Richardson Nature Center in Bloomington offers plenty of outdoor winter activities for families that have been cooped up in the house too long. The 150-acre center offers four hiking trails in lengths of less than a mile to two miles long, which are open for snowshoeing throughout the winter. For nature and pancake lovers, the reserve frequently holds family syruping classes showing how to tap the forest's numerous maple trees. When the apples ripen on the trees, the center also holds cider-making classes. The array of trees on the reserve provides ample bird-watching opportunities, and several ponds make observing amphibious life easy all year long. On selected Sundays this winter, Richardson is also the place to be for little ones who want to get up close and personal with cold-blooded animals. The center hosts free seminars to teach families about snakes, turtles, and salamanders. A naturalist is available to answer questions about what the critters eat and how they function. Cameras are encouraged!
Sun., Dec. 30, 3-4 p.m., 2007