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Celebrate Holidays with Hayrack Rides, Sledding and Santa at Nebraska State Parks

LINCOLN – State parks throughout Nebraska are planning traditional winter events, including lighted hayrack rides, winter nature walks and wildlife viewing, sledding, ice skating, yule log quests, old-fashioned craft projects, visits from Santa and more this holiday season.

Dubbed “Winterfest,” this statewide series of events is intended to help families rekindle old holiday traditions and create new ones, while showcasing the beauty of Nebraska during the winter. Many parks offer discounted lodging in conjunction with Winterfest events, offering families a chance to spend affordable, uninterrupted time together during a busy time of year.

The first of the Winterfest events will take place on Saturday, Nov. 29 at Ponca State Park (SP). Guests can go sledding and ice skating, make holiday crafts, enjoy free cider and cookies, partake in a lighted hayrack ride and enjoy the groomed cross country ski trails around the park.

Other events will follow throughout December, January and February at Platte River SP, Mahoney SP, Buffalo Bill State Historical Park, Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area and elsewhere across the state. Events vary by park, but include holiday crafts, outdoor activities and, in some cases, visits from Santa photographed by NEBRASKAland photographers. Many events are either free or low-cost, though a park permit is required for each vehicle entering the park. A complete list of events and details is available OutdoorNebraska.org/parks.asp

For more information on the Nov. 29 event at Ponca SP, call the park office at 402-755-2284.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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