Here’s your opportunity for a unique family-oriented holiday experience at the indoor winter wonderland exhibit, “The Wild Days of Winter – A Taste of the Seasons” being held at the Metroparks’ Penitentiary Glen Reservation and Nature Center in Kirkland, Ohio from November 21 through January 3, 2016. It is approximately a 30 minute drive from Cleveland.
An interactive display based on the classic board game “Candy Land,” the exhibit gives visitors the chance to be a player on a life-size game board where they will take a turn, draw a card and be guided along the board, space by space and directed into interactive play and activities. Players will discover the many flavors that nature offers us during the winter season.
Special free activities and celebrations will be offered each Saturday from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. November 28 brings the chance to enjoy s’mores and a campfire. December 5 gives visitors the opportunity to discover apples and berries while December 12 brings the chance to ride a train (weather permitting). On December 19 visitors can taste and celebrate maple syrup and on December 26, it is time to sip some peppermint hot chocolate. Visitors on January 2 will get to learn about honey and beekeeping.
In addition there will be plenty of indoor and outdoor activities for all guests. Children will be able to take part in scavenger hunts that explore nature in winter and visitors will get the chance to visit Penitentiary Glen’s Wildlife Center to see animals and learn about these native Ohio creatures. Penitentiary Glen has more than 8.5 miles of trails for your hiking pleasure and guests will be able to enjoy a walk (perhaps along the Peppermint Trail). Snowshoes will be available for rental for both adults and children if there is snow on the ground. Cost is $3 per hour or $12 for the day for adults and $1.50 an hour or $6 a day for children.
Penitentiary Glen has a multitude of bird feeders so make sure you check out the indoor viewing area where you can relax and view the wildlife at the Windows on Wildlife. You can also try feeding a live chickadee by hand with the Bird in Hand program. And don’t forget to make a stop at the interactive Nature Calls exhibit where you can experience the sights and sounds of Ohio’s wildlife. Refreshments will be available for purchase (like hot chocolate in the Snowshoe Lodge) and be sure to take a look around the Nature Store to do some holiday shopping.
Penitentiary Glen is open from noon – 5 p.m. daily. It will be closed, however, on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Admission is free and parking is free. For more information about the ‘Wild Days of Winter – A Taste of Seasons” or about Penitentiary Glen, call 440-256-1404 or get online at www.lakemetroparks.com.
The Penitentiary Glen Nature Center is located at 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd. in Kirtland, Ohio. It is approximately a 30 minute drive from Cleveland.