December nature p.L.A.y. Calendar of Events


nature p.L.A.y. Calendar of Events

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. - William Blake | Photo by Ilana Gustafson Turner

Ah! It’s almost winter in L.A! We can head to the mountains to see snow, but we don’t need to shovel it from our driveway to get there. It’s that time of year when we can… well, pretty much do what we do the rest of the year – play outside! So, whether you head to the Ballona Wetlands for their freshwater marsh tour, take a hike with the Children’s Nature Institute, or meet some reindeer at the L.A. Zoo, you can pretty much count on some mild weather to accompany you.

Tough It Out, Kids!

Saturday 12/5 your 8-12 year-old can learn how to tough it out in the woods at the Headwaters Corner Youth Naturalist Program: Outdoor Survival from 9:30am-12:30pm. Ages 8-12 will learn how to not get lost; then learn how to stay safe and comfortable if lost. Make a lean-to shelter. Bring a compass for a scavenger hunt. Bring lunch, water, and compass; wear sturdy shoes. FEE. Preregistration required: 818-591-1701 x181.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

Saturday 12/19 join Children’s Nature Institute for their Tykes on Trails Winter Walk from 10am-12pm. This walk takes place at Malibu Lagoon where you’ll learn about the tides and play in the sand while enjoying stories, games and great nature lessons! Open to all ages. Bring a snack, water, sunblock and extra layers as it might be windy and cool. $20 per child. Sign up at their website quickly because their walks tend to fill up!

Reindeer Are SO L.A.! (temporarily, that is)

NOW through 1/03/2010 the reindeer are at the L.A. Zoo and they’re ready to meet and greet.
At the Los Angeles Zoo Reindeer Romp you can make your own reindeer antlers and join the herd or pay a visit to Santa and friends (weekends only) for a photo opportunity (nominal fee).

And if you register your kids you can leave them there for the…

Winter ZooCamp from 12/28 – 1/1
Each camp features crafts, games, activities, and tours that focus on exploring concepts that will teach children about animals and the natural world. Check out their website so you can see the different camps and register your child. It is sure to fill up, so do it early!

Are You a Marsh(ian)?

Saturday 12/12 take a Freshwater Marsh Tour at the Ballona Wetlands from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Join Friends of Ballona Wetlands on this romp and see a wonderful variety of birds, learn about native plants and how the freshwater system works. Meet at the large sign by the trail. Park at the marsh along the south side of Jefferson Blvd west of Lincoln Blvd.*

A Family That Natures Together, Stays Together!

Friday 12/18 spend time in Nature Together at Deb’s Park from 3-4pm. Children, ages 2-5, and their parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles will have the chance to play, explore, sing and move in the wilds of Debs Park! It is conducted in Spanish and all children must be accompanied by an adult.*

Get Crafty With Your Bad Elf!

It is gift-giving season, and what better gift can your child offer than an original creation made by their own two hands! Check out these opportunities to get crafty while spending time with nature:
Sunday 12/13 Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center is offering a free workshop where kids can create corn husk dolls with Kathryn James. At 10am-12pm & 1-3pm. All ages welcome. Call 805-370-2301 for info.*

Saturday 12/19 head to Deb’s Park for their Holidays With Audubon. Local artist Leo Limón will be on hand all day to help guide your creative spirit from 1-3pm. Learn how to make papel picado (cut paper) banners as well as wreaths and garlands using materials from our natural environment. At 2:00 pm, join storyteller Jacque Nunez as she takes us on a journey to the past with Native American Indian stories. Refreshments will be served. There will also be a bake sale to benefit their wonderful summer day camp program. *

Kidspace is offering two opportunities for putting idle hands to work. On Sunday 12/13 they’ll host Art Workshop: Candle Making at 11AM and 2PM. Kids ages 4 and up can make ice lace candles at the final candle-making workshop of the year. Workshop is $8 not including Museum admission.
Or you can attend…
Kidspace Kitchen: Cookies from Scratch on Monday 12/28. Where does flour come from? What is cinnamon? Kids can grind, sift, measure and mix with a pinch of science to make holiday cookie dough ready to bake at home. Morning session at 10am is for ages 3-5, afternoon session at 2pm is for ages 6-10. Cost is $35 per child, must be accompanied by an adult. Register now for one or both of these events! While you’re there don’t forget to visit the Kidspace native garden!

Don’t forget to also check out our list of parks on the right to create your own impromptu family winter sojourn!


-Ilana Gustafson Turner


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