MDC’s Runge Nature Center offers free family fun at Holiday Happenings

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) opens its doors at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City for the holidays. A long-standing tradition, the nature center will offer Holiday Happenings between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for families and friends to gather and connect with nature. 

Holiday Happenings 2019 will take place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Dec. 27 and 28.

This year’s theme, Call of the Wild, will explore the curious ways Missouri animals communicate through sight, sound, and scent, with activities, games, displays, and naturalist-led walks for all ages. This annual open house will also feature live music, refreshments, crafts, and more.

Friday, Dec. 27               
11 a.m. – Critter Rock concert by WildHeart               
12:30 & 2:30 p.m. – Talkin’ Turkey program               
1 p.m. – Animal feeding               
2 p.m. – Guided walk

Saturday, Dec. 28               
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – Live music by Simply Strings               
11:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. – Guided walks               
11:20 a.m. & 1 p.m. – Puppet show               
12 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. – Animal Communication game

Visitors are welcome to walk in during the free, family-friendly event and move between activity stations.  Enjoy a walk on any of the five nature trails at Runge, and then warm up inside by the fireplace. 

Runge Nature Center is located on Hwy 179 in Jefferson City, approximately a half-mile north of Hwy 50.  Building hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursday.  The building is closed on Sunday and Monday.  The outdoor trails are open from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. 

For more information on this or other programs at Runge Nature Center, call 573-526-5544, or visit