Thanksgiving is a time of year traditionally reserved for expressing gratitude and celebrating a bountiful harvest. Today, it conjures up thoughts of a long, four-day weekend filled with feasting, football games, around-the-clock shopping, family gatherings, and parades with floats and balloon characters that are larger-than-life!
Go back to the roots of Thanksgiving by spending time learning about the natural history of Thanksgiving as well as exploring the great outdoors in Cleveland Metroparks. This November, the Park District is offering a variety of programs and hikes centered on this terrific turkey themed holiday. Come by yourself or bring the family. Prepare for "turkey day" with a pre-Thanksgiving hike or program: The Natural History of Thanksgiving
Saturday, November 8 � 1 - 2 p.m.
Garfield Park Nature Center � Garfield Park Reservation
This national holiday and traditional meal have an interesting and colorful history. How have Thanksgiving foods evolved over the years? Learn the history behind classic side dishes, the ingredients used and turkey as the main course. Garfield Park Nature Center is located off Mill Creek Lane, off the Broadway Avenue entrance of Garfield Park Reservation in Garfield Heights. For more information, call 216-341-3152 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.American Indian Hike
Saturday, November 15 � 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Monarch Bluff Picnic Area � West Creek Reservation
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a hike through the unpaved trails of West Creek Reservation. Enjoy the transition of seasons while learning about the land, water and inhabitants before the 1800s. Monarch Bluff Picnic Area is located off West Ridgewood Drive in West Creek Reservation in Parma. For more information, call 440-887-1968 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com. Gobble Gobble
Saturday, November 22 � 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Hermit's Hollow Picnic Area � Bedford Reservation
Turkey is on everyone's mind, but how much do you know about Ohio's wild turkeys? Enjoy a brisk 2.5 mile hike in search of toms and hens and learn more about these fascinating birds. Hermit's Hollow Picnic Area is located off Gorge Parkway in Bedford Reservation, just east of Dunham Road in Walton Hills. For more information, call 216-341-3152 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com. First People Festival
Saturday, November 22 � 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Rocky River Nature Center � Rocky River Reservation
Who were the first people that lived in Ohio, what is known about these past cultures and how have they changed over time? Explore the ways people lived on and with the land through hands-on activities, demonstrations, displays, naturalist-led hikes, and presentations. Rocky River Nature Center is located at 24000 Valley Parkway in Rocky River Reservation, north of Cedar Point Road in North Olmsted. For more information, call 440-734-6660 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.Pre-emptive Strike Hike
Wednesday, November 26 � 10 a.m. to noon
Alexander Bike Lot � Bedford Reservation
Everyone is going to �stuff� themselves on Thanksgiving Day! Feel a little less guilty by working off some calories ahead of time on this fast-paced 3.5 mile fall hike. Alexander Bike Lot is located off Alexander Road, between Dunham and Canal roads in Bedford. For more information, call 216-341-3152 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.
On Thanksgiving Day spend a FREE day at the Zoo making fun, family memories:
Thanksgiving at the Zoo
Thursday, November 27 � 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo says �thanks� to all visitors with FREE admission. Visitors can watch the animals enjoy special holiday treats during enrichment demonstrations throughout the day. For more information call 216-661-6500 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo.
Step away from the after-Thanksgiving Day hustle and bustle and escape to the peace and serenity of Cleveland Metroparks:
Black Friday HikeHoliday Hike
Friday, November 28 � 1 - 3 p.m.
Brecksville Nature Center � Brecksville Reservation
Avoid the crowds and long check-out lines at the mall by taking a quiet 2.5 mile walk in the woods of Brecksville Reservation. Enjoy the scenery and learn how animals and plants prepare for winter. Brecksville Nature Center is located off Chippewa Creek Drive, off the Route 82 entrance of Brecksville Reservation in Brecksville. For more information, call 440-526-1012 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.
Friday, November 28 � 3 - 4 p.m.
CanalWay Center � Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation
Take an after-holiday hike along the Ohio & Erie Canal. Burn some of the calories you consumed on Thanksgiving Day while walking the Lower 40 Loop trail. Come by yourself or bring the family. CanalWay Center is located on Whittlesey Way, off the East 49th Street entrance of Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, between Grant Avenue and Canal Road in Cuyahoga Heights. For more information, call 216-206-1000 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.Black Friday Naturally
Friday, November 28 � 1 - 2:30 p.m.
North Chagrin Nature Center � North Chagrin Reservation
Avoid the crush of early holiday shopping by getting outside in the natural world on an invigorating two mile hike. Most plant life has gone dormant for the year, but that's what makes it easier to catch sight of native wildlife. North Chagrin Nature Center is located off Buttermilk Falls Parkway, off the Sunset Lane entrance of North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills. For more information, call 440-473-3370 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com. Eagle Eyes Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, November 29 � 2 - 3 p.m.
Nature Education Building � North Chagrin Reservation
Get active while practicing your observation skills over the long Thanksgiving weekend. November is a great month to look for wildlife. Search for scavenger hunt items hidden in the forest, then head out on the trails and look for living creatures. This program is for children ages 5 to 12 years old accompanied by an adult. The Nature Education Building is located behind North Chagrin Nature Center located off Buttermilk Falls Parkway, off the Sunset Lane entrance of North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills. For more information, call 440-473-3370 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.
216-635-3338, email@example.comHOLLY KECK -