Looking for something fun to do as a family during the winter break? Then check out these Winter Mini Camps to be held at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney. Designed for kids and adults to attend together, each of the four mini-camps explores a different topic and includes indoor and outdoor activities, as well as a take-home project.

December 22: Weathering Winter

Ever wonder where the butterflies go when the temperatures turn frosty? How do animals like snakes and turtles make it through the winter? Join us as we explore some of the fascinating ways that animals survive the cold. You’ll also get to take home your own wintry “snowman” ornament made from wood collected on the sanctuary to decorate on your own.

December 23: Tweets for the Birds

Do you know which birds spend the winter in our area? Would you like to learn how to better identify birds? Come with us on a family-friendly hike to see what birds are out and about on the sanctuary. You will also make a simple birdfeeder to take home to help attract birds to your backyard.

December 29: Paleo Party: T-Rex and Friends

Heat up your winter with some dino fun and “bone up” on prehistoric creatures that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Meet a T-Rex and other animatronic dinosaurs on the Dinosaurs Live! trail and even get to take home a fossil of your own!

December 30: Who Hooted?

Know which owl calls “who cooks for you” or whinnies? Learn to identify the calls of different owls in our area and practice making them yourself. We’ll also dissect real owl pellets to see what owls eat and visit our own resident exhibit screech owls, Pudge and Poe.

Mini-camps are for children age 5+ and adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. Each adult may be accompanied by up to four children. Participants should wear clothing appropriate for spending time outside walking on uneven terrain. Spaces are limited and registration is required.

Winter Mini-Camps at the Heard

Where: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, 1 Nature Pl., McKinney, Texas 75069

When: December 22, 23, 29 and 30, 9:30 a.m.–noon.

Cost: $23 per person per camp for non-members, and $20 per person per camp for Heard Museum members; register online.

About Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

The Heard is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit and was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard’s mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.

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Steve Beavers

Dallas native Steve Beavers wears a lot of hats (but not a cowboy hat, as you might expect of a guy who was born and raised in Texas) in his role at Plano Profile. Technically, he’s the Creative Director,...