JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV 17, 2023 – Winter is on its way, but there is still a lot to do in Missouri’s state parks and historic sites.
- Saturday, Dec. 2: Guided Bison Saunter at Prairie State Park
Winter is coming and the bison are prepared for its biting wind and cold temperatures. Participants will brave the conditions to see the park’s resident bison in their natural habitat. Participants should be prepared for a 2-mile hike over uneven terrain and are encouraged to bring water and snacks, dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Binoculars are useful in looking at the bison and other wildlife that might be in the area. Registration is required and the event is limited to 25 participants per saunter. To register, call 417-843-6711. Participants should meet at the Regal Tallgrass Prairie Nature Center at 128 NW 150th Lane in Mindenmines.
- Wednesdays, Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27: Community Fly Tying Demonstration at Bennett Spring State Park
Join park volunteers Danny Goldsmith and Donald Ohler at 9 a.m. at the Bennett Spring Church of God annex building for a community fly tying demonstration. This program will provide instruction on tying a basic fishing fly and will give participants an opportunity to visit, share stories and see the art of fly tying. The demonstration is presented by the Friends of Bennett Spring State Park and is open to all ages. The church annex building is located directly across for the park office, behind the park restaurant at 26332 Highway 64A outside of Lebanon.
- Friday, Dec. 8: Birds of a Feather at Prairie State Park
What do birds do when the winter chill sets in and food is scarce? How do they survive the cold? Come learn about Missouri birds in winter and make a pinecone feeder to take home. Class is designed for children ages 5 and older, and is limited to 35 participants. Complete registration before Dec. 1 by calling 417-843-6711. The class runs from 10 a.m. to noon at 128 NW 150th Lane in Mindenmines.
- Saturday, Dec. 9: Ozark Christmas Tradition at Nathan and Olive Boone Homestead State Historic Site
Travel back in time as you walk to the Boone home and see how they and other Greene County residents have celebrated Christmas since 1830. Drop in for a visit with St. Nicholas, smell the cooking of a holiday meal over an open fire, make a 19th-century door decoration, learn Christmas customs of the Missouri Ozarks and much more! After your visit at the Boone Homestead, make new holiday memories as historic downtown Ash Grove continues the celebration at 4 p.m. with the annual Christmas parade and downtown festivities. The day’s schedule is as follows:
- 10 a.m.- Christmas wreath laying at both historic cemeteries.
- 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Living history displays and demonstrations along the path to the Boone home.
- Cider pressing.
- Block-print Christmas cards.
- U.S. Dragoons.
- Nathan Boone Chapter of the War of 1812 Society.
- Christmas of the enslaved.
- 19th-century door swags.
- Fiber arts.
- Ladderback chair caning.
- 10:15 a.m. – Christmas carols in the parlor of the Boone home.
- 10:30 a.m. – Ozark Christmas stories, folklore and superstitions, in the orchard.
- 11 a.m. – Christmas carols in the parlor of the Boone home.
- 11:30 a.m. – Ozark Christmas stories, folklore and superstitions, in the orchard.
- Noon – Christmas carols in the parlor of the Boone home.
- 1 p.m. – “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and Christmas caroling in the parlor of the Boone home.
- 1:30 p.m. - Ozark Christmas stories, folklore and superstitions, in the orchard. Nathan and Olive Boone Homestead State Historic Site is located at 7850 N. State Highway V in Ash Grove.
- Saturday, Dec. 30: Nature Bingo at Prairie State Park
Join Prairie State Park team members at 2 p.m. for an interactive board game focusing on Missouri’s natural elements and showcasing the state’s plants and wildlife. Instead of “bingo,” guests will spell out “nature,” with categories including birds, plants and fungi, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, fish and invertebrate animals. Instead of numbers and letters called, a description of a fact about an animal, plant or fungus will be given and participants will have the opportunity to guess what is being described. When players get a column or row filled in, they win a prize! Prairie State Park is located at 128 NW 150th Lane in Mindenmines.
For detailed information on any of these activities, please visit mostateparks.com/events. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.