Holiday Stress-Busting Activities in The Parks
Milwaukee County Parks offers a variety of ways to beat holiday stress.
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Parks offers a variety of ways to beat holiday stress. Residents and visitors may discover that holiday displays inspire conversations about the season and traditions, whether shared or different. When spending time outdoors or getting physical exercise, participants keep both mind and body healthy, and taking part in a class or group activity strengthens social connections as people enjoy a common interest.
- Holiday Floral Show at The Domes
Weekdays, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Weekends & Holidays, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (through Jan. 7)
The tradition of visiting The Domes for the holidays continues. Naughty or Nice, the holiday floral show, features Santa’s elves in the workshop. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph will make appearances Dec. 3, 9, and 16 from noon–3 p.m. Kids will enjoy Monday Morning Story Time Dec. 4, 11, and 18 from 10:30–11 a.m.The 2017 admission for adults age 18 and over is $7; Milwaukee County Seniors with ID, persons with disabilities, students of any age with ID, and youth age 6–17 are $5; and children 5 and under are admitted for free. In addition, Milwaukee County Residents with proof of residency receive free admission on Mondays, from 9 a.m.–noon, excluding the celebration of major holidays. (Regular admission is in effect Dec. 25, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2018.)The Mitchell Park Domes is located at 524 S. Layton Blvd. For details, call 414-257-5600.
- Santa Hustle 5K & Kids’ Events at Veterans Park
Dec. 2, Starting Times: 1-mile Rudolph Run 8 a.m.; 100-yard Santa Sprint 8:15 a.m.; 5K Race 8:30 a.m.
Getting some exercise, collecting some fun holiday swag, and helping charities are rolled into one event. All 5K participants receive a Santa hat and beard, a Santa shirt to wear while running, a finisher medal, and candy-cane socks. Kids-event participants also receive a Santa hat and beard. This year’s charity is Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful. Participants are also encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy to drop off for Toys for Tots. Veterans Park is located at 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive. For details, visit santahustle.com/milwaukee.
- Homemade Holidays at Wehr Nature Center in Whitnall Park
Dec. 2, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. (drop in any time)
Kids can unleash their inner elf to create handmade gifts for the special people in their lives. Wehr invites adults to take their kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews to spend quality time together and to make homemade treasures from natural, recycled, and repurposed objects. Projects include snow globes, coloring books and homemade crayons, bird feeders, troll rocks, and a variety of holiday ornaments. Three projects are included in the admission, $6 per child. Additional crafts can be made for $1 each. Adults can participate for the same fees. Registration is required for scout groups by Dec. 1. Families may pay at the door. Recommended for children age 5 and older. The Nature Center is located at 9701 W. College Ave. For details, call 414-425-8550.
- Holiday Bake Sale at Grant Park
Dec. 2, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Friends of the Mill Pond & Oak Creek Watercourse invites families to its Holiday Bake Sale at the Grant Park Golf Clubhouse, decorated for the holidays. Homemade items for sale include cookies, tea breads, fudge, and candies. Grant Park Golf Clubhouse is located at 100 Hawthorne Ave., in South Milwaukee. For details, call Jan Cook at 414-550-6144 or visit facebook.com/smfomp.
- Paint & Pour at Wehr Nature Center in Whitnall Park
Dec. 2, from 6–8 p.m.
Participants in the Paint & Pour can reduce stress while painting wine glasses or plates— and having a glass of wine or two along the way. The instructor will share techniques to make projects suitable for giving as hostess gifts. No art experience is needed. In fact, a study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association reported that 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent. All materials, wine, and refreshments are included in the $25 program fee ($20 for members of Friends of Wehr). Parking is $3 per carload. Registration is required by Nov. 30. The Nature Center is located at 9701 W. College Ave. For details, call 414-425-8550.
- Holiday Gift Fair, Kids Crafts, Brunch at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park
Dec. 3, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens invites families to its Holiday Gift Fair, a free event featuring visits with Santa and Gnorman the Gnome, unique high-quality gifts by local artists, musical entertainment, and children’s crafts. Event-goers who bring a new unwrapped toy receive a coupon for $10 off their table’s check at the same-day Zilli Hospitality Group holiday brunch (from 10 a.m. –1 p.m.). Boerner Botanical Gardens is located at 9400 Boerner Drive. For details, call 414-525-5601.
- Light Keeper’s Holiday Art Show & Sale at North Point Lighthouse in Lake Park
Dec. 4, from 5–9 p.m.
Simply viewing beautiful art can make a person feel good, according to a study by the University of London. Visitors to the North Point Lighthouse will see more than 100 original watercolors and photographs by four local artists. Sales will benefit the North Point Lighthouse and Museum. The group exhibit features the work of Julia Taylor, Kristine Hinrichs, May Klisch, and Leigh Bohne. A meet-the-artist reception offers a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres, for a suggested donation of $10 per person. A silent auction includes artwork and gift packages from local businesses. The Lighthouse is located at 2650 N. Wahl Ave. For details, visit northpointlighthouse.org/holidayart.
- Yoga in The Park
Marcia Coles Community Room in Lake Park Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26, from 7–8:15 a.m.
Wehr Nature Center in Whitnall Park Dec. 10, 17, from 8:30–9:30 a.m.At Lake Park, Edie Starrett, founder of MonaV Wellness and a registered and certified yoga instructor, teaches morning yoga classes with a view of Lake Michigan. Newcomers to the program can take an introductory class for free. Classes are $15 each, payable by cash or check at the door. The Community Room is located at 3133 E. Newberry Blvd. For more information, contact Lake Park Friends at 414-962-1680 or email@example.com.At Wehr Nature Center, Katy Martens, a registered yoga teacher, leads classes with a view of nature—or surrounded by nature if the weather permits. The drop-in class is $12 ($9 for members of Friends of Wehr). The Nature Center is located at 9701 W. College Ave. For details, call 414-425-8550.
- Volunteering with the Nature Committee at Lake Park
Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27 from 1–3:30 p.m.
Volunteering with the Nature Committee of Lake Park Friends means getting some fresh air and a workout while assisting on natural areas projects. Volunteering can be another way to make connections and to feel good about being part of something important. Participants are reminded to bring their favorite gloves. The group meets at the Warming House before heading into the park to begin the day’s projects, every Wednesday throughout the year, weather permitting. The Warming House is located at 2975 N. Lake Park Road. For details, contact Dolores Knopfelmacher at 414-332-0994 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wreath-Making Workshop at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park
Dec. 7, from 6:30–8 p.m.
Annie Oklobdzija, of The Wild Pansy floral shop in Franklin, will demonstrate binding techniques for making holiday wreaths, and participants will make their own wreaths to take home. All supplies will be provided. Open to participants age 16 and older. Only a few slots remain in the class. The class fee is $35 ($30 for Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens). Boerner Botanical Gardens is located at 9400 Boerner Drive. Registration is available by calling 414-525-5653 or visiting the Gift Shop.
- Cocoa with the Clauses at Cathedral Square
Dec. 9, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Part of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, the “cocoa klatch” returns. The free outdoor event gives kids a chance to meet the Clauses and share wish lists, and parents the opportunity to snap photos of their little ones. DJ Shawna will spin holiday hits. Other free treats include hot cocoa, cookies and face painting. Families are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Cathedral Square is located at 520 E. Wells St. For details visit milwaukeedowntown.com.
- Santa Visit & Traditional Holiday Bake Sale at the Pavilion in Pulaski-Cudahy Park
Dec. 9 from noon–3 p.m.
Santa will be listening to wishes of good girls and boys, and will be posing with the kids so that parents can take photos. Families will also want to peruse the homemade holiday treats baked by Friends of Pulaski-Cudahy Park. A fundraising raffle will offer a variety of items, including a platter of homemade cookies. Pulaski-Cudahy Park is located at 5400 S. Swift Ave. For details, visit Friends of Pulaski Park Cudahy on Facebook.
- Origami Ornaments Class at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park
Dec. 12, from 6:30–8 p.m.
Kristina Paris will demonstrate origami techniques for making unique paper ornaments. Participants will make their own ornaments for the holidays or for decoration for use year-round All supplies will be provided. Open to participants age 16 and older. Only a few slots remain in the class. The class fee is $15 ($10 for Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens). Boerner Botanical Gardens is located at 9400 Boerner Drive. Registration is available by calling 414-525-5653 or visiting the Gift Shop.
- Christmas Bird Count at Wehr Nature Center in Whitnall Park
Dec. 16 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
As part of Audubon’s 118th Christmas Bird Count, birders of all abilities are invited to count birds wintering at Wehr and surrounding areas. Talented local birders will offer tips to participants new to the longest-running citizen science bird project. Participants may bring field guides and their own binoculars. A limited number of binoculars will be available for use during the program. The Nature Center will supply chili for a potluck lunch, and Bird Count participants may bring a dish to pass, if they’d like. The event is free, but registration is required by December 15. The Nature Center is located at 9701 W. College Ave. For details, call 414-425-8550.
As public events are planned, they will be posted at county.milwaukee.gov/
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