Mill Creek MetroParks kicks off holiday season with busy weekend
By Jordyn Grzelewski
With the holiday season upon us, Mill Creek MetroParks is kicking off a winter schedule that’s jam-packed with seasonal festivities.
The holiday fun begins this weekend with the annual Olde Fashioned Christmas at Lanterman’s Mill on Saturday and Sunday. The mill will be decorated for the event, which will offer visitors the chance to taste fire-roasted chestnuts, watch artisans make old-fashioned crafts and purchase handcrafted gifts.
Visitors also are encouraged to bring a new hat, scarf or pair of mittens to decorate a “giving tree” that will help children in need.
Also scheduled for this weekend is Santa’s Winter Barn, which takes place Sunday at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield. Visitors are invited to sit in Santa’s sleigh for photos, make a holiday craft, and visit with Santa and his animal friends.
“As a park system, we always look forward to this special time of year,” Aaron Young, MetroParks executive director, said. “We take pride in the variety of events we offer to kick off the holiday season. We enjoy people visiting and celebrating with us, creating memories with their families.”
More seasonal cheer is on the calendar for next weekend.
The MetroParks’ annual Winter Celebration at Fellows Riverside Gardens on McKinley Avenue begins Dec. 2. and continues through Dec. 31. The D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center at the Gardens will be decorated for this year’s “Toyland” theme.
In addition to giant game pieces and 10-foot toy soldiers, visitors can enjoy the seasonal blooms on display and participate in a scavenger hunt.
Also, every Saturday in December, the Gardens will be open until 7 p.m. for Winter Celebration Nights, which will feature an outdoor light display, a toy workshop and Reindeer Games.
During Winter Celebration, the Gardens will be collecting nonperishable food items to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.
Among other seasonal events on the MetroParks calendar are holiday-themed workshops at the Gardens, a holiday day camp where parents can drop off children while they do their holiday shopping, winter hikes, Black Friday and 12 Days of Christmas sales at the golf shop, and a MetroMutts Jingle Bells Hike. For a full calendar of events, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org.
“All of us at Mill Creek MetroParks want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday and to enjoy all the park has to offer this holiday season,” Young said.