Enjoy Winter Fun at Oakland County Parks and Recreation this December

Take time to slow down, relax and enjoy outdoor nature this winter. Explore the nearly 80 miles of trails at the 13 Oakland County Parks, view wildlife while cross-country skiing as the weather allows and leisurely shop at the Oakland County Farmers Market.

Please remember: All nature center programs will take place outdoors – under a tent or on a trail. Outdoor dress is recommended. Masks are encouraged for trail programs and required for programs conducted under the tent. Masks are available onsite if participants do not have their own. Staff will wear masks. Screening questions and touchless temperature checks are required upon arrival. In case of inclement weather, programs may be canceled.

Explore safely outdoors and enjoy these upcoming activities offered through Oakland County Parks and Recreation:

Dec. 4

Morning Munchkins is 10:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 4 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Join this exciting series just for preschoolers. Bring your munchkin to the nature center for a favorite story and a related hands-on, nature-based discovery activity. This series will be offered the first Friday of each month. The December book is “Secrets of Winter.” Cost is $4/child. Preregistration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Dec. 5

Learn about gift-giving in different cultures, including gift exchanges happening in the natural world – in a forest or pond near you, or even in your own backyard during Gift-Giving: Nature, Community and You from 2-3 p.m. Dec. 5 at Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. At the nature center or at your house, craft your own gift to give someone. Receive a gift from the nature center to take home, too. This program is suitable for all ages. Cost is $6/person. Preregistration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays to register.

Celebrate the storybook trail with the book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett during The Mitten Story Walk from 3-4 p.m. Dec. 5 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St. in Madison Heights. Enjoy the story of Nicki, a young boy who has lost a mitten in the snow, and the animals who try to make a home of it. Participate in a related activity and take home a mitten craft, complete with the animals from the story. This program is suitable for all ages. Cost is $4/person. Preregistration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Dec. 10

Homeschool Program: Winter Wildlife: Animal Adaptations will be held from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St. in Madison Heights. Check out some cool critters and the ways they stay warm in winter. Feel animal fur and explore winter adaptations before taking an outdoor hike. Each session is adapted for ages 5-9 and ages 10-17. Preregistration is required; call 248-858-0916 on weekdays during regular business hours as no on-site registration will be available. Sessions are designed as drop-off programs for youth. All students are welcome, whether from a traditional homeschool, pod or virtual learning setting. A release form must be completed with registration. Cost: $10/session. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for details.

Dec. 11

Enjoy a personal, naturalist-guided nature hike during Trail Hikes by Appointment Dec. 11 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Register for a time slot at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Participants will learn about seasonal topics while getting some exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. Up to three family groups will be admitted per time slot to accommodate social distancing. Time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is free and suitable for all ages. Preregistration required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Children ages 3-6 can have some nature fun as they increase their love for the great outdoors during Mini Naturalist from 10:30-11:15 a.m. Dec. 11 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. A naturalist will engage children with the story “A Stranger in the Woods,” nature talk and a related activity. Each child will receive a craft kit to take and make at home. Cost is $4/child. Preregistration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Dec. 12

Enjoy a personal, naturalist-guided nature hike during Trail Hikes by Appointment Dec. 12 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Register for time slots at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Participants will learn about seasonal topics while getting some exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. Up to three family groups will be admitted per time slot to accommodate social distancing. Time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is free and suitable for all ages. Preregistration required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Dec. 14

Join us on Zoom! Oakland County Parks and Recreation Historian Carol Bacak-Egbo will discuss the history of Addison Oaks County Park during Fireside Chat – Dashing Through the Past from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 14. Learn more about the Buhl family, their property and their legacy as well as hear stories about the Buhl Estate, a distinctive English Tudor-style manor home surrounded by a formal flower garden. This is a free program. Find the Zoom link at OaklandCountyParks.com. Click on the “Get Involved” tab, scroll to “Events” and click on the flyer link under the Dec. 14 event listing. Call 248-858-0906 for more information.

Dec. 15

Homeschool Program: Winter Wildlife: Animal Adaptations will be held from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Check out some cool critters and the ways they stay warm in winter. Feel animal fur and explore winter adaptations before taking an outdoor hike. Each session is adapted for ages 5-9 and ages 10-17. Preregistration is required; call 248-858-0916 on weekdays during regular business hours as no on-site registration will be available. Sessions are designed as drop-off programs for youth. All students are welcome, whether from a traditional homeschool, pod or virtual learning setting. A release form must be completed with registration. Cost: $10/session. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for details.

Dec. 18

Enjoy a personal, naturalist-guided nature hike during Trail Hikes by Appointment Dec. 18 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Register for time slots at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Participants will learn about seasonal topics while getting some exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. Up to three family groups will be admitted per time slot to accommodate social distancing. Park entry fee applies. Time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is free and suitable for all ages. Preregistration required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Dec. 19

Enjoy a personal, naturalist-guided nature hike during Trail Hikes by Appointment Dec. 19 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Register for time slots at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Participants will learn about seasonal topics while getting some exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. Up to three family groups will be admitted per time slot to accommodate social distancing. Park entry fee applies. Time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is free and suitable for all ages. Preregistration required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

Dec. 24

During Oakland County Parks and Recreation Appreciation Day on Dec. 24, visitors can enjoy free daily park entry with access to natural areas, trails, dog parks and all park amenities at Addison Oaks County Park, Highland Oaks County Park, Independence Oaks County Park, Lyon Oaks County Park and Dog Park, Orion Oaks County Park and Dog Park, Red Oaks Dog Park and Rose Oaks County Park. Park hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, or as posted at the park.

Dec. 25

During Oakland County Parks and Recreation Appreciation Day on Dec. 25, visitors can enjoy free daily park entry with access to natural areas, trails, dog parks and all park amenities at Addison Oaks County Park, Highland Oaks County Park, Independence Oaks County Park, Lyon Oaks County Park and Dog Park, Orion Oaks County Park and Dog Park, Red Oaks Dog Park and Rose Oaks County Park. Park hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, or as posted at the park.

Dec. 31

During Oakland County Parks and Recreation Appreciation Day on Dec. 31, visitors can enjoy free daily park entry with access to natural areas, trails, dog parks and all park amenities at Addison Oaks County Park, Highland Oaks County Park, Independence Oaks County Park, Lyon Oaks County Park and Dog Park, Orion Oaks County Park and Dog Park, Red Oaks Dog Park and Rose Oaks County Park. Park hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, or as posted at the park.