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Enjoy holiday, winter festivities at Ponca State Park

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LINCOLN – Celebrate the season with winter and holiday fun at Ponca State Park (SP). Now through the last day of winter, the park offers a variety of seasonal events for the whole family. Christmas in the Woods features crafts, educational programs, free family portraits and lighted hayrack rides. The event is held each Saturday now through Dec. 17. Show off your handiwork during the 3rd Annual Snowman Building Contest, open now through March 19. The first place prize is …

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Lake Minatare Opening to Birdwatchers Dec. 10

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The public will have a unique opportunity for viewing birds during an event at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event marks the only opportunity for the public to access the 2,158-acre reservoir on the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for its annual closure between Oct. 15 and Jan. 14. Birdwatchers who want to participate in the one-day event may arrive at the lighthouse on Lakeview Point any time between 8-11 a.m. Binoculars, spotting scopes and …

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Family-friendly archery on tap Dec. 3 at Platte River SP

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LINCOLN – Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for a fun day of free archery Dec. 3 at Archery on Fire at Platte River State Park. All ages and experience levels are welcome for this event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex. Equipment and instruction will be provided. Archery, 3-D archery, crossbows and tomahawk throwing will be available. There also will be campground games, kids’ crafts and a Nerf …

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Fort Atkinson SHP to host deer sausage-making class

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LINCOLN – Learn how to make deer sausage during a hands-on class Dec. 4 at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. Participants will make deer brats, deer summer sausage and deer breakfast sausage. Snacks and recipes will be provided. Cure Cooking of Fort Calhoun will lead the class, which costs $35. Space is limited. The fort also will host a fresh venison cooking class on Dec. 11. To register for these classes, visit CureCooking.com/DeerClasses. Fort Atkinson is located seven blocks east …

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Day of fun, educational activities planned for Nov. 12 at Ponca SP

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LINCOLN – Get outdoors for a fall day of fun, educational activities for all ages Nov. 12 at Ponca State. Take an introductory archery course from 9-11 a.m. using the park’s equipment. Participants must be at least 5 years of age. At 1 p.m., Critter Corner will introduce guests to wildlife found along the Missouri River. A scavenger hunt hike at 3 p.m. will give participants a chance to win prizes by identifying trees, collecting leaves and searching for tracks …

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Enjoy live theater at Mahoney State Park

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LINCOLN – Bring the family for dinner and a play at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park this holiday season. From Nov. 26 to Dec. 18, the park will be showing an original, family-friendly play, “Making Spirits Bright.” Visitors will receive 10 percent off of a buffet meal at the Lodge Restaurant with the purchase of a ticket. The play tells the story of a couple who have all the trappings of a happy life, but have lost the Christmas spirit. …

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Fall – Perfect for Outdoor Cooking

Scenes from 2013 Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop at Nebraska 4-H Camp, Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Ranger District, Near Halsey; Dutch oven cooking Fowler, Oct. 5, 2013. Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The fall season is here and the holidays are just around corner.  Don’t let the chill in the air keep you from cooking outdoors.  From cooler temperatures and colorful leaves, fall is an excellent time to cook outdoors and here’s why: Enjoy the warmth No sweat, preparing a meal over hot coals or wood logs is more comfortable in cooler weather. Also as the days get shorter, the warmth of the fire’s glow is simply relaxing. No Bugs The cooler …

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Game and Parks seeks information about vandalism at Lake McConaughy SRA

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LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking information on vandalism at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area. The Martin Bay RV dump station was damaged beyond repair sometime between the night of Oct. 15 and Oct. 16. There are no suspects at this time. A vehicle had illegally driven off-road up the bank at the back of Martin Bay over the top of the dump station’s septic tanks. The vehicle got stuck, and then caused the damage while …

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Day of fun, educational activities planned for Nov. 5 at Ponca SP

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LINCOLN – Enjoy an autumn day of fun and education for all ages Nov. 5 at Ponca State (SP). Take an introductory archery course from 9-11 a.m. using the park’s equipment. Participants must be at least 5 years of age. At 1 p.m., Critter Corner will introduce guests to wildlife found along the Missouri River. An outdoor cooking class at 3 p.m. will allow participants to cook treats in a Dutch oven over a campfire. A park permit is required …

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2016 Great Park Pursuit winners announced

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LINCOLN – Dozens of teams won prizes in the 2016 Great Park Pursuit, hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Recreation and Park Association. The following teams won the challenge’s top prizes: — $1,500 outdoor recreation package grand prize: Road Trip Adventures, Papillion — $750 outdoor recreation package: Conklin Bushwhackers, Juniata — $500 outdoor recreation package: Recycled Fish Stewards, Ralston — Two-night cabin stay and 2017 NEBRASKAland calendar: Foot Stompers, Seward — Two-night cabin stay: Van …

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