MDC offers free holiday activities in the Kansas City area

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Heading outdoors and getting in touch with nature are ways to enjoy the time in between the actual holiday days. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers two destinations in the Kansas City area with free activities for families and individuals to enjoy.

MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will offer Project Feeder Watch from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22. This is a citizen science program where participants help identify and count birds that come to the center’s outdoor bird feeding stations. The data gathered is used by the Cornell Ornithology Lab to track winter movements of birds.

Burr Oak Woods and the Missouri River Bird Observatory will also offer visitors a chance to help band songbirds for science from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5. No registration is required and the programs are open to all ages. Burr Oak Woods is located at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs.

Birds will also be featured at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center during the holidays. The Discovery Center, located at 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City, has several bird feeders outside large windows. Whether the weather is wintry or warm, visitors can watch birds visit the feeders. MDC staff will hold Feathered Friends sessions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday-Friday, Dec. 26-28. Staff will help visitors identify backyard birds, lead a birding hike in the outdoor garden, and help visitors make their own bird feeders. No registration is needed for this program and it is open to all ages.

Discovery Center visitors will have a chance to help band songbirds 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27. The bands are another way that scientists track bird populations and their movement. This program is a partnership with the Missouri River Bird Observatory.

Also at the Discovery Center, a free Printmaking with Nature program will be offered 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5. Participants will learn how to apply ink to leaves and grasses and make contact prints on paper using at etching press. The process produces colorful monotypes suitable for framing. No registration is required and all ages are welcome.

For information about the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, call 816-228-3766 or visit

For information about the Gorman Discovery Center, call 816-759-7300 or visit