1 Bird-watching trek

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Jan. 10, 8-10 a.m.

Meet at the Wilkie Unit (7701 County Road 101 E., Shakopee) for a winter birding walk. The open waters at Blue Lake hold trumpeter swans, geese and many species of ducks. Other overwintering birds include bald eagles, rough-legged hawks and northern shrikes. Bring binoculars and a field guide. More information: 952-858-0715 or www.fws.gov/refuge/Minnesota_Valley.

2 Ski-skating basics

Carver Park Reserve, Jan. 10, 9:30-11 a.m.

Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Jan. 10, 9:30-11 a.m.

Baker Park Reserve, Jan. 11, 9:30-11 a.m.

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Jan. 11, 9:30-11 a.m.

Learn beginner ski-skating techniques. Prior experience with classic cross-country skiing required. Ages 13-plus. $24, $40 with ski rental. Registration required; 763-559-6700 or www.threeriversparks.org.

3 Discover winter snowshoe hike

Afton State Park, Jan. 10, 1-2:30 p.m.

Take a refresher on snowshoeing before setting out for a naturalist-led exploration of the park. Snowshoes available in adult and children's sizes. Registration required; 651-231-6968. More information: www.mndnr.gov/ ptcalendar.

4 Snowshoe along the St. Croix

Wild River State Park, Jan. 10, 1-2 p.m.

Join a park naturalist for a 1-mile snowshoe hike along the St. Croix River. Snowshoes available. Ages 13-plus. Registration required; 651-583-2125. More information: www.mndnr.gov/ptcalendar.

5 Backyard agriculture: Beekeeping basics

Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Jan. 15, 6-9 p.m.

Everything you need to know to start your own apiary: honeybee biology, behavior, equipment and purchasing, hive management, swarm prevention, harvesting honey and year-round bee care. Ages 16-plus. $30. Registration required; www.dakotacounty.us/parks.