By Betsy Natter

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With more of a chill in the air you may not think about wandering out into one of Montgomery County’s many parks to spend an afternoon. But in preparation for the holiday season, many sites are holding workshops and open houses to help everyone get ready. Enjoy a candlelit tour, make a holiday craft or wreath from natural materials, learn about historic holiday traditions and even get all the facts on reindeer. Add one or more of these events to your calendar to bring fun to your holiday planning.

Holiday Craft Workshops

Norristown Farm Park – Holiday Wreaths
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
610-270-0215

Park staff will provide instructions on how to make your own indoor/outdoor wreath using grape vines, pinecones, nuts and dried flower pods during a wreath-making workshop on Sun., Nov. 27th at 1 pm. Seasonal ribbons and bows will also be available or bring your own. Participants must pre-register and are asked to bring a glue gun and glue sticks. The workshop is for ages 14 and over and has a $5 per person fee. Meet at the park office.

Green Lane Park – Holiday Crafts
2144 Snyder Rd., Green Lane, PA 18054
215-234-4528

What could be more fun than making a holiday craft lakeside in front of a roaring fire? Join the staff at Green Lane for one or two of their holiday workshops on Dec. 3 in the Stone Pavilion at the Deep Creek Area of the park. The huge fireplace will be lit to keep you warm as you make a “kissing ball” at the 10 am workshop or a “Holiday Wall-hanging” at the 1 pm workshop. All crafts will use natural materials. Participants are asked to bring glue guns if possible. Pre-registration is required with an $8 per person fee and space is limited. The workshops are for ages 12 and up.

Holiday House Tours

Peter Wentz Farmstead – Candlelight Tours
2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446
610-584-5104

Experience the beauty of the historic Peter Wentz Farmstead during a candlelight tour on Dec. 3. Decorated for the holidays, the home showcases early German American life in this area. Highlights will include colonial music, examples of seasonal entertaining and a visit from the Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania German version of St. Nicholas. Tours are open to all ages and will run from 3 pm to 9 pm with the last tour beginning at 8:30pm. There is a suggested donation of $2 per person.

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove – Open House
1201 Pawlings Rd., Audubon, PA 19403
610-666-5593 ext. 109

Join the Center’s staff for their annual celebration as the famous naturalist’s home is decorated for the holidays on Sun., Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 pm. Crafts, light refreshments and activities will be available in the barn as well as presentations with Mill Grove’s resident owls. Call the Center or email [email protected] for more information. The free event is open to all ages.

Especially for Kids

Norristown Farm Park – Reindeer Guide for Kids
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
610-270-0215

Just what is a reindeer? Learn the difference between the animals of the far north, like reindeer, caribou, elk and our own local white-tailed deer during this fun and informative workshop on Sun. Dec. 4th at 1 pm. Hear a story, make a craft and maybe play some reindeer games! The workshop is open to children ages 3 and up with an accompanying adult. Pre-registration is also required with a $5 fee. Call the park office to register.

Peter Wentz Farmstead – Holiday Traditions
2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446
610-584-5104

Visit the Farmstead for the next “Kinnergschpiel” series program called “Holidays” on Wed., Dec. 7 at 10 am and 1 pm. The series, better known as “Child’s Play,” teaches preschoolers all about historic holiday traditions of early America, especially those of the German settlers who lived in the area. Children will make a craft to take home. Pre-registration and a $5 program fee is required. The event is open to children ages 3 and up with an accompanying adult.