MDC offers outdoor options in KC area during holidays

News from the region
Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – If cabin fever strikes during the holiday weeks, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers ways to get outdoors or learn about nature while staying warm indoors. All activities are free and suited for all ages.

MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will offer its annual Nature Film Festival 10 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24. Nature movies and short documentaries will be shown throughout the day. The trails at Burr Oak Woods are open for winter hiking. On Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, Burr Oak Woods will offer a chance to make leaf print art from 10 a.m. to noon. Burr Oak Woods Nature Center is at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. For information, call 816-228-3766.

What do animals leave behind during winter travels, especially after a snowfall? Tracks and scat are the answers. MDC’s Gorman Discovery Center staff will offer activities to help visitors learn what animals left what from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, Dec. 27-30.  Visitors can learn how to identify trees in winter and do artful tree bark rubbings 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. Also on Jan. 7, volunteers offer nature stories for young children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Discovery Center is at 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City. For information, call 816-759-7300.

MDC’s Parma Woods Shooting Range will offer a Cool Critters program about wildlife habits in winter 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3.  Experts will talk about how mammals, reptiles, birds and bugs survive harsh winter weather. The Range is at 15900 N.W. River Road in Parkville. For information, call 816-891-9941.

For information about all MDC nature centers, shooting ranges and programs, visit