Fernwood offering holiday activities

Published 10:01 pm Monday, November 29, 2010

Have breakfast with Santa, make a gingerbread house and see the railway exhibit at Fernwood. (Photo submitted)

Come to Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve for breakfast with Santa one of three Saturdays: Dec. 4, 11 or 18 between 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Chef Tim Carrigan will prepare kid-friendly food for this special occasion and Santa’s helpers will be available for crafts. Bring parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters to meet Santa in person.

Registration is required by the Friday prior to the breakfast. Fee is $12 adults and $8 for children 11 and under. Breakfasts with Santa filled quickly last year.

Other Fernwood events:

• Visit Santa in Fernwood’s Nature Center — Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19, 1 to 4 p.m. Visit Santa in the Nature Center. Free with paid Fernwood admission.

• Drop-In Crafts for Kids — Weekends through Dec. 19, 2 to 4 p.m. Kids can enjoy drop-in children’s activities. Get help writing a letter to Santa and make an outdoor ornament for the birds and squirrels. Other holiday activities will include making a wooden Christmas tree ornament, a Christmas card, milk weed pod ornament, Countdown to Christmas paper chains and Christmas bracelets. Activities vary in each session. Free with paid Fernwood admission.

• Holiday musical entertainment in Fernwood’s gallery — Sunday afternoons through Dec. 19, 2 to 4 p.m. Join Fernwood in the gallery for musical entertainment. Performing Friday will be Rick Willey, Jan Burda and Friends. On Dec. 12, Fernwood welcomes John Tolhuizen and Friends. On Dec. 19, Molly Moon and Reily O’Connor will perform.

• Watch Fernwood’s ice carving demonstrations — Weekends through Dec. 19. Just as an artist works magic on a blank canvas, ice carvers work their magic on a big block of ice. Watch expert ice carvers from the Michiana Ice Carvers Association create works of art in ice on weekends in December, or come view the creations during the week as long as they last. Check out www.fernwoodbotanical.org for an updated ice carving schedule.

• ‘The Magic of Gingerbread’ — Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m. Kids can learn about ginger in this horticulture/culinary class with Steve Bornell, then make and decorate a gingerbread house and ginger cookie Christmas ornaments with some help from Chef  Tim Carrigan. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is required by Friday. Fee is $40 (members $32).

• ‘Holiday Breads’ — Sunday, 3 to 5 p.m. — Join Chef Tim Carrigan to create two beautiful holiday breads, one of which can be used as a centerpiece for a holiday table. Fee is $40 (members $32). Registration required by Friday.

• New holiday railway exhibit open at Fernwood — Check out the new holiday railway exhibit in the Fern Conservatory. The holiday exhibit consists of two tracks. One train circles high on a track suspended from the ceiling, while another winds its way on the lower level. The balcony, conservatory and the library windows on the lower level are perfect viewing areas for the new exhibit. Local landmark buildings made of natural materials are showcased throughout. The holiday exhibit was designed by Paul Busse of Applied Imagination, who designed Fernwood’s outdoor railway garden.

The trains are part of a donation from Marilyn Beemer Wagner. Sparkling lit conifers and other holiday touches add a festive look among the tropical plants in the conservatory.

Call 695-6491 to confirm status of classes.

Fernwood is located near Buchanan at 13988 Range Line Rd, Niles. Current hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Fernwood is closed Mondays.