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Park Events

State parks and recreation areas across Nebraska offer guided hikes, bird-watching, family events, camping, fishing, naturalist activities and much, much more. Find an event near you today!


Kids Christmas Bird Count

Lake Minatare SRA

Dec. 7
Come on out to Lake Minatare to explore that birds that call this area home during the summer. We will meet at the Scouts Cabin and will walk around the lake identifying migrating birds. Join us after the hike for hot coco and cookies as we tally up the different birds!
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24th Annual Christmas Dinner at Fort Robinson

Fort Robinson State Park

Dec. 7
Join us for the 24th Annual Christmas Dinner at Fort Robinson’s Buffalo Soldiers Barracks! The theme will be 1878, which was an important year in the fort’s history.
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Archery on Fire!

Platte River State Park

Dec. 7
Bring the family to this free event and learn more about archery! Equipment is provided and knowledgeable staff will be there to help.
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Christmas in the Woods

Ponca State Park

Dec. 7, Dec. 14 & Dec. 21
Seasonal educational activities including old-fashioned holiday crafts, lighted hayrack rides, free cookies and hot cider, sledding hill, groomed cross country ski trails (snow permitting), and Snowman Building Contest.
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Pearl Harbor Exhibit

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park

Dec. 4-8
Visit Fort Atkinson State Historical Park to join in honoring and remembering the 78th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor. On display at the Visitor’s Center will be Pearl Harbor artifacts, pictures, uniforms, and more. The documentary “Pearl Harbor” narrated by Tom Selleck will be screened.
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Light Up The Fort

Fort Robinson State Park

Dec. 7 – Dec. 31
Join us at the Fort for a twinkling display of decorations throughout the month of the December!
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Queen Quest

Denton Prairie, Denton

Dec. 7
Have you ever wondered where queen bumble bees spend the winter? We have too! All across North America people will be participating in Queen Quest to search for sleepy queen bumble bees!
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Christmas at the Codys

Buffalo Bill State Historical Park

Dec. 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, & 22
The event includes a tour through the mansion with entertainment in the parlor, cookies, cider and roasted chestnuts, a hayride through the grounds, a tour through the barn and a visit with Santa.
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Classic Christmas

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Dec. 14
Join us for a Christmas celebration featuring pictures taken with Santa by NebraskaLAND photographers. Sugar cookie decorating, winter crafts, and trolley rides through the park will also be available. Hot chocolate Bar provided by Caddy’s Parkside Grill, $2/person.
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Nature’s Gifts: Decorations from the Great Outdoors

Wildcat Hills Nature Center

Dec. 14
Come and help us create fun nature crafts that will dress up the Nature Center or your own homes for the winter season! Contact the Nature Center at 308-436-3777 for more information.
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Christmas at the Bowring

Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Historical Park

Dec. 14
Come celebrate the season at Bowring Ranch with a rib eye steak dinner with the trimmings, live music by the Twin River Band and door prizes.
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Christmas Bird Count

Ponca State Park

Dec. 18
Join members of the Loess Hills Audubon Society in helping us report sightings while comparing notes with other bird enthusiasts.
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Yule Log Fest

Platte River State Park

Dec. 21
Enjoy the beautiful season of the park with friends and family at the Yule Log Festival! Activities will include crafts, time with Santa, marshmallow roasting, games, a bon fire, and free hayrack rides.
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9th Annual Winterfest

Ponca State Park

Dec. 28
This outdoor family tradition features a Yule Log Quest, the National Championship Fruitcake Fling, seasonal crafts, lighted hayrack rides and more. Contact Ponca State Park for additional details at 402-755-2284.
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First Day Hike

Smith Falls State Park

Jan. 1
Participants will hike across the historic Verdigre Bridge on the Niobrara National Scenic River to view Nebraska’s tallest waterfall. Meet at the Visitors’ Center. The hike is approximately one mile. Be sure to dress comfortably for the weather. Bring snacks, water, camera, snow gear if desired.
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First Day Hike

Platte River State Park

Jan. 1
Platte River State Park is bringing in the New Year with hiking and bird watching. Hikers will have the option of climbing the observation tower after the hike. The hike will offer birding along the Stone creek trail as it passes our small water fall. A bonfire and hot chocolate will be provided.
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First Day Hike

Chadron State Park

Jan. 1
Meet at the Sawmill Shelter for a moderate one mile trail through the park for amazing scenic views! An optional easier route is available as well.
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First Day Hike

Fort Kearney State Recreation Area

Jan. 1
Bring your camera and your hiking shoes and join us for an easy one mile hike along the Fort Kearny Hike Bike Trail. Enjoy fresh air, fun, and wildlife viewing. Hot chocolate will be served after the hike.
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First Day Hike

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

Jan. 1
Meet at the Johnson Lake State Recreation Area office for an easy one to two mile hike along the Larry Roper trail where visitors may see migratory birds and other winter wildlife. Chili and cinnamon rolls will be available at 12:30pm. Coffee and water provided.
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First Day Hike

Ash Hollow State Historical Park

Jan. 1
Join us for a very scenic one mile hike with lookouts over the North Platte River Valley. Participants will have a great vantage point to see numerous species of wildlife, geographic, and historical features.
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First Day Hike

Buffalo Bill State Historical Park

Jan. 1
Start 2020 off right as you take a historical hike through the grounds of Buffalo Bill ranch while learning about the incredible local history of this World Renowned Showman.
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First Day Hike

Red Willow State Recreation Area

Jan. 1
Meet at Site 48 in the Willow View Campground for a moderate 1.4 mile hike. Participants may see all types of wildlife, especially deer and songbirds. Be sure to dress for the weather.
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First Day Hike

Wildcat Hills Nature Center

Jan. 1
Start the new year off right with a First Day Hike at the Wildcat Hills. Discover rocky buttes, ponderosa pine woodlands and the animals that call this area home. Join us after the hike for hot chocolate and cookies.
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First Day Hike

Ponca State Park

Jan. 1
Start 2020 with a walk in the woods during Ponca State Park’s First Day Hike. Hikers will find themselves surrounded by oak, hackberry, and ironwood trees as they catch glimpses of the Missouri River at the highest points along the Bigley’s Ravine Trail.
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First Day Hike

Indian Cave State Park

Jan. 1
Join us for a fun 3/4 mile hike along Trail #7 at Indian Cave State Park. This flat and easy walking trail will take you through a nature viewing journey. After the hike hot cider, hot chocolate, and cookies will be available.
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First Day Hike & Bonfire

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Jan. 1
To kick the year off, we would like you to join us for a first day of the year hike. We will have a bonfire outside to help warm up before and after the hike with concessions available for purchase in the Kountze Memorial Theaters. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be for sale for .50 cents each!
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First Day Hike

Indian Cave State Park

Jan. 1
Join us for a fun 3/4 mile hike along Trail #7 at Indian Cave State Park. This flat and easy walking trail will take you through a nature viewing journey. After the hike hot cider, hot chocolate, and cookies will be available.
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First Day Hike & Bonfire

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Jan. 1
To kick the year off, we would like you to join us for a first day of the year hike. We will have a bonfire outside to help warm up before and after the hike with concessions available for purchase in the Kountze Memorial Theaters. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be for sale for .50 cents each!
Learn more



First Day Hike

Red Willow State Recreation Area

Jan. 1
Meet at Buffalo Roam Campground for a moderate one mile hike on the Buffalo Roam Campground Trail. Participants may see all types of wildlife, especially deer and songbirds.
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First Day Hike

Mormon Island State Recreation Area

Jan. 1
Enjoy a warm bonfire and friendly conversation and then take off on a Midnight Hike along Mormon Island State Recreation Area’s Platte River Trail led by the Park Superintendent. The Hike will end with warm drinks, snacks, and games at the heated park shop building.
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Christmas Bird Count

Schramm Education Center

Jan. 3
Want an opportunity to get your family outdoors over the holidays? Would you like to contribute to science? Join our Christmas Bird Count for Kids event at Schramm Education Center!
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Cold Day, Warm Heart

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Jan. 11
Celebrate the frosty season by making memories with the family to warm you through the cold days of winter. Bring the whole family to the Owen Marina to participate in outdoor education activities or try your luck at fishing.
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Little Saplings Early Childhood Nature Discovery Program

Schramm Education Center

Jan. 14
For children ages 2-5 and their adult caregiver, Little Saplings will bring monthly nature themes to life for your child through story telling, sensory activities, craft, and outdoor exploration!
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Schramm Sunday Speaker Series

Schramm Education Center

Jan. 19
Join us for our free speaker series at Schramm Education Center where we will be promoting conversations that facilitate scientific literacy and encourage lifelong learning for all ages.
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