Kids can enjoy many programs at Genesee Country Village and Museum this winter. Photo by Genesee Country Village and Museum staff

Despite our tendencies toward hibernation, winter is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors, and Genesee Country Village & Museum is centrally located for a day out in nature. With over 600 acres of woodlands, meadows, ponds, and car-less paths, there are opportunities for walking, skiing, and snowshoeing along the trails and paths of the Museum. Starting now and running through the spring, Nature Sundays are a weekly opportunity to hike the trails, embark on a themed “story walk,” or visit the Nature Center lodge to learn more about the native plants and animals of the Genesee Valley, all in an open, physically-distanced environment.

A special feature of Nature Sundays is the opportunity to snowshoe and cross-country ski on not only the trails but right through the peaceful Historic Village as well. Guests can bring their own equipment or borrow snowshoes from the Nature Center (as available), where you’ll get fitted with a pair of snowshoes, take a quick lesson around the lawn, then head out to explore the snowy trails and village lanes. Visitors are asked to call ahead for walking conditions, and check in at the Nature Center building before heading into the village.

On snowy days, Nature Sundays will include sledding down the hill in the Great Meadow. Visitors can bring their own sleds for races down the hill, paint the ground with snow paints, or build a snowman complete with wildlife-friendly decorations.

Parents looking for something to keep kids busy this winter – or check off those “virtual” gym class requirements – can choose from a variety of weekend class options. During the Winter Wings program, children will get to take on the persona of a fairy or elf and learn all about the birds who make this area their winter home. They’ll hear bird stories, make birdfeeders for their own backyards, and use binoculars and bird callers to meet new feathered friends as they imagine, explore, and enjoy the outdoors. Winter Wings is part of the Nature Center’s one-of-a-kind “Fairy & Elf Academy,” a popular program for youngsters ages 4 through 8 that offers three- to five-week sessions throughout the year. If you miss Winter Wings, check out Spring Sprites in April.

In February, kids ages 7 to 11 can spend Saturdays at GCV&M experiencing Wild Winter, an active play-based program that includes sledding on the Great Meadow hill, snowshoe walks, animal tracking, bird feeder crafts, survival games, and a lot of outdoor fun. Wild Winter runs February 6-20, and registration is now open at gcv.org.

GCV&M has more winter fun in store with the family fun and mayhem of a Kiddie Cabbage Walk on February 20 and the very popular Owl Moon program on February 26 and 27. You’ll find the latest news on these programs and other seasonal happenings at the Museum’s website, gcv.org, and on social media at @gcvmuseum.

This winter, there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy the outdoors, with fun and programs for all ages and interests at Genesee Country Village & Museum. Nature Sundays run every Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm. Suggested donation is $5. Call ahead for hill and trail conditions (585-294-8262), and check in at the Nature Center building before heading out. Bring a date, your best friends, or the whole family for an outdoor adventure at GCV&M!

GCV&M is the largest living history museum in New York State with the largest collection of historic buildings in the Northeast. The Museum, with its John L. Wehle Gallery, working brewery, vintage base ball park, and Nature Center, is located in Mumford, NY, 20 miles southwest of Rochester and 45 miles east of Buffalo. Visit www.gcv.org<http://www.gcv.org/> for more information.

©2021 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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