Seven Ponds Nature Center

A Nature Sanctuary and Environmental Education Center


Winter Programs at Seven Ponds

Exploring the winter world can be a wondrous experience with endless possibilities for adventure. If you are not sure what these adventures may entail come out to Seven Ponds, and we can help you out. Look over this winter’s offerings of activities and make plans to join us as we explore winter’s nature. Seven Ponds offers something for everyone from preschoolers and families to adult courses. Mark your calendars for some programs in our Winter Series, Sunday Walks, Yoga at the Ponds and WinterFest . Let the winter adventures begin! For more information call the center at 810-796-3200.

Each winter, Seven Ponds sponsors the Winter Series, a series of programs highlighted by noted naturalists and photographers, live animals, fascinating natural history, and enjoyment for all ages. Open to everyone, the admission is $3.00 for adults (free for children under 12 and our members) unless otherwise noted. Come out for one or all of these programs.
  • December

    Scavenger Hunt Hike
    Sunday, December 3, 2:00 pm
    The power of observation will be your greatest asset! Let’s see if you’ll be able to find all the items and answer all the questions, as you hike some of Seven Ponds’ trails.

    Winter Bird Walk #1
    Wednesday, December 6, 8:00 am
    Late autumn (not quite winter yet!) is a great time to search for both winter residents and migrant birds that haven’t quite left yet. We’ll start the morning by watching the feeders from indoors, enjoying hot beverages, before heading out in search of more birds, including waterfowl on the ponds. Bring your binoculars and field guide, and be sure to dress for the weather.

    Wreath Making Workshop
    Saturday, December 9, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Let’s get festive and make a beautiful wreath out of natural evergreen materials for your home. Bring any type of decoration you might want to add to your creation to truly make it special. Please call to pre-register as space is limited. Fee: $25 for non-members, $20.00 for members.

    The Cone Phenomenon
    Sunday, December 10, 2:00 pm
    This will be a fun afternoon of collecting and learning about cones from conifer trees. We will use some of our cones to make birdfeeders and crafts.
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    Lapeer County Christmas Bird Count
    Sunday, December 17, 8:30 am
    If you would like to help count birds at Seven Ponds and Jonathan Woods for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, please contact the nature center to register for the event. Naturalist Cathy Wesley she will be coordinating this year’s effort at Seven Ponds. Join her for an entire day or just a half day. Fee: no charge.

    Winter Solstice Hike
    Thursday, December 21, 1:00 pm
    Just because it’s the shortest day of the year, doesn’t mean you can’t come out and enjoy a hike around Seven Ponds. Nature happens in all seasons, let’s see what it’s up to on the winter solstice.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
    Sunday and Monday, December 24 and 25.
    Nature center building closed. Happy Holidays!

  • January
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    New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
    Saturday and Sunday, December 31 and January 1.
    Nature center building closed, Happy New Year!

    Yoga at the Ponds - Peaceful Moon Yoga beginners/basic yoga class.
    Wednesdays, January 3 through February 21
    6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
    The “Peaceful Moon” series is designed for newcomers and beginning yoga students and/or those who wish to become re-acquainted with the practice. Participants will experience the mind, body, spirit connection while learning basic yoga poses. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes or twist into a pretzel to participate, however many postures are done from a seated or prone position on the floor. This gentle practice incorporates some aromatherapy and focuses on slowing down, reconnection with the breath and body. Sessions will help participants release tension, improve flexibility, balance, and range of motion, and center and regroup. The series will also include introduction to a full body yoga workout, and a Yin (restorative) yoga session. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or blanket. Pillows, additional blankets, and other “creature comforts” are also welcome.

    Drop in fee is $12.00 ($10.00 for members); register for the eight-week series for $70.00. Call Seven Ponds to register.

    Nature Crafts
    Saturday, January 6, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    Drop in any time and make wintery nature crafts at Seven Ponds. This will be fun for the whole family.

    Stranger in the Woods
    Sunday, January 7, 2:00 pm
    Spend a snowy afternoon figuring out who the “stranger” is! We will make our own “stranger” at Seven Ponds. This program is for anyone who likes to make snowmen!

    Winter Bird Walk #2
    Wednesday, January 10, 8:00 am
    By January we may be receiving an influx of winter irruptive birds. Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and Common Redpolls may have joined our regular winter visitors such as Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows. We’ll start the morning by watching the feeders from indoors, enjoying hot beverages, then we’ll go out in search of other winter residents in the forests and fields around Seven Ponds. Bring your binoculars and field guide, and be sure to dress for the weather.

    Flurries of Flakes
    Sunday, January 14, 2:00 pm
    This afternoon will make some snowflake catchers, and learn about the different snowflake shapes. Then we’ll go for a hike, and hopefully, weather cooperating, try out our snowflake catchers.
    Shelter Building
    Saturday, January 20, 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
    During this adventure we will learn how to make and actually make different snow shelters. Be prepared to try your shelters out! This will be great family fun!

    Snow Detectives
    Sunday, January 21, 2:00 pm
    We will use our sleuthing skills to track the animals that life here. Bring along a light-colored t-shirt or pillow case to decorate with tracks.

    Saturday, January 27, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Join us for our annual winter fun day. Included is a bonfire on the ice, ice cutting, snowshoe walks, cross country skiing, ice skating, and a snowman building competition. Inside will be children's crafts. Programs on winter animals and ice cutting will also be offered. Includes a campfire lunch of a hot dog, chips, and hot chocolate too! Bring your own skates and cross-country skis or try out the center's snowshoes. In case of snow and/or ice shortage, alternate activities will be planned. Please sign in and get stamped upon arrival. Fee: $3.00 per non-member and free for members. Groups are welcome with advance registration (by Jan. 24) by calling the nature center.

    Perfect Little Planet
    Sunday, January 28, 2:00 pm
    Sloan Longway Museum and Planetarium – Portable Dome Theater
    Imagine the ultimate space vacation! Discover our solar system through a new perspective: a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best-known Dwarf Planet. Dive over the ice cliffs of Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms of Jupiter. Walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? Please call to register. Space is limited!

    Winter Bird Walk #3
    Wednesday, January 31, 8:00 am
    Winter’s icy chill may be firmly upon us, but the birds are still out there, being birds! Let’s go see what we can find! We’ll start the morning by watching the feeders from indoors, enjoying hot beverages, before heading out in search of winter birds. Bring your binoculars and field guide, and be sure to dress for the weather.
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  • February
    Winter Science
    Saturday, February 3, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Winter is a great time to spend the afternoon doing cold and icy experiments. We will make snow volcanos, do pinecone science, learn about blubber, and more! This will be fun for the whole family.

    Colorado Birding: Prairies, Foothills, and Rocky Mountains
    Daryl Barnard – Executive Director
    Seven Ponds Nature Center
    Sunday, February 4, 2:00 pm
    Colorado is well-known for its Rocky Mountain splendor – where scenic vistas abound around every bend in the road – but it is also a fantastic place to see some amazing birds. Join Daryl Bernard as he shares the birds and wildlife encountered on a recent Seven Ponds Birding Field Tour. We visited Pawnee National Grasslands, the foothills around Boulder and Fort Collins, Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in North Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Come along as we recount our extraordinary week in “Colorful Colorado.”

    Nature Journaling
    Saturday, February 10, 2:00 pm
    Come out to a wintery Seven Ponds and spend the afternoon looking for animal tracks and other evidence. Then we’ll be writing a story for what we see. Come dressed for the weather and please bring a journal and your favorite pen or pencil. You could also bring colored pencils. Please pre-register by February 9 by calling the nature center.

    Seven Ponds is Going to the Dogs!
    Sunday, February 11, 2:00 pm
    Nights in February are some of the best times to hear wild canines! Coyotes are a fascinating creature. From how they once just lived out west and are now living everywhere. They even live in some of the biggest cities, but are rarely seen. Join naturalist Cathy Wesley for a howling fun afternoon learning all about the wily coyote, and some of their canine relatives.

    Snowshoeing at the Ponds
    Saturday, February 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Let’s meander through the fresh fallen snow on snowshoes. You can bring your own or borrow a pair from the nature center. Pre-register by calling the nature center and letting us know if you need snowshoes.

    Sweetheart Night Hike
    Saturday, February 17, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    You and your “Sweetie” can spend an evening snowshoeing under a waxing winter moon while seeing the beauty of Seven Ponds blanketed by snow. We will finish the evening next to a cozy campfire roasting marshmallow. Please call the to register. Fee: $5.00 ($3.00 for members)
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    Tropical Nature
    Sunday, February 18, 2:00 pm
    The world’s rainforests are a vast, self-perpetuating reservoir of living things. Indeed, the Amazon Basin alone contains more than half of all life on earth. Science Alive’s biologist, a specialist in rainforest ecology, will take us on an inspiring trip through tropical nature. We will meet some of the world’s most amazing animals, find out how all life in the rainforest is intertwined, and discover how deforestation threatens this fragile equatorial wilderness.

    The Zoo Experience
    Sunday, February 25, 2:00 pm
    Zoos and Aquariums have long been a place of wonder and discovery. They have also been the topic of some heated debates for as long as we have kept live animals. Do zoos and aquariums serve a conservation purpose or have they become a thing of the past? Naturalist Katie McKiernan (former zoo employee) will talk about the good and the bad surrounding these institutions and how you can make smart choices to help protect animals all over the world.

    Winter Bird Walk #4
    Wednesday, February 28, 8:00 am
    This late in the winter we may start seeing some early migrants joining the birds we’ve been enjoying all winter. After starting the morning watching the feeders from indoors, enjoying hot beverages, we’ll venture out and see what the tail end of February brings our way. Bring your binoculars and field guide, and be sure to dress for the weather.