Winter Solstice Celebration is Dec. 22 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Take a break from the busy holiday festivities and preparations to celebrate an ancient rite at a fun special event for all ages called the Winter Solstice Celebration planned for Dec. 22 at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center.

In astronomical terms, the Winter Solstice occurs when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. In terms of daylight hours, it marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Officially, this year's Winter Solstice occurs on Dec. 21.

During the Dec. 22 celebration, participants will hike through the woods in Ernie Miller Park along Little Cedar Creek to witness the natural display of winter's quiet time. Then warm up by the fire and enjoy hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows while listening to ancient stories about the longest night of the year. Visit live owls and discover animal mysteries of survival during the long winter. Since parts of this program will take place outdoors, be sure to dress for the weather.

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under fun for all and then under special events. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “seasonal event.”

The Winter Solstice Celebration will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway. The cost is $6 per person.

For more information about this program, call (913) 764-7759. The JCPRD's Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. To register online and for updated program listings, visit the District's website at To register by phone, call (913) 831-3359.

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