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7 must-do activities for families in January


The weather is finally recognizable in the Milwaukee area. Snowy and cold, that is!

But there are plenty of ways to enjoy January with your family. Here are some special events happening in the next few weeks around town:

1. WinterFest at Urban Ecology Center (Free!)

Saturday, January 23rd 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Washington Park 1859 N. 40th St. Milwaukee, WI 53208

With the lagoon frozen over and the hills covered in snow, the Urban Ecology Center is hosting Winterfest in Washington Park for an afternoon of adventure. Join in for some family winter fun, including:

  • a sled dog demonstration

  • ice skating

  • sledding

  • snowshoeing

  • cross-country skiing

  • arts and crafts and more!

Warm up with free food and beverages!

2. Discover Animal Tracks at Havenwoods State Forest (Free!)

Sat, January 9 & 16, 9am – 2pm

Havenwoods State Forest, 6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53209

Who left tracks in the snow? This drop-in program will be going on all day to help you learn how to identify tracks, walk like an animal, make note cards with tracks, and much more. Then grab a tracking handout and head outside to discover who’s been walking around Havenwoods. Drop in anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 9th and 16th.

3. Family Snowshoe at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Saturday, January 9th

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Join Jim Hyatt in trekking across the Center’s frozen landscape while looking for animal signs and winter phenomenon. Schlitz Audubon provides snowshoes, although they may not fit those under age 10. Have the children wear their boots to join in the fun.

Pre-registration is required. To register call 414-352-2880.

Member: Youth $5 | Adult $10 Non-member: Youth $10 | Adult $15

4. Winter Weekend Workshops at Discovery World

Saturday, January 9th Open lab from 11am-1pm AND 2pm-4pm Free with General Admission

Try to catch an ice cube on a string as you explore how salt impacts ice, water, and freezing. This open lab experience is perfect for scientists of all ages with adult supervision. The workshop is walk-up only. Pre-registration is unnecessary. Open to 15-20 participants at a time. All ages are welcome!

Saturday, January 23rd OPEN LAB (1 Hr Long) 10am • 11:15am • 12:30pm • 2:15pm • 3:30pm Free with General Admission

It’s cold now, but the ice will soon begin to melt. Join us in the Brady Lab and use inks that react to environmental changes to create a print that shows the boundary of polar ice in 1980 compared to where it is today. This open lab experience is open to all ages with adult supervision. The workshop is walk-up only. Pre-registration is unnecessary. Open to 15-20 participants at a time. All ages are welcome!

5. Family Twiight Owl Prowl at Wehr Nature Center

Twilight Family Owl Prowl

Sat, January 30, 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Wehr Nature Center, 9701 W College Ave, Franklin, WI 53132

Join a naturalist for an evening out with the owls! An interactive program will highlight the habits and adaptations of our nocturnal neighbors. Then you'll walk the woodlands of Wehr listening and looking for Great Horned and Eastern Screech Owls. Families will dissect an owl pellet and discover what the owl ate for dinner! Fee: $10 per person, $7 per person Milwaukee Co. Resident, $5 for members

Nighttime Family Owl Prowl

Sat, January 30, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Wehr Nature Center, 9701 W College Ave, Franklin, WI 53132

Join a naturalist for an evening out with the owls! An interactive program will highlight the habits and adaptations of our nocturnal neighbors. Then you'll walk the woodlands of Wehr listening and looking for Great Horned and Eastern Screech Owls. Families will dissect an owl pellet and discover what the owl ate for dinner! Fee: $10 per person, $7 per person Milwaukee Co. Resident, $5 for members

6. Sleigh Rides

Paradise Ranch in Cedarburg

Take the only nightime, horse-drawn sleigh ride through forty acres of breathtaking beautiful wooded nature in. Listen to the sleigh bells ring and see the lights display while a team of Percheron pulls you on a party sleigh. This old fashioned designed sleigh will hold up to 12 people. When you return, sit at the campfire and tell stories while you enjoy smore's or warm up inside the heated barn with a cup of hot cider or hot chocolate. The restored barn is heated and decorated for the season. Reservations are required. Cost is $39 per person or $25 for ages 11 and under. Sleigh rides run Fridays 6:00-8:00 p.m., Saturdays, 5:00-8:00 p.m. and Sundays, 5:00-7:00 p.m. Check availability here.

Apple Holler in Sturtevant

Enjoy the magic of winter with an old-fashion sleighride at Apple Holler. Traveling through the crisp snow and hearing the clump of the horses’ hooves will transport you back to a simpler time. Halflinger horses will take you and your family or friends on a special orchard tour to see beautiful hardwoods, many of which are over 100 years old. At the end of your adventure, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or tasty warm apple cider and s'mores around a campfire. The cost is $70.00 for up to four people and $10.00 for additional person.

7. Dog Sled Rides in Whitnall Park

Each year, Door County Sled Dogs offer rides through beautiful Whitnall Park. Depending on Mother Nature, they hope to begin rides this Sunday, January 10.

All current updates will be posted on their website and The Sled Dog Hotline at 414-967-9677.


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