The shortest day of the year, or the winter solstice, marks the beginning of this season usually occurs around December 21. Bundle up because winter is a fantastic time to track animals and explore the outdoors!

macro-photograph of a snowflake
Frosted Red Berries on Branch

December includes the winter solstice in Wisconsin and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. Take advantage of limited daylight on the shortest days of the year, or get outside for a night hike and see the landscape in a whole new light.

Winter Scene with Frozen Lake

Start your year off right with stargazing, ice fishing and other exciting outdoor winter activities!

Trees Covered by Frozen Rain

The end of winter is in sight for humans and animals alike! Keep an eye out for hibernators waking from their great sleep and the first flowers, such as skunk cabbage, to begin to emerge.

Birds at a feeder in winter
Winter birds are attracted to birdfeeders. Watch to see how many birds you can identify.
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Snowy tree, Photo Credit: Joe Riederer
Are you observant? Phenology is the study of changes in plants and animals as they respond to weather, climate, and the seasons.
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Fresh Animal Tracks on Snow
Have you ever tracked someone's footprints in the sand or snow?
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Women checking ingredients on the back of a milk jug.
Instructions for creating a recycled milk jug luminary!
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Man ice fishing at dawn
Flocks of overwintering bald eagles sweep open waters near dams looking for fish to eat.
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Young child playing with snow
Snowflakes are one of the best things about winter.
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Icy trees light up by the sunlight
Light up winter nights with this beautiful ice luminary.
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Pine cone wreath hanging on a door
How to create a fun and festive pine cone wreath!
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A Robin perched on a snowy tree
This wreath looks excellent, and provides birds with a snack!
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Young girl holding pine cones
Simple ways to feed your neighborhood birds!
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Person getting ready to ride snowmobile
How to stay safe while riding a snowmobile.
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Groundhog Emerging from Snowy Den
What happens to animals when the days get shorter and the snow starts to fly?
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Winter hat
Learn why certain things keep us warmer in cold weather.
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Night sky with shooting star and trees
Nothing can compare to being outdoors on a dark, starry night and gazing at the endless field of shimmering lights. Here are a few easy tips and tricks to make you comfortable, help you see more stars, and better observe the nighttime sky.
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Chickadee flying in winter, Photo Credit: Joe Riederer
Point to and click on any bird to learn more about them and what they're eating at the feeder.
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