Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Natural Holiday Roundup

We really enjoy the holidays and there are many fun things to do in our area both inside and out. Find our experiences and tips in the first link and links to the organization in the second link with each listing.


  • This has already passed, but we always enjoyed Holiday at the Mill. Check it out next year!  It's usually in the early part of November. We also like the Shipshewana tree lighting ceremony. 
  • The Where's Santa? activity by Santa's Pantry and Wellfield Botanic Gardens were great last year. Check it out this year on December 4th.
  • We enjoyed Bethlehem Live at Crossroads Community Church. It took a long time waiting to go outside (entertainment provided), but was still enjoyable. It is December 4-6 this year. 
  • Check out Gene Stratton Porter's A Dream of Beauty. We have enjoyed other events and visits there. It is December 6th this year. 
  • Check out Woodlawn Nature Center's A Natural Holiday. The ideas can be used for many ages. We always enjoy celebrating the holidays. An open play style (any age) of this (explore on your own) is available on Dec. 4 and 14th from 10am-12pm and Dec. 17 (Homeschool Nature Play) from 1-3 pm. Check out their calendar here. 
  • We've always really enjoyed Bremen Holy Walk, though understanding how it works is very helpful. The dates are December 18th and 19th this year. Find more information for 2015 here.
  • Decorate the house (inside and out!) with natural elements. Here is information from Linton's on how to do that! See their schedule of classes here
  • Pick up a a fresh tree at Eby Pines! Check out a related article I wrote in inMiddlebury magazine last year. 
  • Make natural holiday ornaments. See what we did at Pokagon State Park here
  • Try making ice sculptures for the birds. Here is our experience!
  • We really enjoyed our Christmas Holiday Scavenger Hunt! See the details here
  • Read a few nature inspired holiday books. Here are a few options
  • Give the gift of nature! Try giving memberships, coupons for experiences, classes, lessons, loose parts, outdoor gear, nature books, and more for the holidays. Find a few ways to give "naturally" on my Days of Nature Kindness post. Watch for gift suggestions and ideas, too. Here are ideas for learning about birds and animals

After the holidays, there are many options as well. You might consider the following:


Also, be sure to check out our Michiana Winter Guide, which gives many options over the winter months. It lists many places, both inside and out, to enjoy winter. Try a wildlife viewing window, nature center, sledding, toboggan slide, snowshoeing, etc. There are also many options within an hour or so to visit inside.

What do you enjoy doing to celebrate the holidays naturally?



Monday, November 2, 2015

Under the Snow: A Book Review

I am always on the lookout for good books about animals in winter, as it's a favorite topic to teach about! I found Under the Snow at our local library in Bristol. Please don't check it out in December-February, because I think I will need it! :-)

I've read several other books on the topic that have potential; however, they often fall short. This book delivered in important elements for me!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What Do Roots Do?

The book, What Do Roots Do?, grabbed my attention as one of the books on display at Bristol Public Library. I love using the library to preview books to see if I like them.