Looking to venture outside to enjoy activities in McHenry County? Then the McHenry County Conservation District has some winter wonders in store for you.
• Geminid Meteor Shower Party: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, 2411 Route 23, Marengo. Grab a comfy chair and a warm blanket to observe a spectacular show of colorful meteors. The Geminid meteor shower, which can produce up to 100 meteors an hour, peaks this night.
Don’t miss the display of bright flashes of light crossing the sky as we sit under the stars, enjoy hot cocoa and listen to stories of the winter constellations. County residents are free/nonresidents cost $5. For adults and families.
• Nature’s Ornaments: Noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Combine a visit to the Powers-Walker “Grandma’s House” event with a visit to the Lost Valley Visitor Center to create one-of-a-kind historical pioneer ornaments using materials found in nature.
There will be a variety of ornaments you can create and hang in your home. Free. For adults and families.
• An Afternoon with the Short-Eared Owls: 3:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. The short-eared owl is an Illinois endangered species, but we are fortunate to have them visit Glacial Park every winter. Begin the afternoon with a short indoor presentation and then head outdoors to search for these special creatures.
Bring binoculars if you have them. Dress for the weather. County residents are free and nonresidents cost $2. For adults and families age 8 and older.
• Solstice Soirée: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. The winter solstice brings our longest, darkest night to the northern hemisphere. For centuries, this event has been a call for celebration. We’ll investigate old ways to celebrate this celestial event while creating new traditions, including a half-mile star-lit hike ending at a warm campfire.
Dress for the weather, snowy trail conditions and outdoor activities. Please leave the flashlights at home. The stars will light our way. County residents are free and nonresidents cost $5. For adults and families.
• Nature Puppet Shows and Tea Party: 1:30 to 3 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Bring your favorite puppet or stuffed animal along as you enjoy a tea party and snacks while watching multiple puppet shows about the wildlife of McHenry County conservation areas.
After the show, you and your stuffed animal or puppet may use the puppet stage to create your own show or make a sock puppet to take home with materials provided. County residents cost $3 and nonresidents cost $5. For infants through age 7 with a chaperone. Registration required by Dec. 20.
Registration is required for all programs. Visit MCCD’s website at www.MCCDistrict.org to view program and event offerings or sign up to receive the seasonal magazine Landscapes.
Register online, by phone (available for free programs only) at 815-479-5779, by mail and in person at the Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, or in person only at the Lost Valley Visitor Center, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood.