Baltimore County News
Cold winter weekend, kids in the house and that constant refrain “There’s nothing to do around here!”
Are you prepared? Because, you know, it is coming. President’s Day weekend is just around the corner. Followed by another winter weekend and another and another…you get the idea.
Baltimore County Recreation and Parks to the rescue.
We put the word out to several of our outstanding naturalists and rangers and came up some fun things to do that are also great teaching moments. Here are some super places to visit, recipes for the birdies, winter scavenger hunt ideas and fun stuff to make that holiday weekend one to remember.
Saturday, February 18 Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum. Tracks and Trails Detectives. 1:30 – 3 p.m. Winter animals are out and about even in winter’s cold. Learn about the clues they leave and join us on the trails to practice your animal detective skills. Dress for the weather. Children ages 5 – 10 with an adult. $2 per child; $5 family rate. Register in advance. 410-887-1081
Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19 Marshy Point Nature Center. Maple Sugar Time. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. How do you get sap from a tree; how is maple sugar made; who made maple syrup and sugar? Join us for this ongoing weekend program where we’ll tap a tree, taste sap and boil up maple syrup. Tree tapping hikes every hour until 3 p.m. Free. 410-887-2817
Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19 Lake Roland. Bird Extravaganza. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Live birds, crafts, birding hikes, campfire, hot drinks and kids’ games. All these great activities as you search for birds in the “Great Backyard Bird Count”. No pre-registration, no cost and open to everyone. 410-887-4156
Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19 Oregon Ridge Nature Center. Maple Sugaring Weekend. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come on down to our Sugar Shack to learn the magic behind the fascinating process of making maple syrup. Take an invigorating guided hike to the sugar bush to tap a tree for sap. Then, taste maple syrup and sugar. Hikes on the hour. Sugar on the snow demos at 12:30 and 3:45. Sugar time activities are free. Pure Maple Candy and Syrup will be sold in the Nature Center. 410-887-1815
Saturday, February 18 Cromwell Valley Park. Dead Leaves, Cheese, Butter and Kimchi. 1 to 2:30 p.m. What do they all have in common? Fermentation. Learn how fermentation allows our planet to work and then make your own fermenter. Bring a one gallon jug. $3 members; $5 non-members. Space is limited. Ages 8 and up. 410-887-2503
Sunday, February 19 Cromwell Valley Park. Tracks on T-Shirts. 1 to 3 p.m. Learn to identify animals by the clues they leave behind and make your very own animal track t-shirt. Bring a light color t-shirt from home. $2 members; $4 non-members. All ages. 410-887-2503
Monday, February 20 Lake Roland. School’s Out Day. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Unplug the kids and let them spend the day exploring nature at the park. Bring lunch, snack, and water. Ages 6-12. $25 per child for the day from 8:30 to 2:30. Additional $10 for extended hours from 2:30 to 4:30. Registration required. 410-887-4156
Fun for any weekend
How about a day at one of our parks and nature centers. Click here for a list of Baltimore County parks that can fill your day with fun and adventure.
Here are some nature projects if staying home or near home might be more your style.
- Project Feederwatch, a citizen science effort to record the numbers and types of birds that come to backyard feeders in February.
- Here's a winter birdfeeder kids can make.
- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a fun winter scavenger hunt.
So there you have it – your weekend is all planned. Like vegetables, don’t tell your kids that it’s good for them too!
By Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Department of Recreation & Parks