Skip Black Friday mall madness and celebrate a Holiday on the Mountain instead at the annual Hawk Mountain Holiday Open House held Friday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This full-day event is designed to get families into the holiday spirit as well as outside, and will feature complimentary hot cider and $1 soft pretzels, hand-crafted ornament sale, an art exhibit by wildlife artist David Hughes, free trail admission for children ages 12 and under (there is a trail fee for adults), nature-themed activities, and a signature live owl program.
"It's a fun, low-stress day," explained Hawk Mountain Communication Manager Mary Linkevich. "Spending time outdoors with the family at Hawk Mountain is a nice way to start the holiday season and avoid the typical headache and hassle associated with Black Friday," she added.
During the event, children can learn the basics of winter bird feeding with a Build-a-Pinecone-Feeder craft at 10 a.m., watch a "Chippy Chipmunk" multi-media presentation by Kathy Miller at noon, and enjoy a live raptor "Owls of the Winter Woods" program at 1 p.m. All programs are free.
Adults and children alike are invited to join a guided walk to a lookout with naturalist Dr. Laurie Goodrich at 10:30 a.m. Participation will be limited for the guided hike, so those interested should arrive early to sign up, or call ahead to (610) 756-6961 to reserve a spot. Trail fees will apply.
The day will wind down with the highly popular All-Natural Holiday Arrangement Making. Those interested in making an arrangement are asked to bring a small basket and stop by at any time between 2 and 4 p.m. when a wide variety of sorted greens and other natural materials will be available. Volunteer floral designers will be on hand to provide advice on materials and shape, and to fit baskets with floral foam to keep arrangements fresh. Hawk Mountain encourages a modest donation to cover the cost of supplies.
As always, everyone is encouraged to explore the trails on their own throughout the day. There are trail fees, or free for members (membership available for sale on site). Those who are willing to walk the one-mile to North Lookout will meet up with the day's interpreter and may help take part in the annual raptor migration watch Hikers are strongly encouraged to wear warm layers and carefully consider any children's ability to hike over rocky terrain. A day pack with water, snacks and extra jacket is always encouraged.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is located just 7 mi N of I-78/Cabela's intersection, and is known world-wide as the first refuge for birds of prey. Its 2,600 acre sanctuary is open to the public by membership or modest fee for wildlife watching, hiking, enjoying scenic overlooks, or watching the annual raptor migration.
For information, visit www.hawkmountain.org  or call (610) 756-6961.