Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue can help you stay active this winter with many family-friendly outdoor activities.

According to research, children spend up to 50 hours a week on devices and nearly 90% of their time indoors. How much time does your child spend inside versus being active outdoors?

Luckily, Fontenelle Forest is an exciting winter playground for the whole family with winter wildlife keeping the trails lively.

Check out the fun events you can enjoy close to home, with only a short drive to Bellevue.

MUD PIES

A wonderful indoor activity for little ones this holiday season. Mud Pies is a drop-in-and-play program that encourages interaction between parent and child. A weekly natural science topic is explored through station-based activities, free play and a guided walk.

This program meets every Monday through Thursday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Mud Pies is for kids ages 5 and younger accompanied by an adult. One adult is required for every two children. Cost is $3 per child for members or $5 per child with daily admission.

WINTER WONDERLAND

Enjoy the festive winter decoration display in our Great Hall, including nine large trees and various wreaths, from December 6-29. Support the Forest by purchasing a $5 ornament for your child to decorate and hang on a special tree near guest services for all visitors to see.

“Seeing Fontenelle Forest turned into a Winter Wonderland is my favorite time of the year,” said Sally Otis, director of education at Fontenelle Forest.

GINGERBREAD HABITATS

What makes a habitat a home? Children can reimagine local forest habitats using gingerbread and holiday sweets. Their one-of-a-kind gingerbread habitats and homes will spark their holiday imaginations.

This event is happening on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with five sessions throughout the day. Early bird pricing is $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers before Nov. 30. Starting Dec. 1, pricing is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Pricing is per gingerbread habitat and includes admission. One habitat per two attendees is recommended.

WINTER MOON WALK

A winter moon walk and campfire is Dec. 13 from 5-7 p.m. Enjoy a short moonlight hike through the forest followed by a campfire under the moon. Along the trails we will talk about the nocturnal life found in the forest during winter.

After the hike, participants will gather to hear stories around the campfire.

HIKING AND SNOWSHOEING

For exercise during the winter weather, consider hiking or snowshoeing at Fontenelle Forest. Snowshoes can be rented for two hours for $5 from the Nature Center.

“You can hike the trails, take your strollers on the boardwalk, or even snowshoe when there is 6 inches or more of snow,” Otis said. “You don’t even need to reserve a time, just come to the Nature Center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and start your snowy adventure exploring the 19 miles of wonderful trails Fontenelle Forest offers. ”

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