The folks at Westport's Earthplace are hoping for snow -- at least for Winterfest.
"We love snow," said Earthplace spokeswoman Sara Cronquist, laughing, "so that all our visitors have the opportunity to see the animals in a (beautiful) winter setting."
On Saturday, Jan. 25, the 73-acre nature site will be open free of charge for the Winterfest family event.
"It's one of four free family days that we offer annually," she explained.
Should there be snow on the ground, Cronquist said that activities would include sledding, as well as horse-drawn sleigh rides ($2 fee). There also will be plenty of indoor and outdoor activities.
"We believe it's important to open our doors ... to provide the community -- children and adults -- the opportunity to enjoy the natural world ... and to see the animals as they adapt to the winter weather," she said.
Outdoors, Earthplace has several miles of trails, including a "Wheels in the Woods" trail, for those using walkers, strollers or wheelchairs. Its indoor natural history museum includes live animal exhibits (including ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits), as well as a selection of birds that have been injured and must be protected.
A large collection of birds, including bald eagles and great horned owls, are on exhibit outdoors.
The following is a schedule of events, as provided by Earthplace.
Indoor Crafts (In Ecolab), making snowflakes, snow flake catchers and Inuit goggles;
Outdoor Crafts, (by Pine Grove with picnic tables), ice sculptures, "Painting With Ice," making bird feeders;
Hot Chocolate and Campfire (in field by bear statue);
Horse-drawn sleigh rides ($2 fee); Read Full Article
Earthplace information table (building main entrance);
Tours of Harbor Watch Lab.
Animal Encounter (in auditorium), 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 and 1:15 p.m.
Trail Walk (Meet at Outdoor crafts), 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
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Earthplace/The Nature Discovery Center, 10 Woodside Lane, Westport. Saturday, Jan. 25, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 203-227-7253, www.earthplace.org.