Discover nature this holiday season with MDC

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Relieve some holiday stress this season by taking a break with nature and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). You can easily connect with the outdoors through free MDC programs, at MDC nature centers around the state, and nearly 1,000 conservation areas with outdoor recreation opportunities.


  • Conservation Families: Holiday Nature Crafts at Cape Girardeau Nature Center on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1 – 3 p.m. Drop by the nature center to make your own crafty creation this holiday season. Staff will provide a variety of natural materials, other craft supplies, and a little inspiration; the rest is up to you! Bring the whole family. No registration required. Learn more at
  • Holiday Happenings: Cruisin’, Snoozin’, Groovin’ at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City Dec. 28-30 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Holiday Happenings, a Runge tradition, is back! Spend your holiday break relaxing by the fireplace and experience wildlife in winter with nature topics, crafts, and games. No registration is required and all ages are welcome.
  • Nature Art: Winter Wonderland at Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City Saturday, Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Welcome in the New Year as we explore the native habitats throughout the Discovery Center’s backyard and gather dried stems, leaves, berries, nuts, grasses, feathers, and other winter treasures. Step back inside and use your creative side as you make your own unique nature art! No registration required and all ages welcome. Learn more at
  • Discover Nature: New Year’s Even Walk to the Confluence at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in St. Louis Saturday, Dec. 31 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Watch the sunset over the fields and prairies at Columbia Bottom and end the year with a quiet stroll in the crisp, clean air along the wooded path to the Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We’ll spend a few minutes at the confluence before heading back. Registration is required and space is limited. Register online at
  • Birds: Kids’ Christmas Bird Count at Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin Saturday, Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Kids, enjoy a morning just for you and the birds! Discover the excitement of bird watching in the tradition of the annual Christmas Bird Count. Experienced birders from the Ozark Gateway Audubon Society Chapter and local staff will lead mentored birding experiences. After exploring the trails, we will discuss what birds were seen and enjoy lunch provided by the Ozark Gateway Audubon Society Chapter. Remember to bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Registration is required and space is limited. Register online at

Find more information about upcoming MDC events at


Visit MDC online at to Discover Nature through MDC Places to Go ( and MDC Things to Do ( all around the state.

Explore conservation areas anytime with help from MDC’s MO Outdoors app. The free mobile app offers information on nearby conservation areas, accesses, offices, and more. Users can view what features and activities are available at each location, download maps, and view hours of operation. MO Outdoors is available for download through the App Store for Apple devices and through Google Play for Android devices. Learn more about the app at


Learn about Missouri’s outdoors through MDC’s Nature Boost podcast. Hear about the health benefits of nature, wildlife viewing, outdoor recreation, and amazing conservation stories. Subscribe and get your own Nature Boost! Listen to episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PodcastOne, or online at