sculpture Garden is a lovely winter outdoor space, which also happens to have some interesting lectures, art related classes, and naturalist programs. Connect with the garden on their Facebook page for up to date information.
Milwaukee County Zoo is a place for much more than animals. They are already offering registration for family classes that begin in February. You have to go to the website for the zoo society to search events and classes.
This will definitely help you keep away the winter blues or cabin fever. Hope to see you in the parks this winter!